Tag Archives: productivity

Should Your Office Interior Design Include Sleeping Pods?

One of the most fascinating office interior design trends of recent times has been the inclusion of designated sleeping areas in the workplace. In the past, sleeping on the job might be considered an offence worthy of dismissal, but research has demonstrated the significant benefits associated with allowing employees to take short naps.

Indeed, some of the most successful companies around, including Ben & Jerry’s and Uber, have installed ‘nap rooms’ in their offices, while the likes of Procter & Gamble and Google have gone a step further, introducing sleeping pods to the workplace. So is this something you should consider for your interior design project?

The Benefits of Sleep

The importance of sleep has long been established, yet research over the last few years has paid particular attention to the benefits of having short naps. According to ASAP Science, short naps can increase cognitive function, ultimately boosting creativity and productivity in the workplace. Meanwhile, other studies have found they:

• Reduce levels of stress and anxiety among employees

• Improve information retention and memory by up to five times

• Significantly enhance concentration and attention to detail

• Boost tolerance levels and reduce frustration in the workplace

• Help to regulate impulsive or emotional responses

Furthermore, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Sleep goes some way towards explaining the impact a lack of sleep has on the business world. In fact, according to the study, insufficient sleep costs U.S companies alone as much as $63 billion in lost productivity – and that’s before getting into the other associated problems.

The Case for Sleep at Work

Clearly, the best possible solution would be for every employee to get an appropriate amount of sleep every night and scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have found that six to eight hours is optimum. However, in the modern world, this is simply impossible to achieve.

Whether employees have to travel frequently on business trips, whether they have young children who keep them awake at night, or whether they suffer from sleep disorders, every workplace will inevitably have its fair share of under-rested employees, costing them in terms of lost productivity, absenteeism and errors.

“Most employers do not allow sleeping – there is still that prejudice,” says William Anthony, a Boston University professor in rehabilitation sciences. “It is thought of as lazy and unproductive, when often it is exactly the opposite.”

The Sleep Pod Revolution

The sheer amount of research on the subject has forced office designers to take action, with some choosing low-tech options. For instance, businesses like Uber and Ben & Jerry’s have installed dedicated ‘nap rooms’ in their offices and have simply given staff permission to take short naps during their breaks, without fear of repercussions.

Yet, others have opted for more advanced solutions. Google, Procter & Gamble and PwC have all installed so-called ‘sleeping pods’ – futuristic pods where employees can sit and take a nap in complete silence, away from workplace background noise.

“A lot of businesses, especially in the US, have shown interest in [sleeping pods] as a relaxation area around the concept of well-being,” says Lee McCormack, designer of the Oculas OV2 sleep pod. “It’s not just sleep, it can be light therapy, relaxation, or time for reflection or meditation.”

It may seem counter-intuitive to pay employees to sleep on the job, but the time under-rested employees spend at work is largely wasted anyway. For the sake of 15 minutes out of the day, evidence suggests workplace napping should be embraced, regardless of whether you opt for a low-tech or high-tech solution.

Office Interior Design

Office Interior Design

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5 Workplace Trends Breathing Down The Neck Of The Commercial Real Estate Industry

Despite the growth of open floor plans and creative workspaces, the U.S. office environment has been curiously resistant to change in recent decades. Many workers across the country still toil away in cubicle-oriented space, which was designed without regard to actual human beings. Wikimedia/Zonaspace Christopher Kelly, a co-founder of workplace hospitality platform Convene, writes in Forbes that commercial real estate professionals need to forget “office” and think “workplace.”  The workplace of today is already moving beyond the need to create proximity between people, which traditionally was the entire function of an office because it facilitated work. With people more connected today than ever, offices of the future will need to be about much more than proximity.

The new purpose of a workplace is to attract and retain the best talent. Broadly speaking, companies are revamping offices in five major ways:  1. Flexible environments. The office used to promote linear and hierarchical workflow. Now it needs to be a place where employees choose their work environment, based on what needs to be done.  2. More empathy. Smart buildings will not be that smart until they are empathetic, too. They will need to anticipate and respond to the needs of tenants as individuals. 3. Redefined amenities. Buildings will need cafés, lunchtime classes, lounge areas, flexible meeting spaces and more. These will not be extras or frills, but mandatory for tenant acquisition. 4. Individualized workplace design. Commercial real estate pros will be expected to help companies of all sizes design their workspace to suit their needs and be a strategic tool to drive growth. 5. Changing role for heads of real estate. The head of real estate for a company will need to orchestrate workplace environments and experiences to maximize employee engagement, and thus productivity.

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AN OFFICE DESIGN IN INDIA THAT KEEPS CREATIVITY, ENERGY AND SPIRITS HIGH

An architecture firm in India gets a new space that boosts their employees’ creativity and productivity. 

That our surroundings affect our mood, productivity and creativity is a universally acknowledged fact, and the designers at Arkiplan International took that literally when they designed their architectural office with an abundance of spaces that range from private and communal to formal and casual to give the creative minds behind the firm an environment that keeps their creativity, energy and spirit scales high.

There are different punctual elements that come together to enliven the great working space. The office opens up to a reception donned by a magnificent parametric table with the backdrop of a green wall and faces a semi-formal meeting room in the tones of warm yellow. Rather than confronting the open reception with the closed meeting room, a complementary, coherent whole has been created with a sleek divider.

The office follows an open plan layout to foster communication among the staff and seeks to create engagement through design and design through engagement. With the open floor plan comes the responsibility to create breakout areas where people can get a few moments of quiet or concentrate. It has been catered to with several quiet spaces. A stepped seating in leather-finish granite provides the opportunities for spontaneous conversations and a creative setting for casual recreation and refreshment. The steps look upon a wall of human-sized sculptures based on the theme of ‘Resurgam’, which translates to I shall rise again. It inspires people to look beyond their current struggles in the hopes of a blissful tomorrow and future.

A variety of distinct elements come together to define the working space. Image courtesy of PHX India.

When was the project completed?

January 2018

How much space?

2,250 square feet, net

Was this new or renovated space?

New build

SF per person?

Just under 100 square feet per person

How many employees?

26

What is average daily population?

24

The sculptures are based on the theme of 'Resurgam'- a Latin phrase that translates to “I shall rise again”, which defines the whole existence of every living being. If it were not for our struggles and the will to thrive, survive and make it forth, we wouldn't exist. After every time that life puts us down or obstacles weigh over us, we decide to rise above them. They teach us to accept life as it comes, celebrate it with its all ups and downs and become stronger in the process while discovering 'ourselves'. The text also appears on the corten steel board next to the sculptures. Image courtesy of PHX India.

Describe workspace types.

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Daylighting for productivity and savings

Studies have shown that daylight in the workplace increases productivity and general employee health, with probable impacts in reducing sick time and improving employee retention.

 

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Helping your employees deal with stress

Interior designers often work under considerable stress to meet deadlines, stay on budget, manage vendors and suppliers, and please their bosses as well as their clients. Not all stress is bad, and not all workplace stress can be eliminated.

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Bringing Nature Into The Office

Many companies are beginning to incorporate biophilic design into the architecture and interior design of their offices. Biophilic design integrates natural elements such as plants, wood, stone and water into a setting to satisfy a deep human need for contact with nature.[1]

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