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Ways to create better workspaces

Written by: Ian Harrington on Thursday 08/09/2016

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It’s common knowledge that a well-designed and effectively-planned workspace enhances work quality, improves well-being amongst staff, and increases productivity. If your workspace is in need of an overhaul, or if you’ve outgrown it, you might be tempted to search for bigger and better premises. But did you know that there are a number of extremely cost-effective ways to improve what you already have, without the hassle of moving? We take a look at how you can achieve it.

Before you begin

It can be hard to evaluate a workspace when it’s busy and thriving but overcrowded and inefficient. Find a time when employees aren’t there and try to view your premises objectively. Could a lick of paint and a rearrangement of the floor space be enough? If you need more floor area, do you have the capacity to expand? What is your budget for the work you’re considering and could it work harder for you?

Of course, you could do the work yourself, hiring in sub-contractors to build, decorate or generally renovate but, when you’re running a business full time, it can be difficult to justify spending the time on planning the project and implementing it. It can also be hard to see past what’s already there and to imagine the changes which need to be made. This is where you should seek the assistance of independent experts who can see the space with fresh eyes and offer solutions to your problems.

Things they may suggest include:

Extend and expand

If shortage of space is your problem, and you have the potential to expand, it can be considerably cheaper to create more room, rather than moving premises. A good building surveyor will be able to advise you on how to maximise your floor space through additional building work, can assist you in applying for planning permission, and even suggest reputable contractors who can do the work for you.

Better lighting

Studies have shown that poor lighting in an office, warehouse or factory can result in eyestrain, headaches, fatigue and even depression amongst workers. It certainly reduces productivity, and Health and Safety legislation makes ‘suitable and sufficient’ lighting a requirement for safe working conditions. Good lighting is one of the most important elements to consider when planning refurbishments or new building works, and if you can’t get as much natural light into the building as you’d like, think about high-performance, low-energy lighting which will not only increase productivity but also save you money.

Temperature

Having a workspace at the wrong temperature not only reduces productivity but can also lead to illness and absenteeism among your workers and increase the number of errors they make. Getting it right, therefore, is vital. The optimum temperature for an office, for example, is between 21-23°C (70-73°F), so it’s important to have a modern, efficient heating and ventilation system installed.

Noise levels

Open plan offices without adequate acoustics can lead to a 66% drop in productivity, as well as increase stress levels, and absenteeism. In fact, the EU estimates that £34 billion is lost each year due to excessive and unwanted noise in the workplace. Acoustic ceilings, flooring and wall panels can be highly-effective in reducing ambient noise levels and increase efficiency as well as workers’ well-being.

So, before you move, think about how you can improve! Our Building Project and Consultancy team can offer you creative and cost-effective ideas for enhancing your workspace, whatever your budget. Get in touch today for advice and information about your commercial or industrial project.

Written by: Ian Harrington on Thursday 08/09/2016

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