Top 5 Ergonomic Trends For A Healthy, Productive Life You Shouldn’t Overlook

During world war II, when soldiers were spending more time in tight quarters, tanks, and watercraft for more than twelve hours a day for months, they started experiencing back issues and problems with blood circulation. It impacted not only their morale but also their efficiency. So the engineers began working on reinventing those areas to help them produce better without experiencing health issues. And that’s where ergonomics came from. 

Average modern office employees today spend at least forty hours a week sitting in a chair as ergonomic injuries have become one of the most commonplace injuries in office environments around the world. Such injuries not only impact productivity but also reduce the performance and morale of employees in a subtle manner. But thankfully, we have come a long way from the second world war in terms of accommodating ergonomics in our regular lives. Integrating ergonomics in an office space should not be a problem for modern office spaces, but this is an issue that most offices often overlook. 

In this article, we discuss the five most essential ergonomic trends and tools that you shouldn’t overlook if you want a healthy, productive life.   

Task Seating

From the beginning, task chairs have been one of the most critical tools in office spaces for supporting the desk workers. Ordinary people spend up to 1,700 hours a year sitting in a chair in offices. Desk jobs are usually regarded as easy and comfortable roles that do not require physical stress. However, what people don’t notice is that average desk job workers suffer more physical issues in the long run than manual labour workers. It’s mostly because of undisciplined sitting, less physical movement, and unhealthy work settings.

Ergonomic chairs play a vital role in supporting body posture and keeping the body healthy in the long run. Ergonomics is basically about features that provide you with comfort and adjust according to your body type. Sitting for long hours in the same position is not considered healthy. Ergonomic chairs support your changing posture according to your will. But adjustability is not the only thing you should be looking for while installing the right ergonomic chair. The chair’s surface also shouldn’t create any discomfort to the user. A few things to consider before going for the correct ergonomic chair are as follows: 

  • Adjustability: Good ergonomic chairs of today offer as many adjustable features as they can. With more adjustability, a chair becomes more flexible. Height adjustable feature is a typical affair with ergonomic chairs of today. Look for other features like adjustable backrest, adjustable armrest, and angle adjustable seat.     
  • Lumbar support: The human spine slightly curves inwards in the lower region, and it needs support from your chair. Chairs with lumbar support uphold the natural curve of your spine and help avoid ergonomic injuries in the long run.  
  • Comfortable finishing: It’s not just the features of a chair that provide you with the right comfort, finishing also plays a vital role. A chair with the right upholstery can hold you comfortably for as long as you are seated. Ranging from leather to vinyl to fabric, you’ll find various finishing options in ergonomic chairs.  
  • The ability to swivel and roll around: Making the areas around you more easily accessible is the key to creating a comfortable ergonomics setup. That’s the reason you’d want your chair to move and swivel.

Adjustable Workstation

As everyone is well aware that sitting on the chair for long hours is not healthy in the long run, different offices are incorporating break hours to encourage employees to move around. But according to experts, such tiny break hours don’t sufficiently help maintain a healthy physique. And frankly, busy offices can’t afford to add more break times that can upset the workflow. It’s where the adjustable workstation helps. Adjustable workstations such as sit-stand desks help work in all positions, allowing much-needed body movement. 

Alternating between sitting and standing every thirty to forty-five minutes while working can encourage blood flow, cognitive thinking, and overall performance. An adjustable workstation can be achieved either by installing a height-adjustable desk or adding an adaptable accessory to the surface of the desk.   

Adjustable Screen 

A laptop stand or a monitor arm allows full adjustable features to your screen so that you can adjust it according to your needs. The right angle and adjustment of your screen plays a significant role in reducing neck strain and making the prolonged computer works better for your wellbeing. The proper viewing range also avoids eye strain and long term injuries. 

A viewing range of fifteen to twenty-seven inches with a horizontal viewing angle is the visually comfortable range for most of the computer users. In situations where the viewing distance is uncomfortable for users to spot the detail, enlarging the screen is recommended rather than adjusting to a shorter viewing distance.  

Keyboard Tray

Because a high number of modern office employees require typing and using the mouse most of the times while working, these activities must be ergonomically managed. The keyboard tray is one of the essential ergonomic tools in an office. It happens to be one of the least expensive too. It not only manages the right position of hands and fingers but also avoids carpal tunnel syndrome and neck and back strain.

The recommended position of the keyboard is a few inches above your thighs. Positioning your keyboard in such a way your elbows and arms remain close to your sides is also ergonomically important. It’s even better if you can manage your arms at or below a 90-degree angle all the time while working. 

There is a range of ergonomic keyboards and mouse in the market that can provide you with comfortable working experience. 

Task Lighting

Though often overlooked, task lighting can be an excellent tool to improve your ergonomics in the office. Poor task lighting can lead to headaches, eye strains, and even neck pain. The right light can make a big difference in your productivity. You’d want to work on soft lighting while working on the computer, and you’d wish to brighten the light for the document works or while writing notes on your desk.    

The right lighting also affects your mood and encourages creativity.   

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Why Is It Becoming More Common?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, tingling or weakness in your hands and fingers. Also known as median nerve compression, it is rapidly becoming a common workplace threat. It can range from simple annoyance to a severe impedance to your everyday life. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the pressure on your median nerve that runs the length of your arm. It also controls the movement of all your fingers except the little finger (pinky).

Modern office activities such as regular typing and frequent use of mouse are contributing to more carpal tunnel syndromes. The repetitive motions of hands that you do over and over can contribute to causing this syndrome. It is more likely to occur when your hands are lower than your wrists. 

Regularly stretching and strengthening wrist muscles and Incorporating the right ergonomic tools and body discipline is vital in avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome. Ergonomic products like a keyboard tray and ergonomic keyboard can significantly reduce this risk.   

Basics Of Workspace Planning

One of the fundamental objectives of fitting-out your new office space or refurbishing an existing one is creating an environment that not only allows maximum efficiency but also takes care of the team as a whole. You might want to divide your office space into different sections and plan individually. Still, you’ll need to consider more areas than you have ever expected – to achieve a perfect workstation. The office workplace is not just for the business owner or the brand; it’s also for the team who drives the business ahead.

Flexibility In Workstations

Maximum flexibility in office workstation is achieved through the use of customised workstations, configured in different plans to suit teams and tasks. Modular office workstation layouts with the least number of variations possible help facilitate future rearrangement if necessary. If you want more control over your workstation, choose its size according to the tasks performed by the user rather than job classification or status. E.g., a multitasking workstation will require more space than workstations where tasks can be carried out in computers only.

Workstation systems should consist of components that can be reconfigured without requiring to invest time and multiple trades. Integrating workstations and desks made from separable free-standing components are advantageous over some custom-built office furniture that restricts reconfiguration.

Modular, free-standing or desk-mounted screens can provide workstations with perfect privacy and flexibility. Lower screens facilitate effective communication and interaction between the members of staff. With increased screen height, privacy increases but communication and outlook are constrained.

Workstation Shapes

More modern offices of today are incorporating open-plan office workstations. Considering future expansion and reconfiguration is essential when planning for the workstation area. One of the most common workstation shapes used in Offices in Perth is straight office desks and the l shape corner desk. The latter workstation shape offers a larger space for both computer and paper-based tasks. There is an increasing trend of using straight office desks, combined with a mobile storage caddy set at right angles to the desk for increased functionality. It not only provides more flexibility but also offers storage, negating the need for stand-alone office bookcases and cupboards.

120degree workstation or pod workstation setup is another common workstation shape used in offices. This shape allows three workstations to form a pod shape, increasing the number of workstations you can fit into the floor-plan. When combined with office screens such as the Interia Systems Prestio32 desk-mounted screen, this workstation shape is a cost-effective answer to the general clerical workstation areas and call centres.

At Interia Systems, we keep innovating better ways of office fit-outs. Our experienced office planners can help incorporate modern and proven concepts into your floor plan to maximise your space with the best functionality. Visit Interia Systems for a free office space consulting service in Perth.

Open Plan Layout Vs Flexible Plan

Though the concept of open-plan workspace first appeared in the 1940s, it’s after the tech boom of the early 2000s that this concept is widely accommodated in modern offices. After replacing the ’80s and 90’s offices comprised of dozens of cubes, divided only by partitions, open plan has come a long way. Still, some issues arise with having only the communal areas in the workplace. The trick is to strike a balance between open plan and private spaces.

– The Problem With The Open Plan Concept

Adopting a solely open-plan workplace doesn’t take the varying work styles the employees have into consideration. While some people enjoy constant interaction and noise, it can be an unpleasant environment to concentrate and carry out the task for others. An entirely communal area without any private enclosures means workspace planning is only designed for certain types of individuals. Different individuals in an office space perform different jobs and prefer a different environment.   

Although open plan encourages collaboration, the regular interruptions from other colleagues can be a significant source of angst when someone is under the pressure of a looming deadline or if someone wants to concentrate. Out of frustration, some employees put on earphones without music playing – to signal they don’t want to be approached.

– Finding The Balance With A Flexible Office Plan

The key to creating a functional workplace is to adopt a flexible approach where private area workstations are intermixed with open plan. Open plan provides excellent opportunities for interaction and collaboration. At the same time, private spaces allow employees to have the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the crowd and concentrate the way they want.

On a flexible office plan, you can effectively include small, private rooms for phone calls, meeting rooms for smaller group discussions or meetings and offices where employees can go to escape the noise if they need to. These are some examples of private areas which can be incorporated into the workplace.

Of course, the layout of your workplace furniture depends on the specific needs of your business, but a flexible approach means you can get the balance right between the benefits of open plan and the need for privacy.

Encouraging Collaboration In Your Workspace

Over time, Interia Systems has been continuously researching the workspaces that deliver the best efficiency. We always look forward to creating the best workspace that is not only flexible but also collaborative. Although the open-plan is still one of the most popular options today, it needs to be done innovatively so a collaborative workspace can be achieved while respecting the different working styles of employees

Customisable Workspaces

A well-defined collaboration means you need to interact with others to make it happen effectively. An open-plan working environment facilitates employees to communicate with each other and approach other colleagues more easily. While open-plan all the way may not be as effective for every employee, installation of screens can help workstations convert them into private space or collaborative space as per requirement. Low partitions in workstations also help employees to pick up on the activity of their colleagues, keeping noise levels in checks.

Introduce acrylic screens in workstations to achieve a flexible environment. These screens can easily fit in workstations and convert them into private spaces instantly. 

– Diverse Common Areas

Common areas such as lunchrooms and meeting rooms are essential not only to encourage interactions between employees but also to allow workers to have an inviting space away from their desks. Additional areas such as small, private rooms for phone calls or rooms for group conversations can also add to the collaborative nature of a workplace.

Different studies have suggested that employees who often take breaks are more productive than those who work without taking any breaks. So breakout areas have become an essential part of any office environment today. 

– Your Rules 

Once you’ve set up your new office space, it’s essential that you set clear rules on how the different areas should work. It avoids areas being misused and lets employees know what’s expected of them. Setting clear guidelines also means employees don’t need to worry about areas where they can escape the activity of the office and socially interact with their colleagues. For a collaborative outcome, however, design plays a vital role. If your office is well designed, employees should have no problem integrating the best ways to collaborate and deliver results.

Trends Influencing Workplace Design

Since there is no universal formula to achieve the best office fit-out, you should custom-plan your fit-out according to your business type and your team for the results you desire. However, adopting new trends can help achieve efficiency and flexibility to the next level in your office space. Innovative furniture such as standing desks is widely adopted in modern offices. Accommodating flexible furniture and innovative styles can help you evolve your work norm.

Technology has and continues to change the workplace structures and the way you work.

  • Flexibility: As the working culture is changing, companies are matching their offices to suit the needs of the employees. Employees are working from home more than ever and visiting the office space for shorter periods. A flexible workplace with adaptable furniture to suit different individuals on a single setting has become essential. Such casual areas allow employees to perform for a few hours. Office Desks are no longer just a one-person space.

  • Health and wellbeing: Caring about employee’s health and wellbeing has become one of the most important topics for businesses today. To address the issue of fatigue and physical health, companies are incorporating a mix of new office furniture and equipment that increase movement. It includes sit-stand desks and ergonomic furniture. Readjusting the office layout has also helped businesses encourage employees to move around. 

  • Environmental responsibility: To positively contribute to the environment, companies have ditched paper records for cloud storage. The same goes for printing. Most paperwork can be done online now, which frees up room in the office for other things like a lounge area. As a result, the spaces that storage furniture occupy can be used for other productive purposes.

  • Task-based evaluation (not hours-based): Back in the early ’80s, the 9-5 structure was ingrained. People would not compromise the work for eight hours, five days a week with anything regular. But the line between work life and personal life has blurred due to technology. Now, we can check our emails at night on our smartphones. It has led forward-thinking companies to focus on tasks, not hours. For jobs that involve intense focus, areas like private pods and quiet zones work well. Introduce these into your office space and give your people the right environment to work, free of distraction.

  • Natural lighting: Natural lighting is proven to have helped increase productivity and maintain a positive mood in employees. Consider how you can position the workstations to benefit from the most amount of natural light. If your reception area is closest to the window, think about how you can adjust the space. Your employees are the people who spend the most time in the office. Keep them motivated with natural sunlight.

Instant Economical Fit-out Solutions For COVID-safe Workplaces

As we are ready to restart our economy by getting back to our office desks, there is an acknowledgement that our office environment is not going to be the same again in the post-COVID era. As already mentioned in our previous article, our offices would need to go through a complete transformation to better suit the changing environment because safety has never been this important in our office spaces in the recent years. 

One of the first priorities for offices to run safely would be accommodating less number of staff per square meter in the office spaces, capping staff numbers at about 30 per cent and maintaining social distancing disciplines. As suggested by the experts, the future COVID-safe office designs should learn a great deal from already existing hospital designs in terms of cleanliness so that people would be working without fear in a sterile environment.     

Now that the economical activities have been halted for a few months and there is a pressure to completely transform the operational layouts including the office environment, there is huge economic pressure on the businesses. A complete transformation of an office space can take weeks and a handsome amount of money. The question is – is it possible to do it instantly on a budget? With the right identification of the threat and proper planning, yes, it is possible.

In order to transform your regular office space to COVID- safe office space effectively, you need to first understand what makes your office environment COVID-safe. A general answer for it would be:

An office environment that effectively avoids the transmission of microorganisms (especially novel coronavirus) between the employees while running the operations effectively.  

This is only possible when an office environment is effective in:

  • Maintaining social distancing between employees at all times
  • Minimising or completely getting rid of common touchpoints
  • Accommodating a high-level cleanliness routine in the office spaces
  • Effectively monitoring the regular health conditions of the employees

This article aims to give you an idea about the two instant economical fit-out solutions to achieve a safer working environment in your workplace. There are several areas in your office space that you will need to redesign or tweak in order to meet COVID-safe regulations. You might need to redesign the whole space planning, but with the right fit-out, you can achieve your goals with an economical solution. Let’s talk about the fit-outs that can solve your office space transformation problem instantly and economically and how they are an effective solution. 

Partition And Partition Accessories

Until the COVID-19 crisis, open plan layout in offices was one of the most common and effective designs. It allowed employees to collaborate, communicate, and work together effectively. Now that the physical interaction can pose a threat to the health of everyone, heavy use of partitions in office spaces is the demand of the future. 

The effective partition between the departments and sections make sure there is a less physical interaction between the employees and the social distance is maintained. Since there won’t be any shared items between the employees, partition accessories can help store personal items such as stationery items effectively. Partitions can also be installed in the passage if you are willing to organise the internal traffic effectively. A disciplined and controlled movement inside the office environment can help minimise the chances of physical interaction. 

Modular partitions can be purchased individually as per your partition requirement and installed instantly. They effectively assimilate in your office environment without having to replace the existing furniture. 

Why Are Such Partitions Cost-effective? 

Designing the whole layout of your office space will require installation of new fit-outs and expensive custom partitions which, at the end of the day, serve a similar purpose although it may give you a brand new feel. Rather than investing for the complete transformation, you would want to invest in individual partitions that can blend in your office environment with only a few adjustments and without needing to replace the whole set of existing furniture. It is not only cost-effective but also an instant solution. 

Workstation Screens

Workstations of the future would represent the physical separation between the employees rather than privacy and acoustics like in the past. Personal workstations installed in a standard distance between the colleagues are the reality of COVID-safe work environments. Some experts have predicted the comeback of cubicles and extinction of hot desks from the office space. While the latter can have no other option, the former has some. 

Workstation screens fit easily on top of workstations and provide employees with a private space to make it highly effective in avoiding physical interactions. These screens are also being rephrased as “sneeze guards” by some analysts. Maintaining the correct social distance can work fine in normal conditions. But otherwise, these screens can help a great deal in restricting the movement of microorganisms.

Why Are Workstation Screens Cost-effective?

Replacing all your regular workstations with workstations designed for personal use can cost you a handsome amount and waste your time. Transforming the regular desk into a desk that works just as fine as a cubicle, on the other hand, is not only a cost-effective solution but an instant answer. The acrylic screen can be installed in any desk instantly. It is not only reasonably priced but also requires minimum maintenance. Even its replacement wouldn’t hurt you at all.      

The installation of above-mentioned fit-outs can’t be effective without the right space planning and installation of the right technology. Offices will still need to accommodate new technology and methods that help avoid common touchpoints. Better cleanliness routine and methods should also be introduced to create a sterile office environment. Health monitoring apps, as they are already in the market, should be installed at every desk, and employees should be provided with enough cleaning stations. Here are a few additional systems and methods that you might want to install in your office environment to make it a safer place:

  • Automatic doors
  • Heavy use of signs and markings for the regular reminder of the new discipline
  • Heat mapping technology for distance inspection
  • Apps to control elevator commands
  • Automatic temperature detectors
  • The ultraviolet air filtration system for thorough cleaning after office hours are over to make sure the air is as clean as we can get 

Interia Services has been your preferred office fit-out partner for an effective office fit-out solution for every circumstance and budget. 

Integrating Technology In Your Office Space

Technology is transforming the way businesses work by enabling them to streamline their processes, improve productivity, and get results faster than ever. The influx of new technology has not only made our personal lives convenient but also transformed the way we work. The modern workspace has experienced a complete shift in how we carry out our jobs. 

How Technology Is Changing The Workplace?

Technology, today, has completely transformed the way the workplaces perform. The advancements have reshaped organisations by making the business processes better integrated and more streamlined.

Office spaces have evolved over the years to embrace the modern innovations presented by technology. Technology is helping employees to carry out their tasks effectively regardless of their location.  

With technology, the way employees collaborate, communicate and connect with each other has reached new heights, helping businesses achieve increased productivity in the workplace. 

Recruiting the right employee for the right task has been one of the greatest challenges for organizations. Technology has made hiring processes more convenient for businesses today. Location is not the barrier for the deserving candidate anymore as tasks can be carried out remotely in some industries. Businesses are now able to easily research the background and filter applicants with the help of new technology. With the correct use of the right tool, businesses are providing the right training and getting the best out of their employees more than ever. 

With the right tool, employees and leaders are able to connect with anyone they wish to, anytime, from anywhere to ensure the right information is conveyed to the right person. 

Our workspaces are using up less paper and businesses are occupying fewer spaces for offices. Thanks to technology, our offices also exist in the virtual world so that we can carry out essential tasks on-demand without having to rush to our physical office locations.   

Benefits Of Integrating Technology In Your Office Space.

A perfect office environment equipped with the best tools and technology is essential for improved performance. Hence assimilating technology in office space has now become a mandatory demand of time.  Let’s discuss the benefits and ways of integrating technology in your office space effectively.

Improved Communication and Collaboration: The way we communicate has transformed in recent years. The variety of virtual communication tools that exist in the market has taken business communication to the next level, improving efficiency and collaboration of employees. Adjusting such technology and tools in the professional environment has many benefits as the world has become a smaller place today.

Improved Decision making: In the fast-moving everyday work life, some decisions are to be made instantly, and some information is to be shared on-the-spot. Customers always appreciate the quick turnaround and rapid feedback. With technology, you can access the right information on time and communicate effectively to make quick decisions on demand. You can also respond to customer and client inquiries faster with technology integrated at your office space. 

Improved Performance: Improved communication, better collaboration, and on-demand access to information—all lead to better performance. Integrating technology to the professional environment not only helps get tasks executed on time but also boosts productivity hence making employees more satisfied with their work.

The Impact Of Technology On Office Design.

The introduction of laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, and wireless connectivity has facilitated, or rather forced, a noticeable shift in the nature of office design. These rapid advancements in technology have allowed workers to work anywhere at any time and brought with it a higher level of mobility, and a refreshed concept of office furniture design.

The introduction of the flat screen monitor in the last decade facilitated shallower desktops and a shift to rectangular desking from the corner or 120-degree design which was required to accommodate the large CRT monitors of the past.

As the technology world continues to shrink the devices we use each day, most modern offices have transitioned to smaller office desks but with more technical support. Where power and data points were once the only requirements for connectivity, the provision of rapid USB charging is now high on the list.

With the introduction of electronic presentation equipment, meeting and conference areas have generally become less dedicated and the furniture increasingly more mobile. Today’s conference tables must contain a multitude of cabling and equipment that is embedded within the table itself with connectivity designed to be readily accessible but without being visible.

The wholesale transformation from hardcopy to digital in the last decade and the rapidly advancing trend towards the paperless office environment has drastically reduced the requirements for filing and storage in the office.

Fully-networked MFC (Multi-Function Centres) have rendered multiple and dedicated office equipment such as printers and scanners obsolete and facilitated the integration of space-saving utility hubs.

Office Design.

Now that we know about the benefits of technology in your office space, let us take a closer look at how we can integrate them to your office design for different working style.

When we think about office furniture and fit-outs, it’s important to consider the technology available and how we can best integrate it.

But it’s not always straightforward to figure out what technologies to introduce and when. It can be hard to keep up with new developments. Spend time to understand the technology and to comprehend how you can utilise your space to incorporate more productive ways of working.

The office design process starts first with identifying your needs and then building a brief that highlights your most essential requirements to create a productive space as possible. Some design solutions drive better employee engagement and endurance in the face of an uncertain future.

Integrating technology in the workplace is key to keeping up with the trends. As most millennials are raised using technology, it is important to adapt your workspace with technology. 

Multimedia capabilities: As workplaces become more and more virtual, our reliance on communication technologies will increase. Consider introducing multimedia solutions in your office to help you collaborate better. Think about how you share information with your clients and employees. Is it via video, mobile or in audio form?

Flexible furniture: Your furniture should be able to offer a flexible way for technology to be executed. The nature of technology is constantly changing, so make sure your furniture can adapt accordingly. This could simply mean investing in furniture that’s not permanently built-in.

Go mobile: Tablets are a great way to work on-the-go. If your employees are out at a meeting, they can check their emails and use the technology as part of their presentation. You can also use tablets to book meeting rooms and sign visitors in and out. This ‘mobile’ technology can help your business go paperless.

Collaborative hot desks: Do you hire freelancers and contractors? Hosting weekly brainstorming sessions? Choose an area that’s close to power outlets and install a hot office desk. This will be your ‘hub’ for short, collaborative sessions.

By embracing technology, you can achieve a minimalistic design and make space for the things that matter to your employees. Invest in cloud storage, embrace new applications using mobile devices, and train new employees with technology.

Explore your needs and match the technology to suit your needs. Remember, technology will continue to change, so prepare your workspace with adaptable furniture and design. Choose solutions that help your employees connect, collaborate, and share information. Work processes should be as fluid as technology.

Making Technology A Priority.

Most businesses integrate technology once construction is completed. However, this limits the functionality and efficiency of your space. At Interia Systems, we help you and your team to integrate technology at your workspace by facilitating discussions between fit-out and IT in the early stages of your project. We provide detailed plans and collaborate with IT throughout your project to create efficient modern workspaces.

We understand the relationship between a productive workspace and your office furniture. Your company is unique, and your furniture should be, too. For customised office solutions that fit your needs, talk to us.

COVID-safe Workplaces: How Your Office Fit-outs Will Transform In Post-Pandemic Economic Restart

It might be early to say, but Australia has been one of few countries that have tackled COVID-19 situation in a praiseworthy manner. With less than one thousand active COVID-19 cases (at the time of writing this article) and the infection curve flattening, the country is willing to restart its economy. But our workplaces may never be the same again.

With the government announcing a three-point plan for reopening the country and issuing new workplace safety protocols that include information on physical distancing (for staff and customers), guidelines on using protective equipment, emergency planning, health and illness monitoring, and hygiene and cleaning standards, it is understandable that we are entering the era of new normal, and it’s not just limited to our workplaces.

From door handles, lift panels, handrails to vending machines – between stepping out from home for work and coming back at night, it is estimated that a regular worker comes in contact with approximately 40 different touchpoints that could potentially transmit coronavirus throughout the day on a regular workday. Managing those touchpoints would be crucial for offices, and so would be managing the flow of people. 

These new practices will surely transform the fit-out style and preferences of our workspaces completely. Now that we presented a rough idea about COVID-safe workplaces, let’s talk about how our office environment will change in the post-COVID days.  

Personal Workstations

Hot-desking is likely to disappear from office spaces when businesses will restart. Any place enabling a common touchpoint including hot-desks shall disappear for good.

To create a safe workstation that maintains social distancing and less physical interaction between the employees, cubicle may make its comeback. 

We had mentioned about cubicle workstations in our previous articles and explained how they were replaced by hot-desks and open-plan layouts. Well, they are likely to make their introduction to the millennials who started their career after the mid-2000s.

Open space plans may not make sense anymore because hygiene, safety, and social distancing will determine the future office layout more than ever. Acrylic screens that easily fit in between the desks and provide employees with personal space and contribute to reduced physical interaction may see increasing demand. 

Decreased Use Of Meeting Rooms

Thanks to technology – interacting, discussing, and brainstorming activities are not limited in the meeting rooms anymore. But you may argue that a meeting room environment can not be replaced with virtual tools. Well, you might want to compromise that habit and adopt new ways of interacting from now on. Regular meeting room layout does not follow the principles of social distancing.  

Along with the adoption of other new measures, offices will likely opt to create single entry and exit points to ensure a disciplined and less interactive flow of people. Organizations will have to either change the total layout of their meeting spaces or shift their meeting activities away from the regular allocated point that has been in there for a while. A virtual space for the meeting has been the popular replacement option so far. 

No More Shared Items

Not just the cookie jars, there are several items such as desk kit, stapler, stationery items etc. that members of staff share every day throughout the working hours on a regular office environment. Not anymore.

Most of the tools and items will strictly be personal in the post-COVID office environment.

While it might not be completely possible to personalise equipment such as the photocopier, food, beverages, and their containers can’t be compromised. Other touchpoints can be sanitised after each touch.

New Technology And Hygiene Facilities

New technology to monitor the health and regulate social distancing activity of the employees are likely to make their way to office spaces. Automatic temperature detection during the entrance and exit and heat mapping software to allow employers or managers to detect social distancing between employees are likely to be installed in most offices.  

More hand washing and hand sanitising stations will be created and cleaning activity will be given special attention. Since microorganisms can not be detected with human eyes, new special measures in cleaning the office spaces should be accommodated. There will certainly be more frequent cleaning activity inside the office spaces in the post-COVID workplaces.  

Staggered Timing, Remote Work, And Less Employee Density 

The common office timing had been contributing to long queues at elevators and huge crowds in public spaces and transport facilities during the peak hours. Businesses will not follow the same regular routine to run their operations anymore.

The design of most of the office spaces is too congested to accommodate the COVID-safe regulations at the current stage. Maintaining a distance of 1.5 to 1.8 meters between the employees and accommodating them will require a larger space, new planning, and new fit-outs.

Employee density in office spaces will decrease drastically in the post COVID office environment.

Different businesses incorporated remote work for the first time since COVID-19 started spreading throughout the world. Remote work will not be overlooked even in the post-pandemic situation. Since offices will surely run out of spaces while following the new health and safety measures, they will still get some of their operations carried out through remote work. 

It is good news that our economy is restarting even though there are strict new health measures to be followed at work. With the right planning and right fit-outs, it is possible to run our office spaces safely and resume the operations. As the best-rated fit-out experts in Perth, we offer the best economic fit-out options for COVID-safe workplaces. Feel free to contact us if you need any advice about your future office environment.

Instant Asset Tax Write Off COVID-19 Edition: Explained for Your Business

Updated on : 29 June 2020

The $20,000 instant asset write off for small businesses, introduced in 2015/16 federal budget and consecutive federal budgets since has been very popular among small business owners. A further increase saw it raised to $30,000 and now the current Morrison Government recently announced to increase it further to $150,000 amid the recent global coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to support over 3.5 million businesses that employ more than 9.7 million people. 

Since the recent coronavirus pandemic has added more risk to businesses, the health of individuals, and the Australian economy as a whole, the move announced recently aims to deal with the growing economic concern.   

Announced on 12th of March, this stimulus package will worth more than $17.6 billion of tax breaks and subsidies to small and medium businesses. The package aims to offer cash flow opportunities for small companies to reinvest back into their businesses and to help Australians keep their jobs. 

Announced on 12th of March, this stimulus package  will worth more than $17.6 billion of tax breaks and subsidies to small and medium businesses.

What Is An Instant Asset Write Off?

Unlike regular deductions you make after purchasing for your business, the $150,000 instant asset write off aims to speed up the rate at which you can claim as tax-deductible for your purchase. It allows small business owners to claim the tax deduction in the same income year the assets are purchased.

Eligibility

 With the write-off threshold increased from $30,000 to $150,000, the Government has widened the eligibility criteria of the business. It now includes firms with a turnover of up to $500 million, up from $50 million. Assets eligible for write off include extra equipment, machinery, computers, vehicles, and office fit-out and furniture.

The purpose of the instant write off is to increase the speed at which the business can make deductions for those purchases. It would encourage business owners to bring forward the investment spending that they instead were planning to invest in the future. Businesses had until 30 June to utilise this incentive, but the deadline is since extended till the end of 2020.

For Partially Used Assets

If a business uses the asset partly for its operations, then only the business portion of the cost can be claimed as a tax deduction. You can only write off the equivalent percentage used for business use. For example, if you buy machinery for your business and use 80 per cent for your business and 20 per cent for personal use, then you will only be able to claim the instant asset write off for only 80 per cent of the asset worth.

Is It A Good Time To Make An Investment? 

It might be a good time to consider investing in business assets you require and take advantage of instant write-off if your business has sustainable cash flow and you can get your asset operational by the cut-off date of 31st December 2020 (extended from the previous deadline 30th June 2020). Consult with your accountant for specific information in regards to your situation. 

Get Started With Office Fitouts

If you have been thinking of installing an office fit-out or upgrading furniture in your business, then this might be the right time to do it. Interia Systems provides quality premium office furniture and Office fit-outs in Perth for businesses of all sizes and industries whether it be for commercial office space, school, government, medical facility or a warehouse. Contact us with your requirements, and we will deliver the best solution for you. 

For More Information:

Australian Taxation Office

The Instant Asset Write-Off (IAWO) Threshold


Virtual Reality (VR) Experience: Revolutionising The Office Fit-out Space

Entering the second decade of second millennium A.D., the design industry is leveraging the amazing experience that Virtual Reality (VR) creates for people more than ever before. Whether it be vast architectural detailing or simple desk designs, designers of today are working with the software & technology in favour of the more traditional methods. Digital software of different kinds has made it easier for professionals to do things more effectively and accurately in a significantly reduced amount of time. Having experienced work efficiency for quite a bit of time through the use of technology, businesses are now looking to improve the pre-purchase experience of their clients through the world of VR technology.

Though Virtual Reality is not a brand new concept by any means, it is much more redefined in the modern era and its wide use is revolutionising every sector that connects business with its clients. Still, it’s not being incorporated well in every field only because of the ‘fear of the unknown.’  

Since the inception of VR experience in 2018, Interia Systems has not only beheld more satisfied customers than ever but has also accessed larger projects where the precise design is an important facet of the client’s buying decision. VR experience allows clients to experience their future office fit-out and get it exactly the way they want it to be before investing in the execution of the project.

 VR experience allows clients to experience their future office fit-out and get it exactly the way they want

Implementing VR Presentation In The Office Fit-out Industry?

VR presentation has helped Interia Systems deliver office fit-out projects more effectively as previously this was a major problem point when attempting to communicate the completed vision for the project to the stakeholders, particularly for larger high-end projects.The VR presentation experience we offer is not just limited to putting on a VR headset, and looking around – we allow clients to enter a design space and freely walk around to examine every area, corner and detail, making them feel as if they were actually there.

In a 3 to 5 day process that begins with extensive on-site consultation with industry trained workspace consultants, we do space planning layout, drawings, colour selections, and produce a full 3D render within the client’s own space so that they can virtually walk through and get an actual feel of what the end result would be.

A Leap Forward In Effective Communication through Visualisation

VR experience is not just about showing our clients that their office fit-out is planned in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing manner, it’s also about effectively communicating the objective outcome with them. This technology has enabled us to drastically reduce lengthy design & planning processes, making sure that we are on the same page with our clients throughout their whole office fit-out project. 

‘Seeing is believing’ – experiencing every aspect of future office fit-out in a virtual world before the fit-out is even started has been very effective in helping customers visualise their end goals in the best way. We have also been able to address design issues early in the project with this technology preventing costly changes later. Experiencing a lifelike visualisation of their proposed office space without spending the money on engaging expensive architects/interior designers has never been better for office fit-out customers. It gives them complete confidence when making colour and product selections as they can do a complete walkthrough of their proposed office.

VR experience is not just about showing our clients that their office fit-out is planned in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing manner, it’s also about effectively communicating the objective outcome with them.

The Immeasurable Benefits Of Virtual Reality In Office Fit-out Designs

From a client’s perspective, every one of our VR presentations has not only been interactive and immersive but also memorable. It has become a very helpful tool in creating an individual experience for each and every customer. VR presentations help us bring customer’s individual touches to our work as clients can get a feel of how their fit-out project comes together rather than relying solely on advice and recommendations from us.

VR presentation is not only helping our customers understand and virtually see their projects the way we do, but also taking the whole fit-out industry to the next level. It’s helping companies like ours save time in different phases of business and also allowing us to deliver any project with very minimal errors or expensive rework.  

Virtual reality presentation is one of the small sections of what we do in the office fit-out process as a whole. We have been delivering premium office fit-out solutions in Perth for decades. As the number 1 fit-out company in Perth based on customer reviews, we make sure our customers get the best of everything that is available in the market. 

For great office fit-out designs, consider someone who incorporates your spirit with their passion and comes up with something you would love being around all the time. Contact Interia Systems for help with your ideal office fit-out design. You won’t regret it.

Office Layout: 10 Tips for Increased Productivity

No matter what industry your company is in, your employees are one of your most valuable resources. A well-planned office layout is essential in today’s corporate world in terms of your employees’ happiness and productivity. With employees in mind, we have come up with some of the most essential office designs to increase productivity include comfortable work stations and great office layouts. 

The work environment at your office will influence the morale and engagement levels of your workers. Moreover, it can help change a wasted workday into a highly productive one. So it’s essential to develop a well-designed space with your employees in mind. 

There are many nuances you should consider in regards to your office designs and how to increase their productivity. Anywhere from temperature, noise levels, the colour of your office furniture and layout can play a role in the productivity of your organisation. However, it should be emphasised that having the right office design not only increases productivity but also increases your employees’ mental wellbeing while at work. 

In this article, we highlight 10 ways you can increase productivity and wellbeing of your employees with your office layout.  

office layout, best office layout for productivity, office design tips to increase productivity
Office layouts that can help you while considering the best office layout for productivity and in terms of office designs to increase productivity

1. Introduce Natural light in Your Office Designs to Increase Productivity

natural light is an important office design tips to increase productivity

The more happy and healthy your employees are, the more productive & motivated they are likely to be

Natural lighting is essential, for both physical and mental wellbeing. Natural lighting stimulates positiveness and keeps us awake and alert. A study by Northwestern University researched the effect of letting sunlight into the office. The office staff who had exposure to sunlight had an hour more of sleep each night, and their physical health, energy, and overall quality of life were far superior.

The Sydney Morning Herald also highlighted the importance of light in the office environment. The article stated that office layouts that utilise natural lighting for their employees and not just upper management and clients have a brand that stands out and attracts and retains employees longer. Ultimately, employees are happier and choose to stay with a company longer due to their craving for natural light in their office layouts.

A gloomy, dimly lit office has significant drawbacks and reduces the productivity of your employees. Auzzi Australia notes that better lighting design in office layouts increases productivity by up to 23 per cent! Increase natural sunlight in your office and set up office workstations close to the windows. Bring the outdoors in by positioning your desks with window views, to allow as much natural light as possible into your office layout and utilise well-placed lights or lamps in darker areas. 

Finally, by removing cubicle walls, using movable glass walls and more open-plan space, you can increase the penetration of sunlight and increase visibility from within your office.

2. Choose The Right Colours

Studies have shown that colours like yellow can make us happy and joyful while also impacting productivity. Moreover, colours like blue and green can create a more comfortable and productive environment, while colours like red and orange increase alertness, urgency and attention to detail.

You might also want to consider how the workspace is decorated and how to incorporate colours with it. Do wall colours reflect your organisation’s branding? When creating a professional atmosphere, choose colours that will best suit the work in different departments.

The colour you choose for the office can make a huge difference in mood and brain function.

3. Breaks

The human brain can’t handle high-intensity work for very long. Productivity expert Colin Boyd advises that a disciplined routine should be encouraged where you carve out 3 x 50-minute Focus Blocks. These blocks would be used to focus on your most important tasks during which you allow no distractions. Once the 50 minutes of work focus is up, allow yourself 10 minutes to relax and recharge.

virtual reality can help you while considering the best office layout for productivity

4. Add A Touch Of Nature in Your Office Designs to Increase Productivity

Evergreen Walls highlights the importance of using nature in the office, as humans are spending more and more time inside and disconnecting from nature. Moreover, it notes that the disconnection harms our wellbeing and productivity. Biophilic office designs are a growing trend to increase productivity and expected to be a leading trend in 2020 and moving forward!

Even indoor plants can make a massive difference as they help purify the air, reduce noise and promote wellbeing. A few plants dotted amongst the workplace to lift the mood and add an aesthetic appeal to your office will do wonders for your office layout and employees.

go green while considering office design tips to increase productivity
office layout, best office layout for productivity, office design tips to increase productivity

5. Ergonomic Furniture in Your Office Layout

Quality office desks and chairs can make a world of difference regarding health and productivity in your office. Ergonomic chairs, desks, and even standing desks all are office furniture you should consider when looking to increase productivity in your office layout and are worth considering given the associated health benefits. Choose ergonomic furniture that will keep your people comfortable and lasts for many years to come. 

ergonomics for better office layout, for the best office layout for productivity, and office design tips to increase productivity
office layout, best office layout for productivity, office design tips to increase productivity

Ergonomic practice means improving the conditions under which you do everyday activities in the workplace. Bodycare Workplace Solutions notes that we spend around 65 per cent of our working day sitting down. Moreover, they discuss the impacts this can have on your body if you don’t have proper posture or furniture to support you. Poor desks and chairs found in your office layout can negatively affect employees’ posture, which will lead to a higher injury rate. Ultimately, costing employees work days and your organisation valuable work hours. 

Ergonomic considerations for different workplaces vary. To promote ergonomics into your office layout, consider talking to your employees about the current furniture and how they are finding it. There is no better way to evaluate if your company needs to invest in new furniture than to discuss it directly with your team.

6. Office Layouts Need Different Areas

Make sure you have different areas for different purposes. Some employees need to be in private rooms while they work, while others enjoy being in the middle of the action. Creating inviting areas for different purposes is precisely what John Ferrigan from Google recommends. He states that it’s essential to take a layered approach to design offices. Moreover, you should provide areas for everyone within the company no matter their role or personality, and foster a feeling of comfortability in them.

Ultimately, you should be asking, “What are the goals of the company?” and, “What do we want out of our office layout?” With those questions in mind, you can determine your needs and come up with a plan to accomplish it. All companies require different things out of their office layouts; thus, there is no one size fits all approach!

7. Work Structure

office layout, best office layout for productivity, office design tips to increase productivity
office layout, best office layout for productivity, office design tips to increase productivity

Is your office structured in the standard corporate way with individual desks? This is the traditional way of utilising space in your office layout. However, times are changing, and companies are finding success in open floor plans. Open office layout plans promote collaborativeness and teamwork while traditional office layouts can offer privacy and more rigid communication structures.

Depending on your company’s needs, your employees’ work style, and the brand you are going for, your office layout will differ. Once again, there is no one size fits all approach to which office layout you should use. Each will have different aspects to consider as well as pros and cons. Check out our blog on things to consider when choosing an office layout for your company here.

8. Limit the Noise Level in Your Office Layout 

noise is not good for your office layout. make sure to monitor noise levels at work to increase productivity

Libby Sander, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at Bond University Business School, states, “For most people the biggest complaint they have about the open office is noise.” The noise can make it hard to concentrate and be productive. Moreover, a noisy office can lead to increased stress levels and lower job satisfaction among employees. 

There are ways to minimise noise levels, including staying away from open office layouts. However, if your company has decided that using an open floor plan is best, you should consider handing out or promoting noise-cancelling headphones. Other options could create secluded areas for privacy, like John Ferrigan from Google recommends. Partitions, plants, and sound damping materials on the walls can also be utilised to help lower sound levels.

9. Consider The Room Temperature in Your Office Layout

Another factor to consider is room temperature. A study conducted by Cornell University found that when temperatures were around 20 degrees, employees made 44 per cent more errors. Moreover, when there were temperatures around 25 degrees, they were found to be 50 per cent more productive. The research also found that if employees were cold, they would become distracted, resulting in them costing their employers 10 per cent more per hour.

Finding the perfect temperature in your office is difficult if you have a big team. Consider grouping people who want to sit close to the air conditioner or heater and those who don’t. This solves the issue of people who keep turning the system on and off. Open the windows and doors when you can and let in the fresh air.

10. Provide Space To Move Around

A study showed 72 per cent of participants that exercised during their workday helped improve their well being as well as helped them improve their time management and completion of workload! Another study showed that even taking a break to walk could increase employees’ creativity by up to 81 per cent.

Regular exercise releases serotonin (known as the happiness hormone) which helps individuals fight off the feelings of anxiety and depression. Encourage your employees to stay active to boost their creativity and productivity in the workplace. Employees who engage in regular exercise will experience less physical problems and have less decline in lost productivity due to sickness. If your office layout does not allow for exercise inside, you can create a small area for your employees to be active, or let them take breaks outside to get some much-needed exercise.

Conclusion

An office is the heart of your business. Make sure your office layout inspires your team to innovate, challenge, and work smarter. However, as we have mentioned, it’s a good idea to include your employees in the decision making process as well! With the right changes and additions, you can transform your pre-existing office layout into a highly productive area.

Your office layout has the potential to encourage staff to produce work at the highest standard and create an enjoyable place to work. Developing a productive design goes beyond just the physical concerns as it also considers the emotional wellbeing of your team. 

Finally, the best office layout for productivity ultimately relies on you!

Our experienced team is here to help with any of your office fitout needs. We developed these 10 office layout tips to increase productivity for you in mind. Therefore, if you think we should add anything to the list or if you have any questions regarding it, please contact us!

Using Colour Psychology In Office Design

Have you ever walked into a red room and felt overwhelmed? That’s because colours have a ‘personality’. It is a very good idea to give some thought to your office furniture colours and how they can affect your employees.

By choosing positive colours for your workspace, you can increase motivation and happiness & positivity. You can create an ambience and tone that emphasises your brand in the office furniture and room fitout.

You can create an ambience and tone that emphasises your brand in the office furniture and room fitout.

The Ideal Office Look

The idea that colour choice affects mood and behaviour has been around for a long time. Studies show that colours evoke similar responses in most people. Colour creates a powerful emotional stimulus and can stimulate, energise, inspire, calm, soothe, or focus your visitors & employees. 

The type of business you are in, and the environment you wish to create will determine the colour you choose for your office fit-out. So the colours should correspond with the nature of business and the workplace culture you are attempting to foster.

Studies show that colours evoke similar responses in most people. Colour creates a powerful emotional stimulus and can stimulate, energise, inspire, calm, soothe, or focus your visitors & employees.

Serious & Conservative: Corporate offices and more formal types of businesses such as banks, government offices, and courts often use natural colours like beige or light grey combined with prominent wood-grain finishes in the modern office furniture to achieve a sophisticated look. These colours should be balanced with some colour highlights as they can also give the impression of being boring and dull.

Bright & Cheerful: Not all businesses benefit from indoor colours that are good for corporate businesses. In other offices, you need to look at the degree of seriousness of the business and choose colours appropriately. In general, the brighter the colours are, the less serious  the business is. You need to choose colours appropriate to the age of your clients, their cultural background and gender, and the type of business you are promoting.

For General Office Spaces: With general office space, you need to understand the messages of the colours so you can create the effect you want. Blues and greens will keep a calm atmosphere, but too much of these colours may decrease staff morale. Adding a small amount of red, orange or yellow somewhere in the space will increase the energy flow and enhance productivity. 

With too much red, aggression and anger may be the result, too much orange will create a social and talkative atmosphere, while too much yellow can cause anxiety and stress in some. Adding colours does not have to be a massive project. In some instances, the easiest way of injecting colour into the workplace may be through your office furniture. 

Let’s learn about different colours here…

When we talk about colours, they’re divided into warm and cool. Red, orange, and yellow, for example, are warm colours. Warm colours are known to be a good option to increase feelings of energy, cheerfulness and social interaction. However, if the colours are too harsh, occupants could feel anger and agitation. Remember that red room?

Colours like navy blue, dark green and burgundy give a message of control, responsibility, and confidence. If you want to instil a feeling of cleanliness like in a hospital or cafeteria, use white and for a touch of luxury and elegance.

Blue denotes honesty, loyalty, wisdom, conservatism, security and confidence. Green is calming, suggesting security, growth and money, and dark green is often used by corporate businesses to indicate wealth and prestige. Colours like navy blue, dark green and burgundy give a message of control, responsibility, and confidence. If you want to instil a feeling of cleanliness like in a hospital or cafeteria, use white and for a touch of luxury and elegance. Blue and purple, on the other hand, are cooler colours. Scientifically proven to increase focus, cool colours give off a soothing mood.

Here’s a breakdown of five popular colours:

  • Red: To evoke emotion and passion, incorporate red into your office workstation. This is great for spaces that involve physical activity. It’s the colour that will attract the most attention.

  • Blue: To get your team ticking off their to-do list, choose blue. It stimulates concentration and performance, keeping people calm.

  • Green: More relaxing, this colour is evoking a gentle feeling. Green is good for people who work long hours.

  • White: The most popular colour choice, white is easy to match with its surroundings and usually encourages an optimistic mood.

  • Yellow: To boost creativity, use yellow. It enhances concentration and flow.

Workstations

In workstations, your goal is to increase motivation and productivity. While warm colours can achieve this, you don’t want to overwhelm your employees. Consider warm colours for non-productive areas, like the reception or kitchen.

Consider how your current workstation is making your team feel. The link between colour and mood is important to understand. As leaders, we focus our attention on time-saving tools and new ways to boost productivity. But in fact, the solution could be right in front of us, on our furniture and walls.

If you’re unsure where to start, we can help. Finding the perfect colours to match your brand’s vision and personality is critical. It’s a simple method to boost motivation and inspiration in your office. We have hundreds of melamine, metal, screen fabric, chair fabric, and café-top colours. From neutral to mandarin and everything in between, there’s every colour under the corporate rainbow… almost.

To speak to the Perth office fitout specialists, call us on +61893591288 or contact us online.

How to accommodate different working styles in your office design?

Instead of fitting out the traditional office layout in which employees sit at a  desk all day, companies are embracing more flexible workspaces these days. You must consider the different personalities involved in the work when you manage an office. Providing employees with a diversity of workspace that matches their work style can bring higher productivity, morale, and retention. 

It is important to differentiate work styles and personalities. Some people like to work solo. They find it difficult to work with other people and can’t work well under direct supervision. They like to follow their ideas and see where it takes them. This is usually common in visionary and entrepreneurial personality types who enjoy an independent working style. You can find such people in creative fields such as writers who focus on their work or engineers who like problem-solving. 

Some prefer to be a part of a group. They are diplomatic and good communicators. They are usually found in relationship-based job roles. For example, HR managers and project managers have cooperative work-styles. They are organised, collaborative, and a good communicator. 

Activity-based Working Styles

Activity-based working styles means employees have different spaces to complete various tasks throughout the day and can choose when and how they work. Space should offer employees to work in a diverse setting away from their fixed desks. This might include common areas to connect with other teams, conference rooms to present new ideas, and quiet spaces to focus on. By analysing how people work, you can attribute certain spaces/office fitouts to such groups to achieve the greatest productivity levels. 

Quiet Spaces

Many employees require a quiet space to be productive. They can easily get distracted by having people around them or by hearing noises. In an open office environment, it is difficult for people to block distractions and focus on their work. Quiet spaces are ideal for detail-oriented employees to focus on complex work.

Collaboration Spaces

Employees who like being around other people won’t enjoy their work if they spend the whole day by themselves. Collaboration spaces are useful when you need to brainstorm ideas together with a team. You can easily create such space by adding round tables and placing them in the shared areas. 

Breakout Spaces

A comfortable workspace works a long way towards employee retention. Adding a few cozy chairs, comfortable bean bags, and a coffee machine will let your employees relax and take a break. These can also work well for informal meetings or casual conversations. 

By incorporating work style differences in your office design, you are more likely to  position your team and your company for innovation, growth, and sustainability. 

The Ultimate Office Fit-out Checklist

Your office is more than just a physical space, it is also a place where your employees work and clients may visit. Employees satisfied with their workplace surroundings are happier and display higher levels of productivity. The elements making up the environment of your office interior should be carefully crafted so they complement a variety of business situations and circumstances.

Any smart office fit-out is all about making the internal space aesthetically pleasing, uplifting, efficient and suitable for staff to work with confidence and efficiently. Working space is created by installing facilities, adding furniture, including team breakout areas, well designed meeting rooms, and quality Office workstation furniture.

The key to any successful office furniture fitout lies in planning. A well-planned office space creates a stress-free environment that both your staff and clients will appreciate. Undertaking a full office fitout project might seem like a daunting prospect, but it does not have to. By following this proven checklist of items below you are well on your way to creating a productive workplace. 

1. The Big Questions

Redoing the office fitout will affect your business for many years to come. Before making major decisions, you will need to make a thorough plan of where your business is going. First, you need to understand the primary reason for wanting a new workspace or else you will make the project a hot mess. Identifying the reasons for fitout ensures that the finished results meet your company’s needs. 

To do this effectively, list every outcome you want from your office fitout. Establish a team of staff, stakeholders, and decision-makers to decide on your project requirements and priorities. The team can pool together different ideas about work requirements, budgets, and deadlines.

Expansion – Reorganise your space to allow for when you need to add more people to your team. There is hardly anything more miserable than team members stuffed into cramped and overloaded office space because of poor planning. Maximise your office space to its full potential.

Boost morale and productivity – A shift in the office space will create a happy, inspired and productive team who feel valued by the company.

Improve the company’s image and reputation – A fresh and vibrant office will create an uplifting buzz. Everyone loves a new and updated working space over against  the old outdated space. 

Future Needs – Think of how your business will change over the next five years. Your current business values must adapt to any future changes that might come around.

2. Office Furniture

Furniture is a staple piece in any office fit-out project. The step is to decide if you will reuse your existing office furniture and fixtures or add new ones.


If you need to cut costs, do a current inventory of your existing furniture and search for high-quality furniture items. You can keep them if they fit the theme, space, design, and layout of your newly planned office fitout.

If you are purchasing new furniture, choose quality over price. There is nothing wrong with sticking to a budget, but if not careful you may end up purchasing poor quality items that will need constant replacement or repairs. 

Other questions to ask while purchasing office furniture:

• Is it functional for the required day to day work duties?

• What finishes or textiles can be added?

• What are the warranty terms offered?

3. Space Planning

Space planning is an exciting part of any office fit-out project. Whether you want to improve workflow, add more staff, or create a comfortable working environment, the space planner will meet your requirements.  

Many companies embrace flexible working space and considering your workflow, you can use hot desks, team tables, touchdown desks, and informal breakout areas to improve space utilisation. Your key staff must take responsibility in their area of workplace design and space planning.

Areas to consider when space planning:

• All open plan office areas – departments/teams 

• Meeting rooms and informal meeting areas

• Directors and managers offices 

• Reception area, visitor waiting 

• Breakout and refreshment areas 

• Conferencing facilities 

• Toilet facilities 

• Waste and recycling points 

4. 3D visuals

It is difficult for a client to visualise how their new office layout and design will look especially when the new design differs vastly from the existing. The last thing you want to do is waste money on an office fit out design which isn’t well received by your team in the end. That’s where with the advancement in technology that 3D visuals come in. 3D drawings and photo-realistic colour renders lets you see the final look of your office space before you spend a cent. In this stage, you can revise plans until you are happy with the new office design. 

5. Timeframe

You need to keep a realistic timeline for planning an office fit-out. It’s best to minimise the disruption to your business, customers and staff working there. Ask your fit-out company to minimise delays and disruptions while the commercial fit-out is being carried out. A credible office fitout company will highlight lead-in times and schedule everything to complete the furniture project on time.

6. Office Layout & Design

Woking in office interiors is an exciting part of any office fit-out project. The designer will have their own ideas but tell them your ideas (colour scheme, theme, style of furniture) for undertaking the office fitout.

The office layout should suit the work requirements of every staff. Some staff members need to work in private while some require team collaboration. Ensure the office layout supports flexibility for company growth to avoid refitting your office space in the future. After clarifying all these concepts, you will be in a good position to undertake your office fit-out project.

Other Important Questions to Ask

• Does your office design reflect your company’s brand values?

• Is your office partitioning adequate? Is it in the right places? Do you require more cellular spaces?

• How can you make better use of natural light?

• Do you need to add new furniture?

• Do you have adequate storage, is it the right type and is in the right location within the office?

• Does your reception look professional and welcoming?

7. Office Fitout Partner

A good office fitout company should be able to provide all the key services, such as project management, space planning, office design and decorating and furniture supply. It is wise to choose an office fitout partner that offers a full office fit-out solution as it is easy to deal with one point of contact than with multiple contractors.

Your office fitout is a substantial investment, and the significance of your chosen fitout partner failing to complete on time could be seriously disruptive and costly to your business. While choosing an office fitout, look at their track record of working in a project or an industry sector similar to yours. Check if they have the relevant insurance covers, references, and industry accreditations. Maintain a good relationship between the fitout partner and your in-house team as they will work together for the duration of your project which depending on its size could be anything from a few days to several weeks. 

8. Office Fit-out Budget

Depending on its scale, your office fitout could be among the larger investments, so it is important to budget the project costs effectively from the start.

Ask your office fitout company to provide you with a fully detailed quote to avoid any hidden costs. Partnering with a professional and experienced office fitout company will provide you with commercial security and reduce the likelihood of any unnecessary changes.

Note that even with the best pre-project planning, new ideas tend to emerge and get incorporated into the project. So it’s best to keep aside some budget for unforeseen changes. Include professional fees, IT infrastructure costs, furniture, and insurance within your budget.

9. Legal Requirements

Invest time and effort to create a safe and healthy workspace for your staff. This will also help avoid any potential legal issues that might arise in the future. 

Important considerations include:

• Ergonomic environments

• Sufficient working space

• Health and hygiene standards

• Legislation

We hope the above nine considerations was helpful to you. If you are after a complete turn-key office fitout in Perth , Melbourne or throughout Australia, Interia Systems has 30 years’ experience creating the ideal workspace from initial space planning, design to installation. To learn how we can help you, call at 1800 951 424 or email [email protected]

Office Design Trends of 2019

Concepts around contemporary office design have changed markedly overly the last few decades. While the earliest version of the open plan office started in the 1950’s, the idea has evolved far beyond having workers seated in rows under the watchful eye of a supervisor. Contemporary office design trends around office optimisation continue to evolve, incorporating ever more practical innovations to boost employee morale and wellness.

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