Over 30 years in business, Mikomax Smart Office has developed thousands of office space designs for project owners across the globe. The decades of experience in this department has provided deep insights into how far the demands and needs of employees for office space arrangement and fit-out have evolved. The last decade champions a veritable Cult of the Employee and its Health. Requirements for the work environment have been piling up and what is more important, employees are not shy to define them aloud. The modern employee requires a diversified office space with areas dedicated to a variety of jobs with the ambiance which caters to mental comfort and solutions that will stave off fatigue and degradation of physical health on 8-hour work shifts in front of computer screens. What is the list of frequent demands of modern employees for office spaces and how to meet them?
DYNAMIC WORK – SIT & STAND
Over hundreds of millennia, the human body has evolved to be in motion, to walk, run and hunt with efficiency. The modern reality of life is but a blink of the eye compared to that period, but it has displaced standing in favor of sedentary work. It is nearly impossible to eliminate this. However, the consequences of any sedentary lifestyle have mobilised people to seek some change. For the last 20 years, cancer, traffic accidents and sedentary life have been ranked as top health hazards.
Manufacturers of office furniture have been aware of the need to optimise human motion at work; hence, the thousands of desks on the market with power height adjustment. Where is the problem, then? Employees often are not even aware of such convenience and ergonomic features and there is a great chunk who are aware of them, but still do not use them. Mikomax Smart Office
completed a cycle of interviews with users of office spaces with those and other convenience features and found out why, instead of working upright, people still prefer to sit. The thing is that no power height adjustment of the desktop would prompt workers to change their posture. Lifting of the desktop takes too long; it often happens that power-adjustable desks are simply not plugged to the mains, or the corporate culture lacks the custom of standing work. The conclusions are straightforward: employees need to make their staff aware of the problem and motivate them to work upright. First, however, employees need to provide facilities for standing work. What can help is proper educational content... or desks with manual height adjustment. The Red Dot Award-winning Stand Up desk for sit & stand work does not require mains power to work. It can be repositioned between sitting and standing posture in a flash. It is also available in multiple color options. All of this makes the product as userfriendly as possible.
CHAINED TO THE DESK: MORE STRESS, LESS EFFICIENCY
Long hours of work before a computer screen can take a heavy toll on the intellect, emotions, and physiology. Sometimes all it takes is to change the environment to let the brain ‘catch a fresh breath’ and return to work rejuvenated. More often than not, the interviews Mikomax Smart Office carries out at corporations canvassed for projects feature complaints from employees about how open spaces simply does not let them change the work environment. Those people spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, at the same desks. Repetition and immobility reduce productivity; employees are exhausted, feel awkward and get a sense that their comfort is very far on the list of priorities of the employer. The chaos which overwhelms office work also affects work efficiency, as they report: co-workers conversing too loud, the unending jingling of mobile and stationary phones, people walking in and out incessantly, and the murmur and background noise from adjacent rooms. According to Ipsos surveys, these factors make an average employee lose as much as 90 minutes of work efficiency over an 8 hour shift, with a loss of focus down by 66%.
How to tackle this in an open space office setting? Conversion and relocation are the first ideas which come to mind, but they take a lot of time and money. It is a great idea to consider sound-proof solutions for office places. In situations like this, Mikomax Smart Office usually favours acoustic wallt to build spaces for standalone work and relax without any need of renovations. However, most popular solutions from Mikomax Smart Office align with the hush- Work: a mobile acoustic pod dedicated to focused one-man work and provided with a desktop with manual height adjustment. With the hushWork units, employees can choose where they want to do their job and enjoy greatly reduced ambient noise. The high sound-insulating performance of the hushWork provides a deep sense of comfort to the occupants and the people around the pod. Everyone feels better and enjoy higher productivity.
PHONE CALLS: ZERO PRIVACY IS THE ENEMY OF EVERY EMPLOYEE
Important business calls, video conferences and private conversations over the phone deserve and require a quiet ambiance. According to the surveys by YouGov, as much as 31% of office employees feel awkward during phone calls at the office and fail to express their mind in fear of criticism from co workers. Calls in foreign languages or business negotiations amidst of other people at the office are not just inconvenient; they too often fall short of their objectives. Employees tend to be distracted and feel uncomfortable, losing focus on the other side of the call or conversation.
The phone is an office work essential of today. The comfort and convenience of employees during phone calls should be prioritized. Here, office phone booths come to the rescue. With a footprint of merely 1 square meter, they can fit perfectly where there is little office room to spare. In recent years, most office fit-out projects from Mikomax Smart Office featured proprietary phone booths, the hushPhone. When following up on-site of a completed office fit-out project, the feedback to Mikomax Smart Office is always the same: the staff cannot imagine work without a dedicated, sound-insulated room for phone calls. The biggest advantages of the hushPhone reported in the feedbacks include privacy, quiet, and convenience of videoconferencing with the included laptop shelf.
THERE’S NO ROOM FOR A MEETING
Estimates say that as the open space offices have been evolving, the number of faceto- face meetings has dropped by an astonishing 70%. Employees rather e-mail or call their other parties, be they co-workers or people external to the company. As a consequence, the sedentary life has been entrenched with fewer steps to walk. Socializing at the office is practically dying, while it is the building block of the sense of belonging and satisfaction from work. What has happened? In a traditional open space office setting, a conference room is usually the only room provided for working in groups and meetings; hence, employees tend to complain that no there is no room for formal or informal meetings in small groups or teams. This does not favor the effectiveness or efficiency of office space: a conference room occupies a large floor area and can only be used by a single team at a time. What to do without any room to enclose another conference room, or the time and/or money to rearrange the premises completely? Here, acoustic pods come to save the day. Again. Available in a variety of sizes expressed in the number of occupants, these units are mobile and can be easily relocated as needed; what’s key here is that they can revolutionize any office space for the better in just one day. At the Mikomax HQ, traditional conference rooms have been completely abandoned and replaced with the hushMeet pods. The staff at Mikomax can freely gather for formal and informal meetings and have plenty of rooms to choose from. Mikomax Smart Office carries five types of hushMeet pods, each different in size and form. Each hushMeet pod is mobile and sound-proofed to keep the conversations private and free from ambient noise.
MEET THE EMPLOYEES’ DEMANDS, FULFIL YOUR BUSINESS PLANS
Conversion of office space to meet the different needs of the staff does not require high investment costs or a lot or labor. It is key to consider and understand what the employees need. What are their work dynamics? How can you improve their satisfaction from the office space? Providing the staff with pods dedicated to one-man work, meetings or phone or video calls will improve the aesthetic value of office space, work efficiency at the location, and the satisfaction of the staff. With more than the option to choose from and work in and a sense of privacy, the employees will enjoy peace of mind, a factor that cannot be overestimated.
Source: Mikomax Smart Office