Relocating to a new office is an exciting time for a business and its staff. A change of scenery is invigorating and inspiring. However, if you are the one running a relocation project, it can be overwhelming.
Our team of experts at Rapport’ have developed a concise, office relocation checklist to help you with the first stages of the project, to the day of completion and occupation. Leaving you free to focus on your business.
Our checklist will help you to;
Businesses are living in an unpredictable time. Factors such as remote working, technology, high rental costs and the economy are all having an impact on how we work, and the workspaces businesses require now and in the future.
So how can your business keep up with the times when your company is unable to relocate?
We break down our workspace trends for 2018 below.
As the retirement age continues to rise and the practicalities of having to, or wanting to work past the retirement age become a reality, businesses now need to consider adjusting their workplace initiatives and workspaces to accommodate.
The Office for National Statistics recently revealed that the number of women working past the age of 70 has doubled in the past four years. Whereas, one in seven men continue to work into old age amid growing concerns over the bleak outlook for pensions.
There are many benefits to a mixture of ages working together. The older gen with their invaluable work experience, and the new gen for their tech and social media expertise.
A great way to engage all generations in a workplace is to provide a variety of open-plan areas that encourage and inspire open-dialogue, conversation and bonding.
Spaces that are creative and colourful are perfect for workshops, regular get-togethers and brainstorming. The more tonal and neutrally designed areas offer a calmer space for teams or individuals who need time to concentrate or reflect. These break-out areas are also perfect for less formal HR catch-ups or personal reviews.
If your business is unable to move, and you need to utilise and make the most out of your space, consider space saving solutions.
Agile non-permanent and architectural partition screens and office pods extend and complement most office landscapes without the long-term commitment. These solutions work by dividing open spaces or create closed and partially closed rooms dependant on your need.
Equally, sound-proof pods ensure staff have some quiet and more private areas for meetings or for individual tasks that need concentration away from the distractions of an open-plan office.
As many businesses utilise flexible working initiatives, a wide-range of technology can now make it possible to reduce the number of internal and external meetings.
Systems like Join me, Skype, virtual meetings and other video conferencing solutions can have an impact on the need for numerous conference spaces.
When face-to-face meetings do take place, make sure your technology is efficient.
As departments and businesses change and grow, ensuring your furniture and spaces are agile is crucial. It can also help your business save money in the long-term.
Make sure your seating is tested by your staff and is adjustable, to different heights, body types and other generational needs.
Offering a combination of seated and standing desks will also aid wellbeing in the office, by taking the pressure off staff sitting all day.
Rapport’ has been appointed to project manage an exciting relocation project for Thrive Homes, the housing association that owns and operates more than 4,000 rented and leasehold properties in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
The project will commence in early January 2018 and will see Thrive relocate from Watford to Hemel Hempstead.
Rapport will provide structured project management and cost planning, working with the client’s design team utilising our extensive experience to achieve the most cost-effective delivery of our clients’ project objectives.
Rapport’s business ethos is to provide professional and innovative construction consultancy services for an increasing range of clients and their projects, in both the public and private sectors. With a history of working with Housing Associations, we have previously delivered projects for Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association and Rosebery Housing. Additionally, as lead consultants, we have advised procurement options to other associations considering relocation and refurbishment projects.
Is your business ready for generation Z? What about your millennial employee needs? Have you considered the needs of those employees who fall into Gen X and Xennials categories?
Smart businesses are gearing up to cater for a wide-range of age groups as the retirement age continues to rise and the practicalities of having to, or wanting to work past the retirement age become a reality. In fact, the Office for National Statistics has already revealed that the number of women working past the age of 70 has doubled in the past four years. Whereas, one in seven men continue to work into old age amid growing concerns over the bleak outlook for pensions.
What will this mean in practical terms for organisations? Businesses need to consider the emerging needs of all age groups in the workplace. Although this is a learning curve for everyone, there are huge benefits to working together in harmony. The older gen with their invaluable work experience, and the new gen for their tech and social media expertise.
Whether you’re a business owner, HR or facilities specialist looking to better understand the next wave of employees, here are 6 simple ways you can effectively prepare your office space that caters to all.
A great way to engage and connect the younger and older generations within a workplace is to provide a variety of open-plan spaces that encourage and inspire open-dialogue, conversation and bonding.
Spaces that are creative and colourful are perfect for workshops, regular get-togethers and brainstorming. While the more tonal and neutrally designed areas offer a calmer space for teams or individuals who need time to concentrate or reflect. These break-out areas are also perfect for less formal HR catch-ups or personal reviews.
Gen z and millennials know how to switch between screens and social media applications. However, depending on the task at hand, and the different ways we all like to work, many employees benefit from quiet areas for various tasks. Like the different open-plan areas in your workspace offering in point 1, stand-alone rooms, sound-proof pods or meeting rooms for specific tasks can accommodate those looking for quiet time or space away from an open-plan office. These factors also play an essential part in the environmental wellbeing of staff.
With great tech, comes great power, and it’s now more possible than ever to reduce the number of internal and external meetings. While virtual meetings and check-in-calls work better for employees with families, or for those organisations with flexible working initiatives, it is also important that when face-to-face meetings do take place, that technology is reliable. The time during the working day is precious, as is great communication, so utilising space efficiently in meeting and boardrooms by installing effective and reliable technology, can help to ensure clients and employees are working efficiently.
As departments change and grow, ensuring your furniture and spaces are agile is crucial. It can also help your business save money in the long-term.
Making sure your seating is tested by your staff and is adjustable, for example, is vital to different heights, body types and other generational needs. Offering a combination of seated and standing desks will also aid wellbeing in the office, by taking the pressure off staff sitting all day.
Equally, agile non-permanent and architectural partition screens and office pods extend and complement most office landscapes without the long-term commitment. These solutions work by dividing open spaces or create closed and partially closed rooms dependant on your need.
Ping-pong tables and beer fridges are a great way to offer employee perks in the office, but all generations benefit from taking care of their wellbeing in the office environment. You may not be able to provide sleep pods like Google, but spaces within the office for yoga, monthly massages and other wellbeing incentives, offer long-term practical benefits to the body and mind.
Most businesses go through expansion, or a downsize depending on the industry and market. Varying factors which can have an effect on an office location and the need for space. Ensuring your office space is flexible and including employees in the design process during these changes can be invaluable and can help staff feel part of the overall culture and change management process.
Were you aware the majority of office based staff spend almost 1,900 hours sitting in a desk chair over the course of a year? It’s easy to see how a large portion of our lives can be spent in the office with very minimal activity.
Staying active in the office is important for staff wellbeing. However, in spite of the risks caused by sitting all day, and when you consider we spend almost as much time sitting at a desk as we do sleeping, many organisations fail to supply chairs that are fully agile, encouraging natural movement.
The look of a chair within the aesthetics of an agile working office environment can be one of the first considerations during an office design or re-fit project. For the majority of companies, however, especially when faced with so many choices in a show room, it would be HR and or the facilities team’s duty to consider the ergonomics of furniture design to ensure employees are adequately supported to prevent long-term damage to their health and well-being.
A poorly designed chair can lead to;
• Back strain
• Leg problems
• Carpal tunnel
• Fatigue and discomfort that can come from sitting in the same chair for hours on end.
• A decline in productivity
• Increased employee absences
Ensuring your staff have supportive chairs will help to increase productivity, well-being and can reduce the number of sick days staff take across the organisation.
Here we have highlighted five key areas for you to consider as a check list before purchasing.
Lumbar Support: An office chair must support the lower back. Look for those with an adjustable lumbar support that allows the user to fit the chair to their lower back. This will help prevent back strain that can worsen and become sciatica, a condition which can be debilitating.
Adjustability: Although most office chairs have the ability to adjust the height arm heights, the best office chairs have five up to 14 different adjustments.
Lumbar support, arm width, and height, the seat back width, height and angle of (usually with tension control) are all important adjustment features to look out for when purchasing or replacing your office chairs.
Fabric: The fabric should be breathable to keep the chair from becoming hot and uncomfortable after hours of sitting. It should also have enough cushion to support the person sitting in it.
Wheel Base: Nearly all office chairs have a wheel base. If your office is carpeted, you may need to look for chairs with wheels specifically made for carpet. The ability to roll your chair is crucial in preventing strain when reaching across the desk for items out of reach.
Swivel Base: All office chairs should swivel, or arm fatigue can result from over extending to reach various items.