Flooring and the Office of the Future by Dave Nemeth

May 17, 2017

When it comes to flooring in the workspace, choosing it incorrectly can end up in disastrous results and even create a lack of productivity. There is a huge focus on the work environment at the moment as companies realise that the new workforce has a completely different way of working. The days of isolated offices or rows of open plan desks are over and the future office looks completely different to its predecessors.

There is a host of important factors when it comes to office design which include: acoustics, there is nothing worse than a noisy workspace or an environment which echo’s due to not planning the correct implementation of materials and not having enough sound absorbing materials. Another very important factor is light, an office needs to be well lit and the more natural light that can enter the space the better. Natural light is a great mood enhancer but it also allows for less electricity usage, so far better for the environment.

In many innovative office spaces, the trend is to have different zones that have different functions such as Breakaway spaces where people can work in isolation. The new rule of work is heavily weighted around collaboration and spaces should be flexible and demarcated. It is clear to understand why flow plays such an important role in a successful office space.

Choosing and specifying flooring can be quite a complicated task due to the fact that in most cases a variety of flooring will actually be used. Areas where full creative freedom can be had include areas such as receptions, breakaway zones as well as canteens. these are spaces where staff will not generally sit for long periods of time or do work that takes a huge amount of concentration.

LVT’s or luxury vinyl tiles are a great option for these areas and due to the huge amount of finishes, configurations, colour and textures, creativity is endless. These surfaces are also exceptionally practical and perfect for areas such as canteens and breakaway rooms where there will be food and drink. A good quality LVT is very hard wearing and exceptionally easy to clean. In reception areas combining materials can create a point of difference. Trends are showing a direction of combining carpet with LVT’s or even engineered timber floors.

Carpeting is certainly the best option when it comes to the “work zones”, these carpets should have good sound absorption qualities as well as being hard-wearing, it may not seem like it but with daily traffic of staff, friction created underfoot can quickly cause substandard carpets to wear down rapidly and replacing carpets will result in unnecessary expenses. These errors can be eradicated by doing careful planning and research beforehand. It is always a good idea to consult with an a professional flooring expert that understands corporate office interiors. This may initially seem like an unnecessary expense but will most probably end up saving you a ton of money in the long run.

A lot of innovation has taken place in the carpet tile market over recent years with one of the innovative features being the move away from only square configurations. This flooring solution now also comes in planks, which are generally half the width of a standard carpet tile and double the length, which allow for a host of different patterns to be created by simply laying these planks in different ways. These planks can also be combined with the standard carpet tiles or used together with the standard variations to create striking borders. Technology has allowed for these products to have custom patterns and colour combinations but do have certain creative restraints based on their manufacturing process.

When it comes to lighting the best way to ensure control over natural lighting is by way of blinds. Roller blinds remain very much on trend and are not likely to be replaced anytime soon by a more innovative solution. Roller blinds are available in varying degrees of blackout and are also available in automated versions which are perfect for boardrooms and other areas where Audiovisual presentations will occur. It is important to ensure that you are buying a quality product when purchasing roller blinds as these will need good quality mechanisms due to their constant use. Roller blinds are also available in a host of different colours so these can be matched to corporate identity colours.

There are many complex things to take into consideration when creating a new office space but if you can perfect the acoustic qualities as well as the lighting in the area you will be halfway there.

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