Office Space Design

Who says you can’t sleep on the job? Introducing Sleeping Pods

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Podtime_3030317bWhat was once considered a reason to permanently relieve a person from their duties if done at work is now slowly being re-looked at by companies as just one more way to promote well-being and increased productivity amongst staff members. I am referring to sleep. And with the introduction of sleeping pods in an office space, staff catching up on lost sleep during their break or lunch hours, will be much more easily facilitated.

sleeppodsGettyWhat are sleeping pods? In short, they are self contained units built for one, and designed for the sole purpose of allowing its user a private place to nap. Similar to office pods, sleeping pods are portable, sound proof, and can either be fully or partially enclosed. Some sleeping pods are even stackable, therefore allowing multiple units to be in an office space without taking up a large amount of its real estate.

Inspired by space and submarine sleeping capsules, sleeping pods at minimum include some form of mattress or bed upon which the user can lay down horizontally and rest. Some sleeping pods, however, can be outfitted with shelving for personal items, a radio, CD or DVD player and/or television to keep the individual entertained while in resting position.

Why introduce the option to sleep at work? According to Global Dean of Research, Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School, Vicki Culpi, “Memory, attention, decision making, creativity and innovative thinking, highly relevant skills in the work environment, have all been shown to be affected by poor sleep, and the effects can appear after only a few nights of poor sleep. In addition, chronic sleep restriction, over longer periods of time, have been linked to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.” Affording employees the opportunity to “disconnect and recharge” in a sleeping pod, even for just 15 minutes, has shown improvement in all of the above areas as well as promoted an increase in productivity, creativity and innovation amongst staff.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

References:

Ross, Eleanor, Virgin.com, Feb 1, 2016, “Are sleeping pods about to become commonplace in offices?”, https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/are-sleeping-pods-about-become-commonplace-offices

The Evolution of Meeting Space Designs

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Beehive shaped meeting spaces

It is amazing to see how vastly different meeting spaces are these days compared to what they were years ago. There was a time when business meetings took place in an enclosed rectangular-shaped room with one rectangular-shaped window to the outside world, a long solid rectangular-shaped table and several hi-backed rectangular-shaped office chairs. Now, with emphasis on encouraging collaboration, innovation, and creativity in an open-spaced environment, and incorporating the cafe or home decor themes into office spaces, meeting spaces have gone through several phases to take on entirely new forms. A few of those phases are listed below:

Phase 1: No Longer Rectangular

Enclosed meeting spaces designed to maintain an element of confidentiality are no longer restricted to the four walls of a rectangular-shaped room. With the introduction of office pods, meeting spaces have taken on dome, beehive, cylinder, egg and other interesting geometric shapes. Add in the home-decor theme and you’ve got the greenhouse, living room and large kitchen-inspired meeting spaces within the office space.

BBC North at Salford Quays. Photo credit Craig Holmes.
BBC North at Salford Quays. Photo credit Craig Holmes.

Phase 2: No longer Enclosed 

Then there are meeting spaces that are relatively open or semi-private spaces. Designed more for encouraging collaboration, these meeting spaces typically have partial walls or partitions, and are open at least on two sides. Some of these collaborative meeting spaces take on the form of a booth, similar to what you would see at a restaurant. Others adopt more of a picture-framed look. More recent designs combine the booth with the framed looked by extending the back rest of the booth to form a roof frame over its potential users.

Phase 3: No more walls

Finally, there are those meeting spaces that are just out in the open. Identified by the furniture placement and possibly an area rug, these types of meeting spaces aim to promote collaboration without tainting the open space office design in any way.

The most unique meeting space gaining popularity is the amphitheatre-designed meeting space. Unlike any other meeting space design, the amphitheatre meeting space is literally the large and wide staircase found in the prominent area of an office space. Why is this design gaining popularity? Because it is familiar for the younger workforce and recent graduates entering the workforce. (By the way, designers are now looking to schools to see how those designs and layouts could be incorporated into the office space design).

The future phases of meeting spaces may incorporate more geometric shapes or adopt nature’s most common meeting spaces. Regardless, meeting spaces will always play an integral role in facilitating the future success of businesses.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

Top 6 Ways Designers Create Nature-like Environments in an Office Space

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Central-circular-vertical-gardenIn my last blog, I listed five elements designers use to bring nature into an office space. In this blog, I want to review the top six ways office space designers combine those elements to create a nature-like environment in the office.

  1. Spot the Plants – Small office? Low budget? Then adding a few potted plants in and around the office space, including work areas and meeting areas, is just one of the easiest most economical ways to establish a nature-like environment in an office space. How few or how many would depend on the size of your office, the size of your budget and the “stage” you want set for your employees.
  2. Nature Theme in Non-Nature Items – In addition to adding potted plants, some office space designers would recommend adding nature-themed artwork along with furniture, floor, wall or window treatments with floral, leaf or wood designs in their respective materials as a way of incorporating nature into the office space.
  3. Central Indoor Office Garden – With office spaces adopting more of the warehouse or open concept, some office space designers would recommend having a garden with a variety of live plants, stones or even a fountain or pond somewhere in the centre of that space so that it is visible to a majority of the office staff sitting at their desks or meeting areas as a great way to incorporate nature into the office space.
  4. Indoor Botanical Garden/Sanctuary – Even with the push for collaboration in many offices, smart businesses and office space designers recognize the need for staff to take a break and have time on their own in order to rejuvenate. Having a live garden within the office space that is separated from the rest of the work area either by glass walls or taller shrubs and climbing plants is one way to incorporate nature in the office space and still provide a “get-away” for staff. This application can include small wildlife such as birds or fish along with the flowing water as an added touch to this garden sanctuary.
  5. Indoor Garden Walkway – Nature does not have to be limited to one select area in the office area. With the use of wooden and/or “golf green” pathways spotted with plants along the way, getting from one area of the office to the other could seem like a “walk in the park” for your staff.
  6. Living Walls – The latest and most unique and innovative way of incorporating nature into the office space is by applying vertical gardens or “living walls” into the office space design. These walls are made up of a variety of plants whose roots lie in and are fed and watered by a vertical structural support which can be fastened to a traditional wall. It is a great application that takes up minimal space and poses as living artwork depending on the layout of the plants.

Nature adds many benefits to an office space. It improves air quality, can improve acoustics, and encourages well-being among people, just to name a few. It is for these benefits that office space designers will continually strive to find new and innovative ways to incorporate nature into the office space design.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

Reference:

Green Over Grey Living Walls and Designs, http://www.greenovergrey.com/living-walls/what-are-living-walls.php

 5 Objectives Colours and Textures Fulfill in an Office Space Design

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modern open office space designThroughout the history of office space design, the use of colours and textures have helped companies strive towards the image and business goals they aimed to achieve. Below are just a few objectives colour and texture can fulfill within an office space design:

  1. To Establish or Reinforce Corporate Identity – the colours within a company’s logo, for example, can be applied throughout the decor of the office space in order to further emphasized corporate identity to both staff and visitors
  2. Promote a Positive Mood – it has been said time and time again that a positive environment promotes positive mood, which in a corporate environment promotes productivity. Choosing the right colour and texture combination in an office space design to bring about a positive environment can in turn help increase productivity.
  3. Inspire Creativity and Innovation – I believe that similar to promoting a positive mood, the right colour scheme mixed in conjunction with a variety of textures sends an unconscious or subconscious message to its onlookers that “anything goes”. As a result, employees, though consciously unaware, are spurred on to “think outside the box”, and come up with creative and innovative solutions to whatever challenges the company faces.
  4. Differentiate workspaces and meeting areas – There was a time when walls and doors defined a workspace. Over time, walls became shorter or more transparent in order to promote a more collaborative open office space design. Today, walls, for the most part, have disappeared but both colour and texture are used in conjunction with one another to help differentiate workspaces and meeting areas.
  5. Help organize individual workspaces – Files are not the only thing that get colour coordinated within an office environment. Companies are now “splashing” individual workspaces with specially coloured desk trays, filing cabinets, pen holders and other workspace related items in order to help the users of those workspaces remain organized while working in those areas.

Over time trends in office space design have changed, but colour and texture, though re-purposed, have been two of the primary tools used to ultimately create the ideal office space.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If a renovation or relocation of your 2,000 – 25,000 sq.ft. office space is in your plans, contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

 

A Good Design Begins with Asking the Right Questions

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http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-close-up-business-team-project-layout-people-work-concept-creative-color-palettes-tablet-pc-computers-sitting-image50590301
Office Space Designer Team

In some ways, office space designers are not hard to find …once you can differentiate them from residential designers. They, in general, are quite creative and become very excited to offer their suggestions on how you can improve the look and feel of your office space once they are exposed to it. However, a really good office space designer can’t even begin to produce a proper office space design for a company without first understanding that organization’s wants and needs as it relates to its office space. The best way to know that is by visiting the site and asking the right questions.

What are some of those questions?

Well, to understand the culture and flow of your business, an office space designer may ask the following:

  • How many employees (full time, part-time and contract included) does your company have?
  • Do clients visit your office space to meet with your staff?
  • How important is collaboration or teamwork?
  • How important is privacy within the office?
  • What is the flow of a regular workday for you and your staff?
  • Are there any challenges within your current office space layout that you would want addressed?
  • Are there any benefits within the current office space that you would want preserved or duplicated within your new office space?

This is just a sample of questions an office space designer may ask. With answers to the above, an office space designer can create an initial layout for your company that would immediately address any wants, needs or concerns that are not being met within the current office space layout. In other words, an office space designer that is truly client-focused will save you time and money by doing his or her best to present a design that is conducive to the optimal operation of your organization and best represents the character of your business.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000 sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

Tips on Finding a Good Designer for Your Office Space

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Designer at work
Designer at work

Whether you are planning to redesign your current office or are moving to a new one, an office space designer will be necessary to take you through the process. But, how does one find a good office space designer?

Well, the best way to find a designer is through referrals. Your real estate agent may have a few designers that he/she could recommend. You may also ask your fellow business contacts whose office spaces you admire who their designers were.

Once you have a few names to choose from, do your homework to help narrow down the designers you may want to use. A good designer would have the following qualities:

  1. Experience in commercial office space design– There are two types of designers: ones that specialize in residential projects and ones that specialize commercial projects. You want a designer that specializes in designing the same or similar office space as you have or are planning to be in. So, if you are in (or are planning to be in) a commercial office space, you want a designer who specializes in designing commercial office spaces.

 

  1. Experience in higher budget projects – Commercial office space designers could have a variety of experience but you want the one(s) that have experience in higher budget projects or at least projects about the same size as yours.   Upon your request, a good designer would be willing to provide you with a sample package of examples, including photos and detailed descriptions, of office spaces they have designed that are similar to your office space in size and/or layout. Note: their sample package is a great way to determine the style tendencies of the designer as well. For example, a designer that many have the tendency to be quite trendy may not be a good fit for a business that prefers to stay quite traditional in style.

 

  1. Client-focused – It is in the creative nature of a designer to see a space and immediately begin offering suggestions without learning about or understanding a business’ needs or goals. A good designer would take time to understand your business, your company culture, your business flow or style, your company size, your collaboration and/or non-collaboration needs, etc., before offering suggestions for your office space

 

One of our client’s invited us to their new office space and said, “We need a private area, reception area, a testing area, bathroom….you figure it out”. Because we took the time beforehand to understand the flow of their particular business, we were able to present a design for their office space that was unique and tailored to them. When the client saw the plan, he responded, “You’ve got it…right on the money.”

My point: A designer with the above qualities is sure to help you design your office space in a way that is ideal for your business.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

Permit Grade Design: The Real Deal

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One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when choosing an office space designer is basing their decision on a conceptual drawing or a block floorplan of an office space simply because they assume that the block floorplan is the exact way their completed office will be when the job is done. Not the case. While a block floorplan has its merits, the real decision-making factor is in the Permit Grade Design.

Similar to a block floorplan, a Permit Grade Design is a ceiling-view drawing of an office space with its different subsections blocked in—workstation area, closed in office areas, exits, washrooms, elevators, stairs, furniture, etc. However, the Permit Grade Design is drawn to scale based on the exact measurements and layout of your office space and furniture. With a Permit Grade Design, businesses and decision-makers will have a clearer view of what the final layout of their office space could look like. Presented with various Permit Grade Designs, businesses can make a more educated decision on which office space designer to hire and get the job done based on the best floorplan presented to them.

Permit Grade Designs are easy to obtain—just request one from the office space designer(s) you are considering to hire. In the short term, it may cost you a little money upfront to account for the extra time the designer takes to measure every aspect of your office space and furniture, but it would prove beneficial in the longer run because (a) you will gain a greater confidence in the office space designer you choose to hire, and (b) you will minimize the possibility of some common and sometimes costly problems such as furniture not fitting properly into their assigned office areas .

So, when it comes to hiring an office space designer based on a floorplan, remember that the Permit Grade Design is the real deal-maker!