Office Space Design

Happy New Year 2020!

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Work is an integral part of our life and a good source of happiness; that’s why we wish you personal growth and career advancement, moral satisfaction, warm trustful relationships and wealth in the coming year. Happy New Year!


D.J. McGauley & 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.

5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Designing Their Offices

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5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Designing Their Offices
5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Designing Their Offices

Planning for the correct amount of storage

Understand what you are storing, why you are storing it and make sure it’s not just a catch all place for all the indecisions your staff make. Storage is too often used to conceal clutter. Effective storage creates efficiencies while creating an environment that is both esthetically appealing and practical.  Different storage solutions can provide time saving functionality that boosts productivity and frees up space for other office uses.

Getting employee input

The right office design will help make your business run better.

Involve employees in deciding how the space will look and feel. Employees often have insights into what an operation needs and may have that wasn’t obvious before but may prove valuable. Their involvement in decision-making gives them a voice in something meaningful which increases engagement and improves performance.

Talk to your employees and ask how the old space has worked. Which features have been good or bad, and why do they feel that way? Don’t assume the old layout is necessarily the best to help drive business. Also consider letting employees name common areas such as conference rooms. That way, they can put their stamp on the space.

If you have the time and resources, consider setting up some common work areas, each decorated in one of the color schemes most popular among employees. They can then try the different settings to see how they feel about them.

Besides giving employees a voice in the new office’s aesthetics, encourage them to discuss practicalities, too. Ask for a wish list of items for the new space, such as a coffee bar or certain type of storage, which could help make work a better place to be.

Plan for growth

It’s hard to know the future. Often, we are planning to grow, but just how much, how many more staff and what’s the time frame.

When you’re designing your office with growth in mind, it’s important to look at ways in which space can be reconfigured to accommodate differing team sizes. 

It’s crucial to incorporate adaptable, flexible spaces into your present office design. These spaces can be used for ad-hoc meetings or general relaxation areas for existing staff but can also be re purposed as more formal workspace when necessary or for events and presentations.

Think carefully about your office furniture too. Once you have invested all your money in your latest technology or spent a fortune on the best talent, it might be tempting to skimp on the furniture budget. 

Not enough open and/or private spaces

One of the most significant decisions in developing a company’s culture relates to the division of office space. Open space, division into offices, team-based division, mixed offices, a small or a big kitchen – each one of these decisions will affect the way the company functions.

In theory, an open space office sounds like a great idea – an open atmosphere, accessibility for everyone and, of course, an optimal utilization of space. Most open spaces are usually quite noisy and are not that conducive to actual discussions. Many people are easily distracted by every phone call, joke or noise around them.

Acoustics

New open concept designs are often filled with hard surfaces like polished concrete, open ceilings and lots of glass, that give a wonderful open feeling to spaces. But there is downside – increased noise levels.

When noise enters the workspace, creativity and productivity go out the window.  That’s why manufactures of office furniture have thrown themselves into designing elements that limit and absorb excessive noise, creating pleasant workspaces that improve performance. The trend for open-plan designs, particularly in new workspaces, has put sound at the forefront of design.

Another way of combating noise in new open-plan workspaces is by incorporating dividing elements which provide privacy and encourage concentration.  There are different wall panels which offer solutions that provide contemporary designs with the possibility of personalization, as well as improving acoustics.  From acoustical wall treatments to innovative furniture options there are many innovative solutions to improving the sound levels in any office environment.


D.J. McGauley & 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.

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.