The Design and Workspace Analysis offers businesses the opportunity to assess how their workspace is used. Quantitative methods such as behaviour mapping and decibel measurement are combined with qualitative data to present a picture of how fully space is being utilised. And how it is meeting individual and teams working needs.

The utilisation study reveals how well a workspace is performing and identifies areas that can be improved upon, such as:

*How many hours a week are workers in the office?
*How much space is needed for different functions and teams?
*How will the future needs of the business affect the space we need?

The crucial insights transform an office move or fit-out into a valuable opportunity to make the workspace truly support organisational performance and employee wellbeing.

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Office Design Case Study: SBHG

SBHGMoving offices is a significant investment for any business, and we are proud to have worked on some incredible projects over the years across a variety of sectors including; media, banking, finance and technology with a strong portfolio of projects for housing associations.

Throughout our time in the industry, we have built many strong relationships with our clients. And at the core of our business is Rapport. We believe it is a crucial component to the successful outcome of a project, from a clear brief.

In particular, Rapport was integral to two for Shepherds Bush Housing Group (SBHG) including SBHG HQ and SBHG Craft Court. We sat down with David Blackburn, to talk through his time at SBHG on the projects and to understand the learnings and effectiveness of both projects. David, as Director of Business Support, was key to the success of the project supporting internal communication between staff, management and the delivery team.

David, what learnings did you take away from working with Rapport on the Shepherds Bush housing projects?

Your office accommodation is one of your most valuable assets. Over the life of your tenure, you need to ensure you manage the space in a way that is responsive, affordable, sustainable and safe; leveraging the floor plan as a tool to support organisational culture and assist in the delivery of ever more efficient and effective services.

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A successful fit-out is one that minimises business disruption; balances the business’ current and future needs; revitalises the business by adopting improved working practices and creates a workplace environment at an affordable price.

Rapport Solutions provide an independent assessment while working with clients to objectively evaluate and consider each option, based on their project requirements of design, budget and programme.

We’ve developed the following guide to showcase and educate your business on the different methods available, and what method is best suited to your needs at the early stages of an office fit-out and refurbishment programme. We hope you find this useful.

 

Download your guide here: Office Fit-Out Procurement Methods 

If you are in the process of planning a fit out or refurbishment programme and would like further advice, contact us on 01252 712590 or email us at info@rapport-solutions.org.uk.

After the referendum vote and world politics dominated our markets and headlines, the London office market has gone through a rocky patch. After a drop in Q2 and Q3 London’s lowest quarter of take-up since the Euro crisis in 2011, there are now signs that the fall is slowing down in Q4.

Partly down to the realisation that the world has not quite ended yet. That Brexit will take a long time to resolve or have an immediate effect on the market, deals and lettings are still taking place. This has been helped by new found confidence of big corporates like Apple letting in Battersea, at the end of September last year.

 

You can read a full outline and analysis over on Estates Gazette.​

Introverts VS ExtrovertsOpen-plan offices provide a collaborative space to fuel productivity, develop comradery and helps promote a healthy work-life balance.

Walk into many creative agencies in London, and you’ll find a hub of creative activity, discussion. Take Google who adopts the open office policy “to spark conversation about work as well as play.”

Open-plan offices are also utilised by other industries too, but often, depending on your working style this environment can be a hotbed of distraction and make it difficult for staff to get any serious work done, especially introverted workers who require a little more peace and quiet to get complex tasks complete.

So, what’s the answer to a happy, balanced workspace environment? While we believe the collaboration in a creative, open-plan environment is beneficial, if not managed effectively to cater to all types of workers’ needs, the output of work from your staff may be affected.

Jeanette Grover the founder and Project Director at Rapport Solutions explains:

“As a company grows and can afford to invest in a quality workspace, the environment should become a tangible manifestation of the company culture. Collecting input from employees about their ideal work conditions and incorporating that feedback into the new workspace encourages collaboration, individuality and delivers a workspace designed to support changes with limited disruption. 

We encourage this employee feedback during our design and workspace service. This was successfuly employeed during our Rosebery Housing and Shepherds Bush Housing projects.”

*You can read an exclusive interview with David Blackburn, Director of Business Support, and how working with Rapport was the key to the success of the Shepherds Bush project supporting internal communication between staff, management and the delivery team here.  

 

As a business, if you would like to make the most of your workspace and open-plan policy, consider the following insights for a productive and happy workplace.

 

1. Offer ‘quiet space’ to help individual productivity 

Even in organisations that encourage and thrive on creative collaboration, employees still have specific tasks and goals that require focus. A poorly designed open floor plan can make these tasks challenging. The solution? Include spaces for quiet, private or small group work in your office design. This offers the best of both worlds. An open-plan office without compromising on individual productivity. Solutions such as soundproofing booths and can easily modify the interior to cater to these needs.


2. White noise and sound masking

WorkersIn environments with white noise or sound masking, employees report improvements of up to 38% for the performance of simple tasks and 27% for complex tasks. The office layout, including flooring materials, walls, ceilings and behavioural protocols can also make a difference.

In a recent study of 2,800 knowledge workers – commissioned by Sodexo and in partnership with Quora Consulting – 67% admitted they left their last role because the workplace was not optimised for them.

Of those, 69% said their workplace design directly impacted on their effectiveness – citing office noise, bad lighting and access to quiet space all as crucial factors.

More than half (51%) also claimed that cutting unnecessary noise was the most important way to improve effectiveness. A third (35%) said access to quiet space is key to increasing productivity.

3. Encourage remote working initiatives

Open-plan offices work well when offered alongside hot desking and remote working policies. Offering employees, the opportunity to work on occasional projects that need time and focus from home or a client’s office can give many a break from the commute and some well needed down time to tackle tasks that need focus without colleague distraction.Although the right policies and practise may need to be implemented, the remote working policy can bolster individual productivity, strengthen the employee sense of

Although the right policies and practise may need to be implemented, the remote working policy can bolster individual productivity, strengthen the employee sense of privacy and increase staff loyalty.

Striking a balance is key!

Effective, and balanced workspace design is key to your business needs, bottom line and employees. If you’re at the early stages of a relocation or re-design – Rapport’ are on hand to advise your organisation on best practises and solutions to cater to all your employee and business needs.

Join us on one of our free workspace design workshops

We work closely with our clients and their staff at the early stages of a workspace design project to understand the culture and the needs of different departments to find a happy medium within the design.

We work with HR teams closely to carry out workshops that involve key managers and staff in the initial design process.

Open to HR and facilities teams who are in the early stages of a workspace design or relocation project, our free workspace design workshops help advice you and your organisation on best practices. Providing a considered questionnaire to staff to understand what keeps them motivated; what distracts them about their current working space and tailored to your wants and needs’ our individual sessions help your organisation make the most of our independent and impartial industry knowledge and expertise with our designers, project managers and contractors.

For more details and to contact us about availability, call on 01252 712590 or email info@rapport-solutions.org .