IT and technology-heavy companies have different considerations to other companies with regard to office design. These considerations not only relate to their need for intelligent layout to accommodate the additional cables, power points and server space they generally require, but also the need for connectivity enabled breakout areas to enable employees to get away from their workstations, design and technology enhanced workspaces, and so much more.
Generally speaking, the way workstations are laid out in IT and tech companies’ office spaces appear somewhat regimental in comparison connectivity enabled to those of others, especially those of creative companies, like advertising and design firms, for example. While this is necessary due to the infrastructure required in the office to accommodate cables and power points, that doesn’t mean these companies can’t make their workspaces great places for their employees to work.
Workstations will likely be arranged in rows, with the cabling required for power and broadband internet fitted to one side, usually running along the bottom of the wall to enable access to power points, but also to prevent it from becoming a health and safety hazard.
It is essential that employees are afforded enough room to move about comfortably and safely, however, as space is likely in short supply, floor space must be maximised as much as possible. With regard to workstations and layout, some of the most important considerations are:
Efficiency and safety – To prove efficient and safe, the layout must enhance employee productivity by providing workers with the means to work to their fullest potential in a safe manner. This means providing them with space to move freely, keeping a good distance between each workstation with cabling kept safely out of the way, while ensuring that everything workers have need of is within their reach at all times.
Maximising space – As floor space doesn’t come cheaply in cities like London, it’s essential that floor space is maximised as much as possible without going for the ‘sardine in a tin’ type approach. Fitting workstations and cabling flush against the wall maximises space, as does implementing options like wall-mounted monitors, which are a great way to maximise space in the main work area.
Nevertheless, a number of IT and tech companies are breaking away from workspaces with cubicle or row style layout arrangements and are opting to ‘untether’ their workers to varying degrees. This could entail utilising wireless technology to enable employees to work from wherever in the workplace best suits their needs at the time, or opting for the middle ground with something along the lines of the communal tables that are an increasingly common sight.
Designing a suitable layout that maximises space, enhances efficiency, and ensures the health and safety of all, is achievable. Saracen Interiors has worked with many IT and tech companies across London to create efficient, safe workplaces that meet the unique needs of our clients.
The colour schemes in the main work areas of the office space tend to be somewhat clinical, with many companies favouring shades of white and grey for the walls. This may seem boring, but it does actually provide such companies with a number of excellent branding options, such as adding plops of colour (take a look at the project we completed for Audatex in Theale Reading) and expressing their brand and its characteristics through their choice of furniture and workstations.
With such a broad range of office furniture options to explore, and the option of having bespoke furniture created which can be used to create extra space, there’s so much that can be achieved when branding the office. If clients require, Saracen Interiors can draw upon our extensive relationships with office furniture suppliers and manufacturers to supply furniture that helps them further their brand awareness through their office space, and express the unique characteristics of their organisation that set them apart from others in the same sector.
What’s more, when exploring colour schemes and expressing company characteristics, there’s also the opportunity to bring a touch of nature to the workplace, which is often sorely needed in IT and technology-heavy companies, like using wood panelling on the walls and opting for wooden workstations for employees. Attractive wood panelling is also a great way of hiding unsightly power and internet cables, and mounting monitors on walls to maximise space.
As one would expect, the workplaces of IT and tech-centric companies tend to feature a lot of new technology, including large wall-mounted flatscreen televisions to convey information, Wi-Fi enabled meeting rooms and breakout areas, touchscreen technology, and so much more.
Setting up a technology enhanced workplace can be cost-intensive, but if that translates to a more efficient and productive place of work for all and the financial layout is within the company’s means, then that is an astute investment which will surely offer great returns. This is also good for showcasing the company and the technology it embraces as part of its values, which should also be the technology embraced by its employees and visitors to its office space.
Some of the most important considerations relating to technology in the workplace include:
The last point is a very important one to make, because companies must not lose sight of what is really important in the workplace – the company’s employees and the values the organisation shares with them. When enhancing the workplace with technology, companies need to ask themselves questions like, ‘How will implementing this make our employees’ working day better?’, and ‘What can we do make our workplace a better, more productive place for us all?’