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Six Features for Modern Offices

Six Features for Modern Offices

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Building a house for someone is very different from building an office for a company. Whether you’re designing to spec, designing a rental space or even designing for your own company, there are different considerations for businesses than for people. Here are six modern features worth including when designing a business space.
Energy Efficiency
A large business building creates a large electricity bill. You can mitigate that by including energy efficient lighting right off the bat, but don’t forget to do a solar panel cost benefit analysis and look at other eco-friendly steps you can take to make your business more green. Not only can this lower your energy costs, it can create good press for your business and make the building more attractive to potential investors.
Mixed Uses
When you think of office design, you probably think of cubicles and open-plan offices, and you might be wondering which route will be better for your business. The truth is, of course, more complicated than that. It’s not clear what layout is best for productivity, and the truth is that you probably want a mix of both, or at the very least, some flexibility. Some people prefer a big open-plan work environment, while others will actually be more productive in a cubicle or an office of their own. Remember that your building will probably have mixed uses over its lifetime and design it with a certain amount of flexibility baked in.
Employee Features
But offices aren’t really built for businesses, they’re built for the people who work in those businesses, and you’d do well to keep that in mind when you’re designing your ideal workspaces. What features will your employees want or need? Parking, at a minimum, but other features like nice cafeteria, outdoor dining or a gym can be a real draw for employees.
Integrated Technology
No matter what business you’re in, you’re going to want to integrate technology in your office as much as possible. You might have an in-office network that everyone plugs into, or electronic white-boards for presentations and brainstorming. You will probably want to have an IT department to provide support, in a large company. At the very least you’ll want to be certain that everyone has internet access of some kind, and that your data is stored as securely as possible.
Physical and Digital Security
Security is a big issue for businesses. Buildings must be physically as secure as possible. The doors will need to be lockable, probably with a security desk and an alarm system of some kind. You may want to plan for security cameras and a system that brings footage from all those security cameras to a central office. On top of all that, you need to do what you can to make sure that the company’s data and networks are easy to secure. There’s no reason to make IT’s job even harder by forcing them to run new wiring or set up repeaters.
Aesthetics and Intangibles
There are also the less quantifiable benefits of design and buildings. Lots of windows can make a space feel open and airy, but also exposed. High ceilings make a room feel bigger than it is, but can make it harder to heat and cool. Does the building draw attention by its looks alone? That can be both a selling point and a detriment, depending on the context. Aesthetics and intangibles like appearance, location and history can have a huge impact, but one that is somewhat difficult to predict.
Of course there are countless other features to include, and it all depends on context to a certain degree. Different businesses have different needs, and will value different features, but that’s harder to plan for. Even if you’re building for your own company and you know exactly what you want, be sure to include some of these cutting-edge features that are useful for all businesses. That way, your building will be an asset with intrinsic, lasting value.

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