2 Important Office Furnishing Considerations
If you have just found the perfect office space to buy, rent, or lease, then you will need to furniture the space as soon as possible. While you likely want to make sure that the furniture is consistent with your brand message and well within your budget, there are many more things to consider besides cost and appearance when adding office furniture. A few important considerations are outlined below.
Think About Acoustics
If you desire open, cross-communication throughout your office space, then a minimalist design with few walls is a good place to start. However, an open space can cause distractions due to the acoustics of the space. This can cause difficulties for workers who require a quiet space for phone calls and other work tasks. This means that space separation is required.
Design one open space for group workers and line this space with either permanent or moveable acoustic dampening walls. These walls are typically ones with a fabric honeycomb design within them. The exteriors are covered with loose-weave fabrics like cotton blends, linen, and wool varieties. When sound hits the fabrics and enters the wall, the honeycomb weave absorbs the sound vibrations so they do not pass through the fabric on the other side of the wall panel. This helps to create a silent environment for the individual on the other side of the space.
If you decide to use these walls, then add some acoustic ceiling tiles as well that help to either absorb or diffuse sound waves. Melamine foam and glass fiber types are a good choice. If quiet areas are quite large, then install ceiling clouds instead. These hanging panels disperse sounds much like ceiling tiles. However, the clouds do not need to cover the entire surface of the ceiling. Several of the clouds hung from the ceiling can help retain an acoustic neutral space, and this will reduce material costs.
Once you create your quiet spaces, make sure to place arm chairs, loungers, plush couches, and wide tables in the areas. These types of furniture can remain in place as employees move about. This is better than moveable desks and chairs that will scrape the floor and make noise.
Provide Layered Lighting
Good lighting in your office environment can go a long way towards creating an inviting and motivating space, especially since Americans spend about 93% of their lives inside. A well-lit area can also boost performance and contribute towards a feeling of wakefulness too. The best lighting that you can provide will create consistent light from the floor to the ceiling. This will mimic outdoor light, even if workers do not spend that much time outside. Consistent light is provided in layers. To provide light near the floor and mid-area of the office, make sure the sun can cascade through windows. Keep curtains open, and add thin white linen, gauze, or satin curtains. This will help to increase privacy while allowing light in.
To add a high layer of light, opt for recessed ceiling lights with LED bulbs. These bulbs will be the brightest, and you should choose ones that produce either a blue or white light to match the color temperature of the natural light outdoors. For your mid-range layer of light, add goose-neck floor lamps to the space. These lamps can be adjusted to create a higher or lower layer of light depending on the sun's rays. This is helpful to create a lower level of light as the sun sets in the evening. This is especially true if your employees work the late shift.
Opening a new office requires you to furnish the space. While you likely have many concerns when placing furniture and other decorative items, make sure to consider both light and acoustics so your employees are as comfortable as possible in the work environment. For more tips or assistance, contact companies like D & R Office Works, Inc.