3 Myths About Office Design and Renovation Debunked
10 Jan 2022
Planning for an office design and renovation? From planning requirements and budgets, to shortlisting the right design and build partners, there are many factors to consider. Coupled with everchanging design trends, rising construction and material costs, and evolving needs of employees, the process can be daunting.
Before diving headfirst into your project, take note of these common misconceptions that may be holding you back from achieving a smooth workplace transformation.
Myth #1: Office Design Is Just About Aesthetics
Commercial interior design is not just a temporary fad that makes for a good picture on social media – it actually serves a bigger purpose and can make a real impact on people.
For starters, it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect your company brand and culture. A feature wall with your company logo displayed prominently at the reception area can create a powerful and lasting first impression on visitors and employees alike.
Purpose-led office design also helps to build culture. If you want a culture that focuses on creativity and innovation, incorporate inspiring taglines, art or even quiet zones into your workplace design. If you want to encourage a collaborative culture, make sure you provide spaces that allow people to gather and discuss.
A well-designed office also boosts employee productivity and satisfaction. Take the activity-based working (ABW) approach as an example. A workplace that adheres to this approach allocates different areas within the office for different activities and caters to different working styles.
This means an employee with an urgent deadline can go to a quiet zone to improve focus, while group projects are better expedited in a collaboration zone where ideas are shared. This gives employees more flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to decide when and where they work.
In implementing the ABW approach for The Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation Singapore (CRIS), we created an impactful arrival experience for employees and visitors alike through a central breakout hub, with an adjacent meeting suite and coffee bar to support different modes of work. To reflect the energy producer’s commitment to sustainability, we also incorporated biophilic elements such as wood finishes and live plants to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Myth #2: It’s Okay to Change My Mind Along the Way
Simply going with the flow and making impromptu decisions in office renovation and design is not recommended. Spontaneous changes tend to create major setbacks, incurring extra time, cost and effort. It may also affect the relationship between you and your design and build partners, especially if it delays the project schedule.
As a best practice, ensure all your stakeholders are in agreement with the design and construction plan before actual work begins. Include buffer time in your project schedule so that you can better respond to unforeseen delays and manage internal expectations.
When office design planning is done right from the start, you can focus your attention on more important details during the office renovation stage, such as the layout and design.
Myth #3: Designing an Eco-friendly Office is Expensive
Green offices are not just better for the environment – it’s also better for its occupants. Research has shown that green buildings have lower levels of particulates, bacteria and fungi, and people who work, play and live in them reported less headaches, skin irritation and fatigue.
If you think designing a green office is a costly affair, think again. A good workplace design partner will be able to suggest cost-effective ways to ensure that your office is climate-responsive, energy- and resource-efficient, and has a healthier indoor environment. In addition, the Singapore government has various funding and incentive programmes in place to encourage businesses to embrace sustainability.
By adopting the approach of “bringing the outdoors in” for the office design of Kering Singapore, we were able to support the company’s green office vision and demonstrate its commitment to improving the well-being of others. The office space is designed to maximise the flow of daylight into the workspace, while utilising energy-efficient lighting for the common areas. The colour palette and curated collection of eco-friendly furniture and furnishings are inspired by Kering’s emblem, the owl, and its natural habitat, the forest.
Not only does going green enhance the corporate branding of your company, it also makes good business sense. While a green office may take a longer period to recoup the initial design and construction costs, the energy, water and resource savings achieved in the long run usually outweigh the early investment cost.
Ready to embark on your office design and renovation journey with the right partner? Contact us to find out how we can help you to drive workplace transformation in Singapore and beyond.