Professionals who work at home, who establish an office or studio to house a couple of partners, or who set up large offices with several employees and customer reception, should think about the workplace based on certain common aspects.
When thinking about the design of the workspace, similar considerations appear to those that are taken into account for the real estate search, although now we will have to dwell on the details.
If the type of activity and the type of work influence the choice of the appropriate building, now it will be necessary to consider the work routines of each of the activities that are carried out there: both of the partners or managers and of the different employees.
In this way, functional space can be proposed for each task, capable of adapting to different work situations. The question of the image will also reappear with force, communicating from the distribution of space, chosen materials, and colors.
And in this way, as the architect Hernán Kravitz suggests, seek continuity with actions that are generally taken into account, such as the design of logos and identifying stationery and even advertising: incorporating the work space as another tool for communication, capable of transmitting the values that are associated with the image of the company/study or the work that is carried out there.
Kraviez warns that the intervention that an architect will have is very different if it is about installing offices in an office building for rent, where the plants are thought with great flexibility so that they adapt to different activities, or if a renovation is faced of an existing place, intended for housing, for example.
However, there are basic aspects in common to take into account: light, furniture, air conditioning, electrical and acoustic installation.
Factors Involved In The Design Of The Workspace
Table of Contents
Natural Light And Artificial Lighting
The light theme is very important in the general design, but very different according to each type of office, explains Kravitz. Some activities (such as architecture) require plenty of natural light, while others perform worse in bright light (for example, control tasks that require staring at computers).
Now that large office buildings are planned with important glass surfaces, special glass or good curtains will have to be thought of that allow darkening, so that they do not reflect on computers.
It will also be necessary to stop at artificial light, with its possibilities of creating spaces according to visual health. The most renowned lighting companies are Modulor and the German Erco, established in Argentina as Erco Cappiello.
Office Furniture Design
The furniture will depend to a large extent on the general project that is proposed. Kraviez explains that in office furniture it is difficult to find things that are old or that try to look like it, they tend towards modern lines.
Even the most traditional professionals, such as lawyers, today choose modern furniture, beyond the fact that they put stylish furniture in a meeting room or office of the main partners. It is that when it comes to having people working with computers, the good thing is that there is a comfortable, ergonomic chair and furniture that allows you to hide the cables so that they do not disturb you when you work.
Many companies today are dedicated to manufacturing office furniture of good quality and affordable prices. The most recognized are Tecno, Interieur Forma, Colección, and Buró, although you can always find similes of these designs.
But before thinking about buying, an interesting option is custom-made furniture. Without subtleties in finishing or in the materials used, the custom ones are furniture that works very well and is cheaper than the purchased ones.
Acoustics is also an important issue. Above the suspended ceilings it is possible to pass air conditioning pipes, and the acoustic panels that compose them are easily installed and removed (Armstrong is the most used brand).
There are also acoustic plates that are glued to the existing ceiling, whether plaster or concrete, but do not allow the passage of ducts. The prices of the panels vary according to the degree of acoustic barrier.
In flats, two options are also handled. In the case of reforms, gutters and products are made under the existing floors.
Although raised technical floors are better, under which cables can be passed, trays or thermal insulators installed, and which can be adapted to other uses. In this case, the prices will depend on the finish chosen (carpet, marble, wood, etc).
Even though many designs today privilege open spaces so that the hierarchies in the company are somewhat blurred, it is often necessary to install enclosures.
Many pieces of furniture already come with separating partitions and acoustic panels, but at other times you have to go to office enclosures (which are available in the same furniture stores mentioned above). Although there are always original options that convey another image. Glass divisions are one of them, which can be combined with a good ceiling to achieve the necessary acoustic reserve.
The electrical installation also emerges as a central theme in these days of computers, networking, and telephone exchanges. And the air conditioning, which now incorporates individual heating modalities and which allows better use than central systems. Electra, York, and Carrier stand out in this category.
The Design Of The Reception
The design of the reception deserves a separate paragraph. In general, it is common for the receptions of banks, consultants, law firms, and accountants, among many others, to be a privileged space: it is the place of entry and waiting where the most expensive apartments, important reception furniture, and the giant and illuminated logo, while the remaining offices have a standard quality.
However, new companies made up of young people who favor informality in dealing with suppliers or customers (among which dotcoms stand out), choose direct access to the center of work.
In this way, they seek that the visitor’s first step through the front door introduces him or her to a serious and fast work climate while being informal and relaxed. There is only one defect to think of, suggests Kraviez: everything has to have a perfect order.