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Open Ceilings Vs. Drop Ceilings in the Workplace

Open ceilings have become increasingly popular in office design over the past decade or so. The taste for deconstructed, industrial spaces doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and open ceilings are an integral part of that aesthetic. However, before you decide on an open ceiling look for your office, you should consider its pros and cons versus those of drop ceilings. Take a look at these points as you weigh your options:

  • Cost

The general perception is that open ceilings must be cheaper, since they eliminate the need for any additional materials such as ceiling boards and joists, and the labor required to install them. This is only partially true. While it may be true that the initial cost of an open ceiling is somewhat cheaper – about 25 % – you may often find that, once you strip away the old ceiling boards or tiles, there is far more work and hidden problems underneath than you initially anticipated. One of the main features of open ceilings is the exposed ducts and wiring. If you are working with an existing building that has not been built with open ceilings in mind, you may very well find that the pipes and wiring are an absolute eyesore. You will then need to fix, replace and dress them up, doing a lot of work and construction to make your ceiling look casually deconstructed. That will cost more time and money.

  • Aesthetics

As mentioned above, the deconstructed look of an open ceiling is not always as simple as it appears. That ‘deconstructed’ look needs to be ‘constructed’. With a closed ceiling, at least you know what you’re getting: a neat grid of tiles which may look cold and clinical but, at least, they are presentable. 

If you are willing to take on the cost of open ceilings, then you need to consider whether it will really suit the culture and purpose of your business. You may find that a tidy drop ceiling suits you better. Don’t just follow the trends, go with what works for you.

Think carefully about the image you want to present to your external stakeholders too, especially in reception areas and meeting rooms. When planning a conference room with open ceilings, for example, consider your furniture options, and what would work best in that communal, often public-facing space.  

  • Sound

The tiles used in suspended ceilings are designed to absorb ambient sound and keep noise levels down in your office space. With an open ceiling, you lose that acoustic protection. Ambient noise comes through easily, which means that people then have to raise their voices to be heard. This could disrupt your work. It’s a problem that you can get around with adequate planning and a good structural designer. But, you need to take the higher costs into account.

We have all the great new office design ideas you need. Contact us for help in designing a beautiful and cost-effective office space.

Office Redesigns and How They Can Increase Staff Loyalty and Attract New Hires

What would you think are the main factors that decide whether an employee stays at a particular job or leaves it? The obvious ones are work enjoyment and satisfaction, remuneration, and relationships with bosses and colleagues. However, there is another very important, though often unconscious factor – the work environment itself. Neither employers nor employees give it enough thought, but a worker’s level of satisfaction with his/her working environment has a powerful influence over whether he or she will stay or leave. It also affects the attractiveness of the company to prospective employees.

We are often so accustomed to thinking of our offices as purely functional spaces. We just have to go in, do our day’s work and then leave. This is hardly an attitude that is conducive to good work, however, and a drab or uncomfortable environment is not only going to make workers do the bare minimum, it will also encourage them to jump ship as soon as a nicer space becomes available.

What is more depressing than coming to a desk every day that faces a gray wall, is equipped with an uncomfortable chair that has your back throbbing by the end of the day, and keeps you isolated from your co-workers?

This is why any employer wanting to increase staff retention or attract good quality new recruits should consider refurbishing their offices. Not only would you benefit from creating a lighter, brighter, more collaborative space, but you would also do well to install new work stations that are ergonomically enhanced and built for comfort and safety.

We have all the great new office design ideas you need. Contact us for help in making your office a more pleasant and attractive space.

These Sustainable Design Features Improve Health, Productivity, and User Experience

 Until about the last two decades, employers were not aware of how their businesses’ working environments affected workers’ health, comfort, productivity, and diligence. It’s now well-known that both office health and safety, as well as the overall attractiveness of the working area, are key factors in employee satisfaction and output. As an employer or a building owner, you may be wondering how you can create an office that is optimum for health, productivity and user experience. Here, gathered from our expert office designers are the main features you need to consider.

  • Natural Light and Views 

There are few things more likely to depress and demotivate office workers than an office environment that is lit only by artificial light sources and that has no windows or that has only limited views. It often doesn’t matter what the view is: nature is best, but even a cityscape or a carefully nurtured garden would be enough to keep people happy. Windows and skylights should be strategically positioned to allow the most natural light for as many hours in a day as possible. The arrangement of workstations must be planned accordingly too.

  • Good Quality and Quantity of Air

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is possibly the most important factor in the creation of a decent office space. Many offices are completely shut off from exterior air, except through air conditioning systems, which may carry high concentrations of dust, dirt, microbes, and other contaminants. New approaches to office design are changing that. The trend now is to increase the ventilation of exterior air. In addition to this, you should fill your office space with furniture and appliances created with materials that minimize toxic ingredients and off-gassing. Select your furniture, carpets, and mats with care, making sure that you use only high-quality non-toxic materials. The same goes for cleaning materials. At BE Furniture, we can put together the perfect, health-sustaining office space that completely excludes unhealthy elements.

  • Temperature Control 

An office space that veers between temperature extremes, or is consistently too hot or too cold, can have a disastrous effect on employee motivation and productivity. Make sure that you have a temperature control system that maintains a constant, comfortable temperature that can be adjusted with the change in seasons.

  • Opt for Collaborative Furniture 

The days of formal rows of box-shaped cubicles, which once made up the stereotypical view of office spaces, are gone. Employers are increasingly choosing to create collaborative workspaces that remove the air of formality, keep employees more relaxed and open to their colleagues and generally make them feel like they are working in a pleasant space for an appreciative company. This invariably results in a better flow of ideas and better output.

Contact us to discuss your office and how we can make it even better.

Tips for Change Management When You’re Moving to a New Office Location

Moving your office to a new location involves a myriad of decisions. Not only do you need to ensure that the new office is on brand and offers employees and staff a great experience, but you also have to manage the change with existing employees.

Some of the questions that office managers and business owners ask during this time include:

  • Do I need to consult with my staff?
  • What is the impact of commuting versus relocation?
  • What do my employment contracts say?
  • What if someone won’t or can’t move?

Here are a few tips to help you with the office relocation:

Be Prepared

Prior to move day, make sure that everything that can fit into a crate or a box is packed away into a crate or a box. Desks, cupboards, and drawers need to be empty. IT equipment needs to be sealed in an IT bag. Personal items, valuables, and breakables should be placed in a specific area to be taken home.

Every Item Needs a Label

Everything that needs to be moved needs to have a label or else the movers won’t know where to put the boxes when they arrive at the new location.

Relook Your Office Furniture

Now is the perfect time to sell your old office furniture and upgrade to contemporary office furniture. Imagine how excited your staff will be to learn that you will have ergonomic furniture, flexible desks, sit stand desks or other great furniture options waiting for them at the new location. Visit BE Furniture to pick out the high-quality and affordable items you need for your new office.

Contact BE Furniture for more information on commercial office interiors today.

Green Features to Include in Your Office Redesign

Many things are responsible for the creation of greenhouse gas, but buildings are right at the top of the list. Power usage, emissions, and the resources used to renovate them all add up, and many offices aren’t built once. When we can’t figure out how to make them work for us anymore, they are often demolished.

If your company is embarking on an office redesign, it is a prime opportunity to incorporate green features. Here are a few ideas:

Sustainable Lighting

Switch office light bulbs from normal bulbs to energy-saving light bulbs. While the initial cost is more expensive, the light bulbs will save you a lot of money on electricity bills.

Natural Lighting

If the office redesign includes a large revamp where office walls will be changed, try to include more windows so that employees have more natural lighting during the day.

Water-Saving Fixtures

Water-saving fixtures throughout the building can drastically reduce the amount of water the building consumes in a month.

Architectural Office Partitions

Instead of focusing on a permanent redesign, why not opt for architectural office partitions? Not only do these movable walls offer greater layout flexibility, but it can be used to help create the new spaces and boardrooms that are needed without buying more building materials.

Going green doesn’t have to mean higher costs for your office. When you implement more sustainable business practices, you will see why being good to the environment is also good for the bottom line. Contact BE furniture for more information about modern office furniture today.

Does Your Office Struggle with These Ergonomic Design Flaws?

Did you know that 31 percent of all occupational health injuries are linked to lower back pain and upper extremity muscular-skeletal disorders, according to OSHA? Companies who have ergonomic plans in place have not only been able to dramatically reduce the number of lost work days among their workforce, but they are also able to lower employee turnover.

The good news is that helping employees to avoid injuries and retaining your staff are not as costly as you might necessarily assume. Here are office ergonomic design flaws that you can easily change to improve the way your staff works:

Poor Lighting

Needless to say, your employees need adequate lighting to perform their tasks. Make sure that office areas are equipped with high-quality lighting so that nobody has to squint to read the words on their screens.

Lack of Adjustable Seats

People are unique, and the way they adjust their seats will vary from person to person. Adjustable seats can ensure that everyone is able to customize their workspace so that they are at the right height in front of their desks.

Lack of Sit Stand Desks

By now, most people have heard that sitting is the new smoking, but what is so bad about sitting? The fundamental principle is that a sedentary lifestyle and the physiological changes that ensue are harmful to us. There is a lot of evidence that shows physical inactivity is linked to higher morbidity and mortality.

Sit stand desks are a great alternative to conventional desks because it gives employees the option to stand for periods of the day.

Flexible Office Desks

Flexible office desks, such as those available from BE Furniture, enable employees to adjust virtually every aspect of their workstations to suit the tasks they need to perform.

For more information about ergonomic desks and office furniture, contact us today.