The way that your colleagues and staff use the office changes with the seasons. Therefore it’s vital that your fit out is designed with this in mind as we come into Summer. The key word here is ‘British’ rather than ‘Summer’. Over the course of a Summer in London you can encounter blistering heat, biblical rainstorms, howling wind, even the odd bout of hail! So how can you ensure that your office is set up to be a positive environment come what may?
The Summer may bring hopes of balmy temperatures and ‘no coat’ weather, but in all likelihood there will be more than a few days on which anoraks and umbrellas will abound! So where does all this stuff go? These are the minor details that should be thought about while planning an office fit out. Space for coats (that is not the backs of chairs) and wet weather gear and umbrellas means that the grime from outdoors will not be spread throughout the office and your staff will enjoy greater comfort.
Eternal Summer Colour
A decorative scheme that shares the positivity and vibrancy of the Summertime need not be floor to ceiling yellow! Different colour schemes can create an environment of positivity for different organisations. For some, the brand is key so reflect these colours and shapes in your design. For others, natural surroundings are the priority so look for living walls and optimise natural light. Or maybe creativity is the core of your business, so warm orange tones and vibrant art are ideal. Of course, you can just go for yellow if you like, we won’t judge!
Think about your Floors
The floor is the part of the office that will bear the brunt of the weather, whatever it may be! Rainy days will bring the grime from the London streets into your previously pristine space. Hot days can feel muggy even with air conditioning and floors can gather dusty dirt. So it’s vital to choose your flooring with care. Hardwearing floors such as carpet tiles and vinyl are popular choices, while some buildings enjoy original flooring that it is hard to ignore. Carpeting has the advantage of absorbency but is harder to clean than smooth surfaces. So think about practicality as well as aesthetics!
In a country with such a wide range of temperatures, cooling and heating systems to maintain an ambient temperature are a key utility. It’s hard to find a temperature that works across a varied office population, but the temperature that research suggests is ‘most productive’ is 22 degrees Celsius. Ideally, the control of your office temperature should have the scope to be localised. So for busy boardrooms, you can drop the room temperature without making the rest of the office freeze!
With weather such a hot topic in the UK, consider how valuable weather forecasting is when you plan the content of interactive screens and suchlike. Smart screens in reception, social and meeting areas are an extremely helpful tool and can communicate corporate information around the organisation. So allocating some time on screen to weather predictions is helpful to staff and visitors alike!
From torrential rain to Saharan heat, there are many weather conditions that can mean that your staff may avoid leaving the building during breaks or at lunchtime. This is why it’s vital for a well rounded office to provide social areas in which to take some time out or even have informal meetings or brainstorms. Mark these areas with natural colours and soft furnishings to provide a welcoming environment for your creative thinkers!
Strangely, the key to decorating an office in a way that is efficient whatever the weather outside, is to make the space feel somewhat season-less. With a consistency of space, temperature, colour and light, your office can become a haven for staff who may have to endure a battle with the elements on their way to work!