As we’re all well aware, the past year has had a profound impact on the working lives of many people. In particular, companies have had to embrace new ways of working, such as remote working and socially distanced office spaces. And there’s no doubt that we’ll continue to see the effects of COVID-19 on office design in many years to come. So, how are architects designing office spaces of the future and what features might we be seeing soon?
There are limitless factors that influence interior design, particularly office design. We’ve seen health and social considerations rise in importance but the usual factors such as new technologies and style trends will always be at the forefront of innovative design.
The work that goes into designing office spaces is much the same for each architect, of course if the building itself is listed this can influence our process, but generally the stages of design stay the same.
At Western Building Consultants, our process includes complete support from concept to completion. We begin with the necessary consultations and meetings to define the design brief and the end-goal of the building project. We then move on to drawing up the designs and taking care of any additional requirements, such as measure surveys and planning permission. We are a one-stop-shop for your project, so we can provide the majority of services needed or recommend contractors we trust for anything outside of our expertise. We will organise and manage the project, fitting in where you need us to ensure effective communication and a hassle-free experience. Once the design is signed off, the build will begin according to a agreed timeline.
In recent years, virtual and augmented reality has made its way into a public-facing tool for entertainment, but it could soon be the norm for design too. Rather than just something used by the designers themselves, VR is now frequently used to show clients an entirely new, 360-degree view of their new space. This can also be a great way to ‘test-run’ any designs and spot potential problems that can’t be seen on paper.
Similar to VR, there are a number of other technologies that are becoming more widely accessible – 3D printers allow architects to create prototypes of their designs, enabling them to adjust and test time and time again.
Standing desks have always been on the sidelines waiting for their moment to shine, and with the rise of remote working, many people have turned to them to try and stay active. Standing desks can be great for wellbeing, reducing back pain and helping increase circulation but to incorporate standing desks into existing office design can be tricky. With careful thought and planning, standing desks can be an asset to the office without sticking out like a sore thumb. It’s likely that we’ll see them a lot more following the return of office-based working.
Features that support health and wellbeing are going to become more common even in the most basic of office spaces.
As mentioned above, the priority of wellness and happiness of workers is set to continue to be an integral part of future office design.
In the age of COVID-19, features such as air filtration systems are expected to be in demand. Not only does focusing on wellness help with employee’s trust in their employers, it can also positively impact productivity and reduce the number of those pesky office colds.
This is a term used to describe the change in how close workers are. Unlike the standard cubicles and tables for everyone to crowd around, we now have to consider whether there’s adequate space for social distancing measures. This act of reducing the concentration of people and furniture is a behavioural change the office design needs to support rather than hinder. This requires smart planning and flexibility of the workplace, especially in terms of being able to move around furniture and barriers that would traditionally keep people together.
With many people still unsure about whether they want to quit remote-working, employers are going to have to consider what they can have at the office that will encourage their workers to return.
Embracing new technologies such as 3D printers and AI will make the office indisposable. While it might be a long term investment, incorporating new technologies that can streamline processes can really benefit productivity and performance in the long-run.
When you think of the exciting new aspects of future technology, security is rarely mentioned, yet it is set to change drastically! With the introduction of high-tech offices, it won’t be long before having an office pass or key is a thing of the past.
Biometric access controls allow workers to enter the office through touch-free access points or fingerprint scans.
This added layer of protection can be hugely beneficial for offices worried about confidentiality and security. Biometric controls also double up as a new way for workers to clock in and out without even needing to think about it.
Through IOT and AI, we could soon see an increase in offices embracing smart buildings. Essentially, this means apps and devices can be connected to control aspects of the building such as temperature, lighting and sound controls—without even needing to be in the building!
Smart buildings can also be particularly useful for those looking to monitor energy usage and improve the energy efficiency of their office.
So, now that we’ve round-up the elements of offices we might be seeing in the near future, which one are you looking forward to the most?
If you’re looking to design your office, or update an existing one, we can help! Western Building Consultants have vast experience designing offices in Bath and surrounding areas, including master planning for commercial sites, project administration for offices, interior fit-outs, fire risk assessments, principal designer roles and refurbishments of offices in Bath. In addition to designing your office, we also offer dilapidations, building control advice, measured building surveys and CDM principal designer duties to help you successfully complete your commercial office project.
Get in touch with us today on 01225 789307 to talk to our friendly team or read our blog on how to brief an architect to help get you started.
Western were really professional, quick and went above and beyond to give us the designs we wanted as well as keeping us on track with our building plans. Thanks to James and all the team for the excellent work and affordable price.
Top notch service here from Paul Keegan who was super patient with us and when we finally got access for a building condition survey on our new premises, he went above and beyond the call of duty to get our report back to us over a weekend. Thanks WBC you came up trumps for us.
We want to say big thank you to western building consultants. We couldn’t be happier with everything they’ve done for us.
We are a small local building company that were looking for a similar sized company to work with us on many various projects from loft conversions and extensions to structural works of all sizes.
It’s been a relationship that’s worked great from day one. It’s been over a year now of working with western on at least a weekly basis. Whether its the office staff, architects or structural engineers they’ve been second to none. Always helpful and accommodating even throughout this pandemic which must of been a struggle.
I love that we can offer westerns services along side our own and the feed back we get from all of our customers when they’ve had contact with western is great.
In the 20 years I’ve been a builder this company is the best I’ve used and we will continue to use them for the next 20 years.
Tweedy Brothers Total Building Services
Exceptional service provided by Maria Simone; she incorporated as many of our requests as possible when designing a beautiful extension for us despite many limits and delays from the planning office. Her professional, thorough and friendly approach made us feel confident that we were in safe hands and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the team.
Have received a great service from Jo at Western Building Consultants so far. She is always very responsive, works extra hard for our tight timeline and kept me updated through out the process and was really quick to understand our project objective.
This is the third time I have worked with Western Building Consultants and as usual they have been a pleasure to work with. I dealt directly with Sam and Jo who did the Structural Calculations and the Drawings respectively for my residential to HMO conversion project. They were accommodating, engaging and professional.
I look forward to the next project!
I had a very positive experience with Western Building Consultants right from the start with requesting a quote from Ebony through to the delivery from Jo. Jo delivered exactly what i needed to a very good standard so much so that i’ve already booked in for another job. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend WBC to others.
Our journey with Western Building consultancy so far has been fantastic! Jo’s patience and ability to understand my scribbles and ridiculous ideas made designing our venture fun instead of daunting. Communication is always prompt, professional and most importantly sincere. I’m really looking forward to how the rest of our project progresses!
I have enjoyed working with Western Building Consultants on a complicated project for about 4 years now. During that time they have without fail given me a high level of customer service, being welcoming, responsive and competent.
As a customer I particularly appreciate that WBC are value for money. They also stick to their quotes and don’t add a lot of extras. Help and advice is always forthcoming generally at no extra charge.
Thank you so much for all your advice today. That was so very helpful, not only with the structure of the property but especially with your comments about the whole set up. I can see that we were within a gnat’s whisker of entering a complete can of worms… Thank you so much for saving us from making a stupid mistake.
Thanks to you both your help in this matter – you were both extremely efficient and accommodating (more than I can say about other companies I contacted).
Your professionalism has been invaluable, thank you.
Thank you for your extremely comprehensive report. It will be of immense help when deciding on the works we would like to carry out on the property. We have decided to take your advice and move into the property and live in it for a while to assess our requirements.
Thank you for your prompt service, could not have asked or expected more. I note your comments and in an ideal world everything would have been 1.
Will not hesitate to recommend you, and will make a point of letting the estate agent know this too.
I just wanted to say thank you very much for your thorough and clear report. It is written in an informative and jargon free way which has made a pretty hefty document ultimately digestible and easy to understand.
Hello Kerry, Many thanks for the report and invoice receipt.
Please pass on my thanks to Paul for the survey. In my working life, I read many stock survey reports – I work with social housing providers to set up their asset management strategies – and this was one of the clearest and most comprehensive I’ve seen.
Dear Paul, Thank you so much for your fast response and the detail in your report is very very good and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your efforts.
Many thanks for your swift and thorough return of this report, we so appreciate you getting this back to us on such a tight turn around this week, and on the first read it seems extremely clear and comprehensive.
Hi Kerry / Paul, Thanks for sending the survey across.
I’d also like to thank you for your excellent service and professionalism. I considered many surveyors before choosing to proceed with you and it’s clear that I made the right choice. I won’t hesitate to recommend you to family, friends and colleagues in the future.
“We have commissioned three building surveys from WBC until we found the house that was right for us and all thanks to you”
I never expected so much detail, the report was really great and there were things I never even considered, even being in the construction trade
The report was brilliant and went into so much detail, having had reports from other surveyors in the past this report was far superior
“Highly recommended. Good customer service over the phone and by email. Very quick: from the initial phone call booking a site visit to me receiving the calculations took only 8 days.”
“We used James Dean …Western Building Consultants as an architect. Very good”
“Good surveyors & structural engineers that we used were www.westernbuildingconsultants.com
We were really happy with them, they came highly recommended by several people”
“Excellent service and help from the initial design/planning stage through to the end of all works”
“I can recommend Western Building Consultants. They are great on structural calculations, advice and technical drawings to whatever extent you want. We used them for advice and calcs for taking out our main load bearing wall downstairs. They were recommended several times over when we started looking.”
“Superb, professional, efficient, friendly, positive”