How to Escape the Noise of an Open Workspace

We know why you came to this page: Your open office is too loud. Fortunately, as an employer, you have the power to change your situation. Instead of finding out how to block out office noise or concentrate in a noisy office, you can address the problem itself. With just a few changes in your office’s layout, you can increase productivity, morale and concentration. Try some of the open office plan noise reduction strategies below.

1.) Add White Noise

You would think that adding more sound to your noisy space would make your problem worse. But the real issue lies in the type of noise your employees hear, not how much. Our brains try to understand background speech even when we don’t realize it. As a result, we find ourselves more distracted without always understanding why. White noise covers up speech noises throughout the office and lets you concentrate on work.

2.) Set Up Noise-Absorbing Decor

Sound-absorbing decor goes far beyond acoustic panels, and even offices on tight budgets can afford some of it. Soft materials like fabric block noise better than hard surfaces. Try adding couches, chairs, and rugs to lessen the impact of your office’s sounds. Plants also have noise-absorbing properties that help you concentrate. Large and leafy varieties block sounds most effectively.

3.) Change Your Office Layout

By separating areas of noise, you can ensure that your employees only hear what they need to hear. Place teams that work together often in desk clusters separated by noise-absorbing furniture. You can also try moving loud equipment like printers, copy machines, and paper shredders to a different room or an isolated corner. Keep working spaces away from noisy areas of the building, such as elevators.

4.) Add Dividers

Bring the benefits of cubicle spaces to your open office with the use of partitions. You don’t have to close your employees in when you use dividers in your workspace. Divide clusters of desks with your partitions, or choose dividers with see-through elements. Even half-dividers can make a big difference, especially if they have a sound-absorbing material.

5.) Look Above and Below

Sound travels through all areas of your workplace, not just the main floor. Consider installing floor or ceiling components made to block noise. You could use free-hanging ceiling units, acoustic tiles or an affordable carpet. Some types of flooring even have the express purpose of absorbing sounds.

6.) Create Separate Spaces with SnapCab® Pods

Offering distinct spaces for loudness and quiet will keep your main office floor at a reasonable sound level. Create break rooms where your employees can socialize in their free time or meeting spaces for deep work. For the best results, designate both quiet and loud zones to keep noise under control.

If you don’t have the money to spare to build a new room, you still have an affordable option. The SnapCab Pod acts as a separate space from the rest of your office. It offers many of the amenities of a new room in a modular package. Learn more about our Pods by checking out our catalog or getting in touch online.

Your Complete Guide to Coworking

Working remotely is the dream for nearly three-fourths of working Americans — until it isn’t.

Wearing what you want. Avoiding office politics. A morning commute consisting of walking from your desk to the fridge to grab a glass of orange juice. Working from a home office often conjures this breezy picture, complete with a distraction-free environment that allows you to get done what you want, how you want it — not waiting in 45 minutes of freeway traffic only to be confined to a cubicle.

Yet working from home is not without its costs.

As the almost four million freelancers, entrepreneurs, part-and-full-time remote workers in the country know, there are some just some things about an office environment you can’t replace. From the conversations and camaraderie that crop up to the sense of purpose that comes with stepping into an office, what remote working holds in flexibility, it often lacks in fellowship.

That’s where coworking steps in.

What Is Coworking?

What is co working

Coworking, or office sharing, is an emerging workplace trend that aims to bridge the office gap for full- and part-time remote workers.

They are collaborative workspaces where individuals buy memberships to gain access and use a workspace, similar to a gym. Once you’ve joined, you’ll find yourself in the midst of other remote or freelance professionals with an itch for office energy yet each doing their own thing — the best of both work worlds. With membership in-hand, you head to your coworking space when you want, as much as you want, so long as you pay the fees.

Also like a gym, these memberships can be monthly or in some cases even daily. Most coworking spaces will follow one of two models — members can adopt to purchase their own desk, private and reserved exclusively for them, or they can subscribe for a general membership allowing them to work at any desk, table or area for the day that’s open and to their liking.

Collaborative workspaces can also come with a range of amenities to make the environment as close to a standard office as possible, including:

  • WiFi
  • Printers and scanners, plus other office supplies
  • Meeting rooms
  • Coffee stations
  • Snack bars
  • Kitchens or kitchenettes
  • Recreation areas or lounges
  • Community networking events

More Than a Home Office

Combining the sociability of a traditional workplace with the productivity and versatility those working from home cherish, coworking represents a new frontier in modern office spaces.

By the end of 2018, millions of people will be members of a coworking office space. The most-cited reason for joining? The desire to work independently and maintain a healthier work-life balance yet still interact with others and share a sense of community. Home offices simply can’t curate this.

Trends also forecast that more people than ever will be working remotely in the upcoming decade. Some estimates put remote-working participant numbers to rival those of at full-time, fixed office locations as soon as 2025. Coworking spaces are picking up steam worldwide, too. Currently, there over half of all countries have collaborative workspace options and networks, from monthly, full-access memberships to by-the-hour, as-needed hot desking.

All this points to an exciting time for those who can embrace collaborative office spaces. Coworking versus a home office shares the same principles — to lend workers mobility, productivity and a greater sense of autonomy. The former, however, doesn’t sacrifice that all-important human connection in the process.

Why Are Shared Work Spaces Trending?

There are many factors that, once interwoven, created the right environment for coworking spaces to flourish.

1. Mobile Technology

Technology is the linchpin allowing work beyond the standard office.

mobile technology

At the most basic level, hardware like laptops, tablets and smartphones make remote employees easily plugged-in and accessible, providing the toolkit for outfitting out-of-office productivity. Yet just as important are the advancements in software and apps that turned work borderless. Consider the following:

  • The Cloud: The Cloud has revolutionized remote work, making it possible for employees, freelancers and self-starters to connect to specific networks, run programs, access files and create or edit documents regardless of location.
  • Communication platforms: Digital communication tools — from instant messaging and email to mobile voice and video-over-Internet conferencing — can all be housed on a single platform. Remote and in-house employees access the same interface for the vast majority of their communication needs, sometimes accessing the information or people they need faster than in the office.
  • Document-sharing suites: Centralized, cloud-based document repositories make everyone’s lives easier. Workers can access any document required from organized folders available a few clicks away.
  • Project-management software: Decentralized project-management platforms mean managers can assign tasks and employees can log progress in one digital place. Workers can manage status updates, build calendars, follow deadlines and track benchmarks, all without ever having to meet in person.

These are the very tools needed to connect workforces across borders, conduct virtual meetings and complete project and task workflows — the bread and butter of business operations.

2. The Rise of Independent Workers and the Gig Economy

Remote jobs have only solidified their place as a legitimate career path in recent years. Attitudes about them are shifting, both for employees desiring greater work-life balance and companies looking to attract top talent.

The growing amount of remote, home-based or freelance workers has helped, too. What was once a rarity for a handful of niche telemarketing positions now extends across industries:

  • Over 70 percent of today’s nearly 3.9 million part and full-time remote workers have gone remote in the last four years
  • More than 23 percent of home-based workers work for companies that are also fully remote, without a centralized “home” office
  • Remote gig economy and freelancing are also on the rise. Recent surveys show that nearly one-third of Americans, or approximately 57 million people, now monetize their “side hustles,” participating in part-time freelancing gigs to supplement income or help turn their passions into professions.
  • Coworking spaces and office sharing businesses have grown nearly 200 percent in the last five years, with over 14,000 available locations worldwide.

3. Business Cost Savings

Freelancers and remote workers aren’t the only ones using coworking spaces. From fresh startups to multi-national corporations like IBM, Uber and Salesforce, more and more established enterprises are jumping on the coworking office bandwagon.

They’re saving serious money by doing so. Commercial real estate prices in many parts of the country sit at record highs, making monthly rent unfeasible for many operations — and down payments an outright fantasy.

business cost savings

Coworking spaces and shared offices offer a cost-effective alternative. Research shows that coworking memberships — both for private offices or for unreserved hot desks — stand to save organizations the following compared to office leasing:

  • Startups and small businesses with less than a dozen employees can save up to $2,700 a month through coworking
  • Overhead costs are virtually eliminated, including expenses like utilities, maintenance and space purchased for employee parking
  • By 2020, 50 percent of large companies will sponsor some form of shared workspaces for their remote workforce

Pros and Cons of Coworking

Those interested in coworking and office sharing have a few key considerations to review. Weighing shared workspace benefits with drawbacks will help individuals and enterprises alike make the right call on this unique kind of environment.

1. Pros of Coworking

Some of the most common benefits of shared office space include the following:

  • Flexibility: Go in when you want. Stay home when you want. Shared office spaces give you back control of your work time and spatial preferences, as well as curates a healthier sense of work-life balance.
  • Worker happiness: Nearly 90 percent of remote employees with a coworking membership report being happier when at their shared workspaces.
  • Employee engagement: Studies also show 84 percent of coworking participants are more motivated and engaged at work, variables that reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.
  • Diverse networking affordances: The very nature of coworking spaces goes hand-in-hand with professional networking opportunities. They’re literally designed to encourage interactions. What’s more, everyone has indicated their interest in meeting others just by signing up for a membership. This means easier connections in an organic setting, the ideal recipe for authentic networking.
  • Knowledge sharing: Collaborative workspaces are filled with freelancers, entrepreneurs, full- and part-time employees across dozens of industries. From creative to technical talent, you’ll benefit from rubbing elbows with people in vastly different roles than you — and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.
  • Community: Perhaps most importantly, the benefits of a shared office space lies in its sense of connection. Working from home can be isolating. When you head to a shared space, you’re immersed in a group of like-minded professionals, each working toward individual goals. The communal buzz is palpable.

2. Cons of Coworking

Like any work environment, though, coworking spaces come with their fair share of potential downsides.

  • Poor Internet connection: Signal interference is the most common culprit behind slow coworking WiFi. With so many people pulling from the networks, your laptop and smartphone must continually resend input messages to complete a task, leading to frustrating lag times.
  • Lack of privacy: Coworking spaces are, by their nature, communal. They aim to pack an eclectic office feel into a hyper-efficient amount of space. Yet some people may find it too uncomfortable to share desks and tables or have their workstation surrounded by ceaseless activity. This is especially true if the shared office is at capacity, making the lack of privacy that much more apparent.
  • Noise: Like many of today’s open-concept offices and floor plans, collaborative workspaces can get loud. Without a sound-reducing solution, everything from in-person conversations to phone calls and video conferences can be difficult, if not uncourteous to anyone on the other end of the line. Plus, you still have to work in this environment, a difficult undertaking if noise keeps distracting you.

What Are the Costs of Shared Office Spaces?

costs of co working

Coworking membership prices will vary. They’ll be influenced by the very same things that set commercial and residential rental listings:

  • Location, location, location: You’ve heard the mantra before for a reason. The most critical variable in property values will be its location. A desk at the coworking loft in the heart of downtown’s trendiest neighborhood will cost more than the one five miles away, tucked into a quieter suburban corner.
  • Area real estate market: The supply and demand of the local property market will also affect coworking space membership costs. If real estate is hot, so, too, are the prices to occupy it. That will likely be reflected in your membership fee.
  • Workspace type: Hot desking will be the most cost-effective choice for freelancers and remote workers interested in collaborative workspaces, followed by a single, reserved desk. For those interested in further privacy, some coworking spaces offer cubicles or even offices you buy exclusive rights to use.
  • Amenities: Some shared offices will include coffee, snacks and maybe even a Friday beer keg as part of your membership. Others will charge for these amenities a-la-carte style, which you’ll need to calculate.

On average, a coworking monthly membership cost for an unreserved hot desk in the U.S. is $200 to $450. A reserved desk at a shared office space will cost $400 to $575, while a single private office runs between $500 and $1,100 a month.

To truly assess if a coworking space is worth it, try one out. It’s not uncommon for companies or landlords who own collaborative office spaces to give prospective customers a free trial, usually in the form of a day or week pass.

Ideal Set-Up for a Coworking Environment

The ideal setup for a coworking office space is one that balances productivity with privacy, flexibility with feasibility. But most of all, it prioritizes the individual’s choice.

This choice-first office design comes down to a mix of furniture and fixtures, configured to produce a work environment where the space doesn’t feel overcrowded or overstimulating, and individuals can achieve tasks without feeling shut away or isolated. Coworking spaces can set this up through the following:

1. Mix of Workstations

A mix of workstations is the first way to set up the ideal coworking office. From individual desks to tables, benches, bar seating and even couches, a little diversity in workstations goes a long way.

Not only does it align with the different membership models, but it lets members select the seating and surface types most comfortable for the day’s priorities. They aren’t confined to a static desk or hidden away in a huge, immobile cubicle.

2. Break-Out Areas

Similar to a range of workstations, the best coworking spaces are those with a range of environments themselves. Think designated places for group work, dedicated places for individual productivity and dedicated places for rest, where members can hit the pause button and let their brains momentarily unwind.

SnapCab’s® line of Pods offers a unique workspace solution in this regard. With three different sizes, they’re designed to deliver the exact kind of spatial differentiation a desirable coworking office needs.

  • Pod S is perfect for standalone workstations or sound-absorbing, individual work booths
  • Pod M fits two to four people comfortably, great for small meetings, calls and consultations
  • Pod L has room for up to six individuals, an optimal choice for meeting rooms or even as a private member office

3. Mobile Furniture

Mobile furniture maintains the flexibility and adaptability so at the heart of the modern coworking office. Each of our Pods is portable and reconfigurable, with easy assembly that’s meant to be moved around as needed. You design them as you like then wheel them into place — literally.

4. Outfitted Technology

Last but not least, shared workspaces today must come outfitted with contemporary technology. Otherwise, they’re short-selling their members, making even the most routine office operations like a video conference call impossible.

SnapCab Portals are an innovative office-tech solution that integrates multi-media walls with whiteboards. They come with a customizable technology panel as well, meaning other digital and electronic tools can be installed and synced with the Portal wall. For coworking office spaces where collaboration is a premium and technology connecting remote workers pivotal, few solutions are more prime.

Contact SnapCab to Get Started on the Perfect Collaborative Coworking Office Space

At SnapCab, we produce modern office spatial products that align with the spirit and innovation of coworking spaces.

Like shared offices, we saw a growing need for workplaces to meet the functional and aesthetic demands of today’s workforce. Through our Pods and Portals, we’re reimagining what tomorrow’s office can be — and what its employees can accomplish.

Contact a SnapCab representative to book a design session or hear more about our office-spatial products. We can’t wait to bring your coworking vision to life. 

Contact SnapCab

In Defense of Open Workspaces

Thanks to a study published by Harvard researchers this past July, open offices are again a hot topic. Writers already discussed these workspace plans all the time, but the research results added even more fuel to the fire. So, what did the study say that caused so much controversy? It found that open offices decreased face-to-face interaction instead of improving it. Enter the hot takes on both sides.

What impact does this conversation have on your decisions as a workspace owner? It turns out that this issue is more nuanced than “why open offices are good” vs. “why open offices are bad.”

We’re here to set the record straight.

The Benefits of an Open Office Design

Let’s start with the reasons why people advocate for open workspaces. Open office plan advantages include:

  • Affordability: When you have a tight budget, an open office costs less than a traditional cubicle farm. You can rent just about any large space and convert it to an open plan.
  • Morale: Working out of a cubicle or personal office can get drab and lonely. An open office lets your employees see their coworkers instead of a gray wall.
  • Collaboration: If your work involves a lot of idea sharing, having everyone in the same space makes it easier to complete projects together.

Common Criticisms of Open Offices

However, not everyone enjoys this workspace concept. They cite reasons like lack of privacy, distractions and bad employee behavior. With the release of the Harvard study, these critics feel vindicated. But many would argue that these issues don’t have a direct link to the area plan itself. The study doesn’t necessarily prove this connection, either.

When you read any study, you need to understand it in the context of the entire field. The Harvard research was the very first to look at face-to-face interaction in an open office. That means that you have no other data on the subject. While the authors put a lot of work into their research design, no study can prove anything on its own. In other words, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet.

Make the Pros of Open Office Environments Outweigh the Cons

The critics of open offices have valid concerns, but you can’t link them to the spaces themselves. In fact, many of their reasons have to do with the employees and employer. Think about it — the employer is responsible for creating a comfortable space. Nobody enjoys getting crowded together, whether they work in a cubicle or an open office. And the employees themselves are accountable for their behavior. A conscientious employer will balance privacy and openness and discipline harassment.

In other words, the problem isn’t the plan — it’s the workplace. If you add separate private spaces like SnapCab® Pods, your employees can escape to a quiet place. Following a no-tolerance harassment policy can protect employees from bad eggs. Design your open space well, and you’ll reap the benefits. You don’t have to do it alone, either. Book a free design session with us, and we’ll help you create a productive open office.

Meeting Pods for Open Offices

Open office plans help your company save money and encourage collaboration among your employees. But if you don’t have a separate private space for meetings, your employees can’t do their best work. We designed the SnapCab® Pod to enhance open spaces like yours. It gives you a private office booth that moves to wherever you want it.

Your Personal Office Booth

The SnapCab Pod is your very own modular space. Its three sizes can hold one to two, two to four, or four to six people, making it perfect for smaller meetings. Turn your SnapCab Pod S into an office phone Pod, or use the SnapCab Pod L as the ideal conference space. Choose from top-quality materials such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass and acoustic panels to make your Pod fit your needs and budget. Use the mounted casters to roll your Pod anywhere, anytime.

The Perks of SnapCab Meeting Pods

When you add a SnapCab Pod to your office, you don’t have to compromise between privacy and the benefits of an open workspace. Enjoy features such as:

  • Fast and easy installation: You don’t have the time or money to deal with costly and lengthy renovations. The modular parts and plug-and-play design make setup a — forgive the pun — snap. Every component pieces together flawlessly to get it ready for use in no time.
  • Sound absorption: Thanks to the top-notch seals, ventilation fan, and optional acoustic wall panels, you get a virtually soundproof office Pod. The materials and construction minimize outside sound, so you can focus on what’s important.
  • Customization whenever you want: From the very beginning, we let you design your Pod the way you like. We offer both affordable and deluxe materials to help you stay within budget. Swap out new panels at any time when you want to make an upgrade or change.
  • Plug-and-play functionality: Every Pod comes with a power bar that includes three 110v AC outlets and two USB charging ports. No need for an electrician to hook up your Pod — just plug it into an outlet like any other device.
  • Ultimate comfort: The Pod’s amenities make it feel like a full room. Dimmable lights, a ventilation fan, and carpet keep you comfortable, not claustrophobic. A motion sensor turns the lighting and fan on whenever you enter your custom office booth.
  • Optional built-in furniture: You don’t have to look around for seating and tables that fit your Pod. Ask us to add seating or tables, and we’ll add perfectly sized ones to your order.

Need More Information? How About a No-Obligation Quote?

Interested in adding a SnapCab Pod to your open office space? Let’s have a chat. You can call our design sessions a “Q&A” or a “back-and-forth.” We let you control the conversation— tell us what you want, and we’ll let you know if we can make it happen. During a free design session, we’ll talk about:

  • Your specifications and design vision
  • Your personalization choices
  • Your selection of materials and finishes

What are you waiting for? Get in touch today. We promise we don’t bite.

Where Do I Fit in the Elevator Interior Process?

It’s not every day you need a new elevator cab interior, one complete with panels, ceilings and finishes customized to your liking and enhancing your building’s aesthetic.

At SnapCab®, we get that. We field questions from building managers to commissioned architects alike who are refurbishing and engineering their building’s cabs. They’re looking for interiors that are on-brand, convenient to install and compliant, adhering to the rigid weight, size and material requirements of area building codes.

Ordering an elevator design is filled with concerns like these, and an elevator interior company should have the solutions.

We’re breaking down the three primary stages that bring an elevator interior from inception to operation — design, order and installation. We’ll explore how the right elevator cab design company connects the dots between those stages and their key players, ensuring you know where you fit in the interior process, have your questions answered and are on your way to a custom cab.

 

Who Is Involved in the Elevator Interior Design Process?

First things first — who is involved in the design or redesign of an elevator’s wall panels, ceiling, and rails, and where do I fit in?

SnapCab Works with a hanful of primary parties

SnapCab works with a handful of primary parties to complete every elevator interior ordered smoothly and seamlessly. With more than 15,000 elevator interiors on our resume, we’ve helped design, fabricate and install original panel models to bring these customers’ visions to life.

After all, elevators don’t just lift people between floors. They draw the eye, hold attention, enhance your businesses’ brand, brighten a space, convey an atmosphere and act as a portal between where customers, visitors and guests start, then get where they’re going — all within your walls.

To see this to fruition, SnapCab helps weave many individuals’ insights and expertise together to curate an elevator interior ideal for your space. Here are six of them.

1. Building Owner (BO)

Building owners have many responsibilities when it comes to elevator interior remodeling or designing.

They provide overall decision making and direction on the look and feel of the interior design, as well as sizing and other timeline stipulations or project benchmarks. Ideally, that design matches a budget they’ve set and accounts for the various materials, manufacturing, transportation and on-site installation of the cab model, with a little wiggle room in the event of a change order.

BOs often approach SnapCab with interior elevator design ideas or remodeling needs in hand but no partner to translate it onto paper. Many require guidance to determine the exact elevator interior materials conducive and compliant to their vision, plus someone to help conduct site reviews, write proposals and negotiate installation vendor or contractor agreements. SnapCab can help BOs do all this, and more.

2. Property Manager (PM)

Property managers ensure elevators are running smoothly. This is one of their key domains — the daily oversight and management of these mechanisms, alongside the general appearance, cleanliness, functionality and more of elevators under their helms.

Most property managers deal with elevators when they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to. Tenants may file complaints or building guests could report that an elevator isn’t operational. It then falls on PMs to reach out to elevator maintenance companies or call a technician to fix the problem, overseeing the repair until resolution.

When it comes to new or refurbished elevator interiors, PMs lend key insights into the everyday usage and functionality of interiors. SnapCab helps ensure any PMs are involved in early consultations, where these usage insights become practical knowledge on what kinds of materials will be most durable, most compliant and most convenient to maintain during peak usage and conditions.

3. Elevator Interior Designer/Architect

SnapCab is routinely approached by architects, commissioned by contractors, PMs or BOs on the lookout for a one-stop elevator interior resource. We assist in making your professional designs feasible. This is accomplished through our state-of-the-art industry showroom, one-on-one design consultations, a catalog of wall panel designs and materials for architects and designers to get their hands and eyes on, all to make a more informed decision.

4. Elevator Consultant

Elevator consultants step into the fold to produce detailed, client and building elevator specs for commissioned cab interiors.

Elevator Consultants

Their knowledge covers a range of regulatory, safety and security points essential for an individual cab and lift to be up to code. This means anything from detailing safe engineering and mechanical components to testing elevator efficiency and cab capacities. Elevator consultants are also responsible for ensuring the actual elevator operations are in accordance with BOs’ and PMs’ building needs, as well as interior designers’ aesthetic requests. Once harmonized, you have an elevator with interior panels, ceilings and finishes that will run safe and secure.

Elevator consultants are hired and work on behalf of BOs. They assist PMs in the technical operations and security of whole elevator vertical systems, lending the sort of system-wide elevator expertise the others in the elevator interior design process may have technical blind spots to.

5. Elevator Maintenance Company (EMC)

Full-service elevator maintenance companies provide installation, preventative maintenance, repairs and refurbishment on new and in-use elevators. They are the on-site operations experts, executing the mechanical needs of elevators and ensuring they’re safely and compliantly installed.

SnapCab works with EMCs on a few levels. First, we can match EMCs on behalf of our independent clients, relaying approved designs, setting up orders, fabricating panels and transporting them for on-site installation, which the EMC takes care of. We also work directly with EMCs themselves on their own orders for their own customers, facilitating all the above. Furthermore, we can provide install assistance to help train EMC elevator technicians and mechanics on our simple, patented interlocking wall panels.

We most often see EMCs approach us with elevator paneling requests for their own clientele. Often, individuals reach out to them for a new or remodeled elevator cab. In these cases, EMCs need a design and fabrication cab partner with a mind for easy, intuitive installs — which is exactly what SnapCab does.

We sell our fabricated elevator interior systems to EMCs. This means independent customers who approach us in need of new or refurbished elevator interiors are matched with the right EMC to assure proper installation and maintenance, while we help take care of the design, compliance tests and material fabrication. All this provides maximum expertise and attention at every step of the elevator-design process, so all client types get the best product, always.

6. Interior Specialists

Our interior specialists are at the heart of SnapCab’s elevator interior design process.

Interior specialists are the liaisons between all the parties mentioned above. Regardless if you’re a BO, a PM, a commissioned architect, an elevator consultant, or an EMC tasked with an elevator cab refurbishment, SnapCab interior specialists are here to help. We connect and coordinate cab interior designs with each professional to meet the right timelines — and at the right price.

That’s our job, and we’ve been doing it for decades.

Elevator Interior Design Stage One: Designing

Everyone who reaches out to SnapCab for elevator cab remodeling goes through a step-by-step system created for the utmost ease, convenience and compliance on your part.

What will that process look like for you if you’re at stage one — design — of reconfiguring your elevator cab? It varies depending on your position.

1. For BOs or PMs

Building owners and property managers are often the first to spot the need for a new elevator cab.

Current panels may need modernization, finishes may be fading and laminate might be scratched or scuffed. In any of these cases — and more — SnapCab aims to make a reengineered elevator interior a fun and feasible process, not another management headache. The steps are as follows:

  • Build the Design: Using our online showroom design tool, you filter through and select from pre-fabricated cab models, complete with panels, ceilings and finishes. Pick what you like, from colors and features to sheens and handrail details.
  • Get a Consultation:Schedule a design consultation where we walk through projected materials, compliance codes, weights, configurations, your budget and more.
  • Receive the Presentation Board: You’ll receive a free design rendering or presentation board. This lays out your final cab design, complete with photos of your mock elevator interior for you to assess.
  • Approve the Final Design: Review the final design proposal. Once the design is finalized, we coordinate with an EMC to provide you pricing, lead-times, and installation.

2. For Designers and Architects

Designers and architects

Interior designers and architects come to us with a vision for their cabs. They provide the template, and we provide the technicalities and materials to see that vision to fruition.

Designers and architects can work in our online showroom design tool if needed. Or, you can opt for hands-on material samples, specs and physical design boards right away, working amongst our vast catalog of cab materials to select those best aligning with your ideas.

Receive budgetary pricing by requesting a quote online, or schedule a design consultation where we walk through projected materials, compliance codes, weights, configurations, your budget and more. This helps to ensure your selected design is in line with your client’s budget.

3. For Elevator Consultants

Hired by either the BO or the PM, elevator consultants are essential to the design stage. They pay attention to the compliance, mechanical and operational requirements of initial cab designs, ensuring a blueprint will work within your specific building.

Whether they’re brought on for an elevator interior remodel or the design of a brand new, ultra-efficient elevator system, consultants will draw detailed specs and outline necessary compliance requirements for interior components. This is similar to designers and architects, but with a focus on safety and operational efficiency rather than aesthetics or atmosphere.

4. For EMCs

Like property managers or building owners, EMCs in the design stage can begin building their elevator cabs using our online showroom tools, forms and quote request, or through an in-person consultation. In both cases, a SnapCab interior specialist will review the order, begin drawing up the presentation board and gather material samples tailored to your instructions.

You’ll receive your renderings and samples quickly, keeping your specified project timeline on track. As an EMC, we sell our pre-fabricated cabs directly to you down the line, once final designs are approved.

Elevator Interior Design Stage Two: Ordering

SnapCab handles its own elevator wall panel and elevator ceiling panel fabrication. This means when it’s time for cab interior design stage two — ordering — we have in-house, end-to-end fabrication capabilities to bring your design off the spec page and into life.

We also test all our materials and elevator system components to ensure compliance — we don’t skirt protocol here. Each order will be up to code, meet cab weight requirements and provide peace-of-mind that you and your customers are getting the safest elevator interior on the market.

1. For BOs and PMs

After you’ve received your presentation board and approved final design proofs, it’s time to coordinate your order with an EMC.

SnapCab elevator consultants will help match you with one of our certified EMCs to complete the order transaction. We know not everyone is an elevator technician — and you don’t have to be. Elevator maintenance companies in your area can offer full-service order guidance and installation of our pre-fabricated systems, meaning one less thing for you to worry about.

2. For Designers and Architects

After you’ve shared your vision, reviewed design specs, hand-selected cab panel materials and approved final design and compliance boards with all parties (BOs, PMs and elevator consultants), architects can give themselves a pat on the back. You’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s as much as possible. Your vision will be transferred into the hands of installation and technical experts who will see if off the page and into life.

3. For Elevator Consultants

Elevator consultants’ technical savvy directs key mechanical and compliance components that will make up both the refurbished cab interior and exterior. To do so, consultants are intimately involved in the design process, working with a BOs, PMs, designers and architects to ensure function matches form.

SnapCab can work as a liaison between you and all other parties, making sure each ordered interior component has been tested for compliance and satisfies everyone’s’ expectations. They’re your specs, after all — we’ll just help you perfect them.

4. For EMCs

SnapCab’s order forms are built to be as intuitive as possible. To help complete orders for your range of clients, we can take you through our ordering system. These forms cover the gamut of information we need to build correct panels, handrails, bumpers and ceiling pieces for a redone interior — and for your happy clients.

While there is no single piece of information more important than others on elevator interior order forms, it’s essential to double check the measurements you provide, as well as provide delivery needs on your project. No detail is too small when it comes to on-brand, on-scale elevator cabs.

Elevator Interior Design Stage Three: Installation

SnapCab’s services round out the elevator refurbishment process into its final stage: installation.

Installing your new or remodeled cab interior requires the expertise of elevator technicians and mechanics. This is why SnapCab puts so much effort into connecting customers with trusted EMCs with the materials and panel pieces they need to get the job done for their own projects.

1. For BOs and PMs

On the day of installation, your mind should be on serving the people or residents within your building, ensuring any downtime caused by the elevator makeover isn’t causing anything beyond a minor inconvenience.

can be installed in less then one day

You can arrange for the elevator maintenance company to arrive on location at a time that’s most convenient for all parties. There, installation crews will come equipped with full installation kits, tools, equipment and clean-up materials. You can sit back and relax, knowing your new cab is in good hands. In most situations, SnapCab elevator interiors can be installed in less than a day, reducing the impact on the people who rely on the elevator.

2. For Designers and Architects

Most of interior designers and architect’s work has wrapped up come installation day. However, this isn’t to say your insights and expertise don’t have value here.

Many architects we’ve worked with prefer to be on-site during installation day. They can bolster everything from compliance efforts to double checking the work being done has maintained design accuracy and detailing.

3. For Elevator Consultants

The consultant-SnapCab-EMC combo is critical to successfully installing the new or modernized elevator interior. While the EMCs perform the hands-on installation on that day, consultants survey the materials provided by SnapCab. Most pressingly, this includes ensuring that the wall and ceiling panels adhere to your specs, as well as overseeing the installation to ensure compliance. You can then sign off to the PM and/or the BO that installation was executed securely and all components are up to code.

4. For EMCs

SnapCab aims to make installation day as quick, efficient and effective as possible for the EMC field crew performing the install. So quick that we standardized the process to be done in under a day — even a few hours.

All components will arrive ready for placement. Following SnapCab’s propriety interlocking panel system, elevator technicians arrange and install panels into place inside the cab.

If needed, SnapCab can also send one of our interior specialists to perform install assistance, guiding mechanics through all piece placements.

We hear from our EMC partners all the time how it only takes one round of instruction for their technicians and field mechanics to learn SnapCab Elevator installation. Your time is precious, and timelines can be tight. We’re committed to keeping that reputation strong and meeting your needs alongside those of your clients, time after time.

An Elevator Cab Interior Company Ready

 

Whether you’re an architect, an elevator consultant, a building owner, a property manager or an EMC, SnapCab’s services work to take the burden of the cab interior refurbishment process off your sole shoulders.

With end-to-end guidance and a proprietary interlocking wall panel system, there’s a reason we’ve helped outfit over 15,000 cabs — and counting. Let’s make yours next.

Contact SnapCab to start a free elevator interior design demo today or reach out to one of our design consultants.

Contact SnapCab

How to Stay Focused in an Open Office

Whatever our work environment is, we need to stay on task and focused throughout the day. When we allow ourselves to become too distracted, our work suffers. We either neglect things we need to get done or let the quality of our work to slip. Employees face distractions whether they work at home, in a private office or at an office with an open plan

If you work in an office with an open floor plan and are having trouble concentrating at work, we’re here to help!

Working in an Open Plan Office

Working in an open plan office has its own unique benefits. If you’re not familiar with this style of office, employees work together in one big room instead of having their own private office. Employees can have a closed cubicle or even just a desk. However, management usually still has their own private offices.

Open plan offices have become very popular in recent years because they offer advantages over other office setups. With — literally — no walls separating employees, many managers believe that open floor plans promote better communication through increased coordination and collaboration. If you have a question for a coworker, you only have to walk a few desks away or even just ask if they’re sitting right by you. When your coworkers are more accessible, it can make getting your job done a lot easier.

Tips for Working in an Open Office

Even though open plan offices offer unique benefits, it also causes more distractions. Here are some of our best pieces of advice on how to have better focus at work:

  • Plug In: One of the universal signals for “let me be” is wearing headphones or earbuds. When you’re wearing them, most people know to leave you alone unless it is very important. And on top of that, it helps drown out extra noise going on in the office. When there aren’t any walls separating you from your coworkers, you hear everything. That noise can become a problem, and headphones help block it out.
  • Put Up a Sign: If you don’t want to wear headphones or earbuds all day, you can create a different type of sign to let your coworkers know to let you work. You can use an actual “do not disturb” sign or use a different type of signal. If you want to try this out, just be sure to talk to a manager beforehand and then let your coworkers know to leave you alone when the sign is out there.
  • Take Breaks: If you need to force yourself to focus, you need a break. Walking away from your work for a little bit can help a lot more than working all day long. Taking a break will help refresh your brain, and when you start working again, you can get back on track.
  • Create Designated Quiet Areas: If you have a big space, talk to management about creating a part of the office as a quiet space. If someone is working there, it means they do not want to be disturbed and need some time to work alone.

At SnapCab, we’ve developed a solution to enjoying the perks of an open plan office without the problems. Our SnapCab Pod® gives employees a private workspace that is portable, easily assembled and convenient. Learn more about Pods by contacting us today.

The Advantages of Open Office Spaces

Open-floor offices remain the proverbial talk-of-the-town for businesses looking to maximize space and employee morale while minimizing costs and outdated work structures. Even with more than half of employees in an Oxford study citing they enjoy the congeniality and laid-back nature of open-concept office spaces, naysayers point to the subsequent jump in noise distractions as a reason to discredit the design trend’s hype.

Contemporary open-office designs and spaces can have the best of both worlds — friendly, expansive floor plans hacking collaboration and employee moods, but still outfitted with adaptive, private workstations. This open-office hybrid layout maintains productivity and privacy while still lending all the advantages of wide, unrestricted space — strengths that put both employees and their managers at ease. Here are 10 of them.

advantages of open office spaces

1. They’re Inviting

Open floor plan offices prioritize worker collaboration and innovative interactions. Yes, we throw these words around so often with open floor plans that many drown them out — but that doesn’t negate the reality of their inviting impression and its related psychological benefits.

open floor plan

Study after study has found the warm, approachable atmosphere an open-concept office layout curates does boost employee morale. More specifically, it leads employees to feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves, more able to connect the dots between roles and domains and see those roles as holistically supported.

What’s more, open offices improve levels of knowledge sharing, the concept that employees are more freely exchanging subject matter expertise. Better knowledge-sharing flows are associated with more cooperative and high-functioning teams. This, in turn, means well-rounded and informed employees who can make sharper business decisions, all because the open floor plan invites them to do so.

2. They’re Versatile

Open-concept floor plans lend offices much-needed yet often-neglected flexibility. In today’s world of changing work trends, employee expectations and evolving remote-work technologies, a company layout you can tweak and adapt is one that will withstand the test of time.

First, dropping rows of stationary cubicles for simple tables or desks innately makes that space more amenable. Furniture is reconfigurable, and in some cases, you can shift it to a different part of the office depending on in-the-moment needs.

Furthermore, open office spaces allow businesses to implement alternative workstations. Many herald alternative workstations as the future of the business office, where instead of private cubicles and static meeting rooms, offices come furnished with stand-alone booths, multifaced furniture and breakout modular offices — all of which should be mobile.

Some of the best examples of an alternative workstation’s versatility in an open office include our SnapCab® Pods. Pods offer private individual or collaborative work booths employees can access as needed, with different sizes and seating options you can move around as needed.

3. They’re Cost-Effective

Another advantage to open office spaces is their cost competitiveness. For businesses in their early days or those with tied-up equity, finding ways to maximize your current space without sacrificing productivity is vital to maintaining a leaner bottom line.

Cost-effectiveness

The cost-effectiveness introduced to a business with an open floor plan comes in a couple of forms:

  • Construction: Companies constructing a new location or business from the ground up save up-front when they opt for a majority open layout. This is intuitive, as these spaces require fewer walls and internal scaffolding to create the rooms and partitions associated with a traditional office.
  • Rent: Organizations renting their office space can better utilize what they have through an open, unencumbered layout. Not only do open-concept rentals offer a cost-per-square-footage advantage, but they’re also more versatile. You can fill, arrange and rearrange the space as you see fit — as opposed to being forced into static room molds with less functionality but the same price tag.
  • Overhead Costs: Overhead costs like utilities will be reduced in an open concept layout. Heating and cooling come centralized in one overarching system. Other lessened expenses include electricity, since open-concept offices receive more natural light.
  • Office Equipment Expenses: Fewer walls in your office layout mean fewer cubicle partitions, clunky desks and repetitive office appliances to buy up-front and place in individual departments, like copiers and printers. You can centralize equipment in one collaborative area for all to access — this also makes it easier for office managers to oversee these devices.

4. They’re Horizontal — Especially If Upper Management Embraces Them

Private and corner offices reinforce vertical organizational hierarchy. While a company needs a logical chain of command to function, they don’t necessarily need the space to emphasize it.

With open-concept spaces, a company chooses to display a sense of collaboration and worker agency. Regardless of actual seniority, staffers are encouraged to take ownership of their tasks and make empowered decisions without executive micromanagement. Senior managers share the same general space with their team — and their team’s teams — on down the line. If static or removed offices do exist, they’re reserved only for C-level executives whose daily decisions and communications require a tad bit more privacy.

As a middle ground for middle and upper management, SnapCab’s Pod L is large enough that it offers room for up to six. Many have also chosen to fabricate the Pod L into a private office for appointed personnel within an open concept office without losing the spirit and integrity of the floor plan. Plus, with its sound-absorbing acoustic panels and glass front wall and door, noises stay to a minimum but those inside are still visible and accessible to the rest of the team.

5. They’re Contemporary

It’s undeniable that open-concept office floorplans and design layouts have become the defining corporate trend. Like any trend, though, they have their pros and cons. Yet unequivocally, the open office is one that’s stylish, smart and modern.

These office aesthetics are not to be taken lightly. Companies with contemporary, appealing designs and building details are more likely to retain talent, see lower rates of turnover and employ people who report higher levels of worker engagement and satisfaction.

The trick lies in hacking an office’s surroundings and environment to boost the very behaviors you want from workers. Traits like positivity, creativity and efficiency are far likelier with the contemporary design hacks open-concept layouts court:

  • Green or Biophilic Features: Plenty of plants and greenery in an office go a long way to reduce levels of worker stress and anxiety. Other “green” features — such as the use of natural materials throughout a building, like wood and stone, or curved rather than straight lines — further amplify an office’s calming environment.
  • Natural Lighting: Even buildings that don’t have the luxury of expansive, floor-to-ceiling windows can find ways to maximize natural light. Install plenty of reflective, glossy surfaces, clear glass and even mirrors throughout the office to let light permeate as far as possible.
  • Diverse Workstations: A mix of shared, private, public, relaxed and collaborative breakout work areas are the key to balancing employee happiness with productivity.
  • Color Schemes: Colors produce a range of physiological and emotional triggers in humans. We can utilize them throughout the office to help curate beneficial moods and enhance workers’ energy levels.

6. They’re Scalable

Another distinct advantage of open office spaces over traditional ones is their scalability. As your business grows, so does the office, as open-concept layouts provide ample room to accommodate new employees, desks and furniture. All it takes is a little creative reconfiguration — not a total renovation.

In many competitive real estate markets, the costs to relocate or renovate render these choices impossible for most businesses. Whether a business rents or owns doesn’t let them off the hook. Expensive upgrades in a rental contract mean renegotiating the terms and conditions of your lease. On the other hand, even if you own the structure or land where your business is, the list of legal, compliance and code standards to meet is enough to give even determined business owners second thoughts.

None of this is particularly attractive for businesses across industry types, as internal construction projects can risk everything from business service downtimes to higher rates of absenteeism. An office layout scalable from the beginning best mitigates these concerns.

7. They Boost Social Interactions

Introverts and extroverts alike reap health benefits from social interaction — so much so that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has for years recommended offices find ways to boost sociability within the nine-to-five grind.

Now, this doesn’t mean a work culture where everyone hangs out and nothing gets done. But it does disrupt the habitual trap of employees walking into work, burrowing into their cubicles and remaining there until day’s end. Both the physical and mental tolls of this kind of environment have been shown to decrease cardiovascular health and increase feelings of stress, loneliness and workplace withdrawal within employees, while sociability and functional amounts of interpersonal time do the opposite.

Open office spaces can encourage social interactions in strategic places within their layouts. These means dedicated collaborative and social areas balanced with designated quiet workstations, ones that are removed from the hustle and carry sound-reducing technology. This shows employees there’s a time and a place for everything — including interpersonal enjoyment.

8. They Improve Physical and Mental Health

psychological advantages

If this seems too good to be true, think again. Open-concept offices provide keen psychological advantages to most employees that boost their physical and mental well-being — and it does so in some surprising ways:

  • Improved Design Features: To begin, open office spaces tend to include design elements like higher ceilings and larger windows. This means more natural light and more access to appealing window views for workers, which has keen mental benefits such as boosting energy, positivity and decreasing feelings of burnout while at work.
  • More Types of Workstations: Open office spaces allow for broader workstation types and flexibility. This is a critical spatial element that gives workers the autonomy and flexibility to perform their tasks in places most innately productive for them — not relegate them to a static desk day in and day out.
  • Increased Staff Interaction: As mentioned earlier, open-concept offices allow more organic and frequent interactions to occur. The benefits of this cannot be overstated in the office. Research has shown that employees with strong connections and even best friends in the office are less likely to fall ill and more likely to produce consistent, high-quality work.

In total, these elements combine to create a work environment that combats feelings of loneliness and worker solitude. A business that does this is one that sees higher task performance, enhanced creativity and more innovative decision-making — all because the open space prompts it.

9. They’re More Brand-Stimulating

Now, this can quickly go overboard. Open office spaces that haven’t been designed with sound-control features and attention to workstation diversity can be too overly stimulating, with noise distractions, brand logos, colors and saturated workplace density bombarding your personnel.

However, when done right, open offices court visually and aesthetically enhanced floorplans with more opportunities for branded personality. What’s more, you can use them with an eye for marketing. Consider the impact you make on prospective clients or customers when they enter an on-brand, inviting and dynamic corporate space. What kinds of impressions can you curate, and what do they say about the personality, pulse and life of your company? With an open office space, you can tie these visuals together and bring them to the forefront.

10. They Better Showcase Corporate Values

Corporate values are the guiding personality behind a company. They have functional and tactical uses, though most importantly, corporate values should remain relevant for a company across its entire lifecycle — not just fitting its image today or tomorrow, but across the decades. If a company doesn’t see its current mission being important a few years from now, then it hasn’t identified the right purpose.

The advantages of open offices culminate in giving your space the ability to showcase its true self, boldly and openly. It immerses not only your workers in that mission but visitors, customers and prospective employees alike.

Open layout offices more naturally incorporate and let you highlight value-aligned aesthetics. From the minute they step into the office space, open concepts allow things like brand colors, logos, slogans, artwork and other visuals to be seen regardless of vantage point. They also allow your company to proudly display its corporate values — whether literally, writing them on a wall or panels, or imbuing the company’s personality into the style of office furniture, layout and decor. This is inherently harder to display if the office is chopped up and separated by walls and departments.

Overall, the branding potential of open office spaces sharpens your corporate identity and lets form match function. Your office can strike this important note best with an open concept.

SnapCab’s Paneling Systems for Your Hybrid Open Office Solution

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Too many businesses still frame open office spaces regarding what must be given up — not what’s gained. Your business or office space doesn’t have to weigh a hefty list of pros and cons with an open concept layout. In fact, it can provide all the benefits above — and more — when you have the right spatial product partner.

SnapCab is here to be just that. Our unique panel products give you best-in-design office solutions, with three sizes of Pod® booth workstations outfitted for privacy, productivity and noise reduction in an open-concept office, as well as a dynamic Portal® multimedia wall to enhance the work that gets done.

We’d love to discuss how SnapCab Pods and Portals can benefit your open-concept office. Get in touch with us today.

What Makes a Good Study Space?

If you’re a student, it’s imperative to have a designated study space to keep you on-task and productive. Whether you’re a student or professional, greater productivity helps make you successful. But, wherever you are, it’s easy to get distracted and off task, too. Whether your friend has a personal emergency, you check a notification on your social media that turns into a half-hour break or you go out for a snack, you may not be giving your work the time and attention that you need to do your best work.

Below we’ll discuss how important it is to find a good place to get work done and to give you some study space ideas.

 

The Importance of a Good Study Area

When you have a task to get done, like studying for a test, writing a research paper or preparing for a big presentation, you need the right place to get the job done and to do it right.

An excellent study area will help you do your best work, while a bad study space will distract you and have a negative impact on your work’s quality.

Every person learns a little differently, so every person strives in different work environments. One person may need lots of light, complete quiet and a particular type of chair to work. Others may be more flexible and can work in many different environments.

Finding the right type of environment is key to improving your productivity and the overall quality of your work.

How Do You Create a Study Environment?

Like we mentioned before, each person’s ideal study environment may be a little bit different. As you’re looking for the perfect environment, you’ll learn new things about what helps and what distracts you from your goals. Here are a few tips for creating a good study space, to begin with:

  • Choose One Place: Whether you’re a college student living in a dorm or a working professional, it can be very helpful to designate one specific space with your work. Over time, your brain will associate that environment with work and can make it easier to focus and get things done. When you’re continually trying to work in new places, it can be more distracting.
  • Listen to Ambient Noise: If you don’t like absolute quiet, listen to ambient sounds while you work. These could be a noise machine playing ocean sounds, instrumental music — no lyrics! — or even just a fan. These noises can help drown out other sounds that may distract.
  • Gather Everything You Need So you don’t have to keep getting up, collect everything you’ll need before you get started. Your organization will help you get your work done faster and more accurately.
  • Avoid Distraction: When you’re trying to get something done, especially when you’re on a deadline, distraction is your enemy. Make sure your environment is free of as many potential distractions as possible.

If you’re looking for a good study environment at your business or school, incorporating SnapCab® Pods are an excellent solution for providing a quiet and private study space. Compare Pod options now or contact us today to learn more.

Best Design Trends of Modern & Productive Offices

Over 85 percent of office workers say the design of their workplace is important. Yet less than half report its current design meets or enhances their office space productivity. These aren’t great statistics if you’re a manager or director aiming to retain talent, keep morale high and foster organizational growth. Windowless workrooms, bland fluorescent lights and rows of static, immobile desks — they’re probably not helping you get you there.

Those looking to merge form with function have many creative office design ideas and layouts to adopt to break the mundane. Better yet, these modern office concepts and cool interiors pair with keen psychological benefits that’ll boost employee creativity, engagement and efficiency — and overall workplace enjoyment. Let’s look at the top office trends of 2018.

1. Mood-Hacking Color Schemes in Strategic Office Areas

Branded color schemes are relevant, especially for consumer-facing collateral like your website, mobile apps and product packaging. Brand colors are pertinent to specific areas in the office as well, with companies opting to display them at reception, entry points or in conference rooms where outside vendors and important meetings are held.

Yet an office that sticks to only a handful of branded shades is one that ignores the scientific effects of color on employee mood, behavior and productivity. Indeed, it is far more psychologically beneficial to incorporate the full spectrum of colors within strategic office spaces where that color’s emotional trigger meets the space’s intended function.

Mood-Hacking Colors

Here’s how to incorporate strategic color schemes in your office:

  • Blues work best in office areas where communication, level-headedness and cool decisiveness are key. It’s great for formal as well as informal meeting rooms, and within private workstations where the employee can remain calm, confident and focused on their work.
  • Reds are bold and powerful and have both mental and physiological effects on the individual. Offices with accents in red are best used in high-energy, high-collaborative spaces.
  • Greens are calming and securing. They harken to natural elements and make employees feel less anxious and overworked. Allot green in spaces that are purposefully laid back, such as break rooms, cafeterias, employee lounges or coffee and snack stations to amplify the effects of time spent there.
  • Yellows and oranges are perceived as fun, active colors. They do not instill feelings of competition or aggression but rather evoke lightness, airiness and even trustworthiness. Oranges and yellows are particularly attractive for “filler” or transition spaces. Think hallways and walkways where employees can subconsciously benefit from these boosts.

2. Activity-Based Layouts With Unassigned Seating

The next significant shift in creative office layout trends looks to move beyond traditional and open-floor plans alike. Activity-based workstations (ABW) take the best of both these worlds, creating tomorrow’s office iteration where employees aren’t consigned to static desks or cubicles but instead work in environments that are most intuitive and productive for them based on their current task.

ABW layouts that cater to employee workstation freedom are not only shown to promote a more flexible work culture, but they also curate feelings of agency and ownership in the workers themselves, who report higher levels of workplace environment satisfaction and productivity when allowed more versatile office usage.

Here’s how to incorporate activity-based layouts in your office:

  • Unassigned open spaces: More and more modern office design concepts will be tailored toward open workstations — areas where any employee can sit down, open their laptop and dive into work. These will run from traditional to inventive, from tables and desks to benches, bean bags, lounge chairs and couches. The more creative yet still functional, the better.
  • Unassigned private or individual stations: Stand-alone offices like the Snapcab® Pod S provide a quintessential way to lend employees quiet, individual workspaces when they need them, removed from surrounding distractions and buffered from noise.
  • A mix of formal and informal breakout spaces: Rather than relegate team meetings to the same conference room, the best office design plans will look for ways to incorporate versatile seating and furniture into cross-functional spaces. These can be worked organically into an open floor plan using mobile breakout units, unique partitions or added into traditional rooms.

3. Ambient, Natural Lighting Complemented by Diverse Specialty Fixtures

When people picture an office space, too many still conjure up images of endless rows of cubicle desks, lit by similarly linear overhead fluorescent lights. Yet there is hardly anything modern — or anything stimulating — about these traditional fixtures.

The productivity-enhancing effects of natural light are well documented in the workplace. Sunshine simultaneously boosts levels of happiness and decreases feelings of stress or anxiety. The most contemporary workspaces maximize this with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of glass partitions replacing solid walls, all to allow natural light to permeate as freely as possible.

Modern office design ideas for small spaces can also help amplify current natural lighting. Install mirrors or glossy, reflective surfaces to help bounce light, especially in small rooms or corners. This will help them look bigger and brighter without having to do expensive window replacements.

Here are some creative, contemporary lights to incorporate in your office:

  • Cove lighting: Linear lighting built into raised recessed ceilings are incredibly trendy and eye-catching.
  • Spotlights: Quirky and decorative installations that offices use to highlight art, display cases and other expressive features.
  • Pendant lighting: Hanging lights can be the focal point of the room, using aesthetic suspensions that illuminate objects or areas directly below.
  • Track lighting: Lights are mounted to a ceiling track and can extend across large swaths of space, including spacious conference rooms, hallways and open floor plans.
  • Pay attention to warm and cool light rays: Warmer light fixtures, like incandescent, can give a candlelight-like quality to the rooms they power, especially if the color scheme of that room is equally warm. Today’s LED light fixtures aim to replicate natural sunlight as much as possible and balance cool blue light with a warmer spectrum.

4. Outdoor Patios, Terraces and Employee-Lounge Rooftops

While on the topic of natural light, why not take its benefits to the next level with designated outdoor spaces for your employees?

Indeed, a workforce with access to gardens and outdoor, open-air green spaces report reinvigorated levels of energy after sitting in them for as little as five minutes. This is because natural sunlight and fresh air stimulate the pineal gland in our brain, which interprets light levels and is responsible in part for things like mood stability and mental acuity. Studies have shown that employees who sit closer to windows or have views of outdoor patios and terraces are even less likely to call in sick. 

Simply put, any way you can get your employees outdoors is a benefit to your bottom line.

outdoor workplace

Here are a few ways to incorporate outdoor spaces at your office:

  • A deck or patio with plenty of seating variety
  • Outdoor terraces, also with accompanying seating
  • An office garden, perhaps even one growing produce for employees
  • A rooftop lounge with some greenery and shade
  • Outdoor dining options, even something as simple as a picnic table

5. Biophilic Office Design Features

One of the best office layout and interior trends of 2018 revolves around biophilic features. Now, don’t let the fancy name intimidate you. Biophilic design’s thesis is simple — create as much overlap between outdoor and indoor environments as possible to curate natural, green-centric offices — and all its related productivity and wellness benefits.

While biophilic design relies heavily on plants and greenery, it also lends itself to an office space’s arrangement and overall form. Think elements like water features to designate separate departments in an open-concept office or rock slats positioned as partitions instead of cubicles or half-walls.

Your employees will reap the rewards. Environmental psychology studies have shown that proximity to biophilic features in an office boosts employee well-being, creativity and positivity by 15 percent and productivity by six percent. Not bad for some rocks and trees.

Here’s how to incorporate biophilic design in your office:

  • Fewer straight lines and more curves in walls, staircases, landings and walkways
  • “Living” walls, especially with moss or ferns
  • Abundant and diverse planters
  • Hanging gardens
  • Rock gardens or other stone installations
  • Ponds or similar water features

6. Quirky, Eclectic and Surprising Furniture

Consider why many people work from coffee shops or enjoy the ambiance of a hotel lobby or lounge. It’s not because these places serve tasty drinks, though they do that too. It’s because their interiors are visually styled to match a spirited aesthetic, most prominently with their choices and range of furniture. 

The best current office design trends have seen a major shift away from linear rows of desks and tables. Instead, the secret to trendy furniture in your office is to show some personality. Think differing pieces done in various upholsteries, textures and fabrics lining office furnishings, fabricated in different shapes and forms to catch the eye and entice a sit. Not everything has to be matchy-matchy, either, displaying only fabrics in one or two “expected” branded colors.

Here’s how to incorporate furniture with personality in your office:

  • Seating: Consider variety first — couches, armchairs, wobble chairs, cushions, mats, swing chairs, bar stools and even hammocks in open spaces, private stations and meeting rooms alike.
  • Surfaces: Circular and rectangle tables, standing desks, sitting desks, coffee and end tables, mixed and matched for an eclectic and cozy office.
  • Shelving: Shelving works both on walls and as walls or fabricated into creative office partitions. They can be built from different materials and installed as hanging, mounted or stand-alone units.
  • Functional furniture: Coat racks, bike racks, filing cabinets, tables, benches and more — the more creative you can get, the better.

7. Private and Collaborative Sound-Centric Spaces

The uptick in open-office floor plans does increase collaboration and a sense of employee camaraderie in today’s workplace layouts. But it comes at a cost — namely noise levels.

Office workers routinely cite they want a balance between private, quiet workspaces and open, relaxed interpersonal ones. Striking that office sound balance is a crucial design question for contemporary office layout, as they aim to maximize floor space without over-cramming, over-cluttering or building unused, static rooms filled with impractical furniture.

The best office layout for productivity is, therefore, one whose furniture and floor plan work together to solve the problem. It creates the spatial flexibility employees crave while reducing the noise and distractions that modern offices court.

Here’s how to incorporate diverse, flexible work stations into your office without noise or clutter:

  • SnapCab Pods: With three sizes meant to accommodate three different work-station types, Pods balance the flexibility with the productivity needed in a contemporary office. Pod S can work as individual or private workstations, while Pod M and Pod L units are easily configurable as stand-alone offices or breakout meeting rooms. Plus, each Pod size is mobile and contains sound-absorbing acoustic felt to decrease noise distractions further.
  • SnapCab Portals: SnapCab Portals aim to bring office flexibility to a single surface. Featuring Corning® Gorilla® Glass, these multi-media walls combine a television with a whiteboard so you can work, write, present and communicate all from one contemporary, collaborative surface.

8. Out-of-the-Box Dividers and Partitions

Wall partitions strike an important psychological balance in productive office layouts — they allow workers privacy and properly designated areas for their work types yet still maintain a sense of openness and ease. Rather than segment departments by rooms, walls or cubicles, dividers and partitions keep layouts welcoming without sacrificing a little functional structure.

Modern office interior design spruces up this concept by swapping unique dividing features with old static ones. These creative dividers and partitions are also one of the most achievable design trends out there. Small and medium-sized operations alike can easily install stylish partitions beyond the average frosted glass, meaning expensive renovations or upgrades are unnecessary.

Partitions

9. Home-Like Touches

In a final contemporary design twist, offices are looking for more ways to add “homey” touches to their workspaces. After all, when people spend nearly a third of their time at work, it makes sense to bridge the familiar with the functional and the comfortable with the corporate.

The benefits of adding home-like design touches to the office are dynamic. Cozy decor and warm and personalized pops reduce levels of stress, fatigue and anxiousness while decreasing office issues like absenteeism. It also encourages employees to feel as if they have more ownership of a space since it comes tailored to making them feel more relaxed.

Adding home-like decor is especially important in collaborative spaces like small conference rooms, breakout areas and recreational or break rooms, if you have them. You want these office areas to curate a sense of ease and collaboration, especially in those spaces that are fundamentally meant to recharge. This is a lot harder to do if you have bland, mundane, office-centric furniture and decorations.home like touches

Here’s how to incorporate home-like decor in your office:

  • Task lighting, with a unique mix of desk and floor lamps
  • Rugs
  • Throw pillows
  • End tables
  • Window shades and curtains
  • Plants
  • A mix of carpet and wood floors
  • A designated, separate communal kitchen or dining space — not just a dirty microwave shoved in a corner

Office Designs and Layouts That Balance Productivity and Personality — Plus Benefit Your Bottom Line

SnapCab has been making spatial solutions for the modern productive office for over 20 years, and we want yours to be a part of the story.

Today’s open offices simply don’t have to pick between form and function. With our Pods and Portals, you get the full range of productivity-enhancing workspaces outfitted with collaborative, creative technology plus the aesthetic touches your staffers crave.

Reach out to us today. We’d love to discuss how Pods and Portals can bring modern office design and layout trends to your space without compromising employee efficiency or brand integrity.

Product Innovations Award

SnapCab® is pleased to announce that BUILDINGS Media recently awarded our SnapCab® Pod with a Product Innovations award. The SnapCab® Pod is an elite member of innovative commercial building management products that will be featured in BUILDINGS magazine’s August 2018 issue and on its website. The Pod received the Grand Award in the Product Innovations category.

The BUILDINGS editorial team evaluated product submissions based on their innovation in their industry and their contributions to increased efficiency in the workplace. Entrants were limited to exhibitors at NeoCon 2018 with products relating to industrial building management.

Editors then judged the products in person at NeoCon 2018, a convention held in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart that highlights breakthrough innovations in commercial design. The BUILDINGS team selected winners whose products best support users in industrial applications including education, healthcare, retail, government and more.

 

About BUILDINGS

Product innovation awardSince 1906, BUILDINGS Media has served facility owners and experts involved in the development, construction and management of commercial buildings. More than 74,000 commercial building professionals trust BUILDINGS for the latest product and technology news. Its magazine, newsletter and website provide the latest industry news and information that encourages commercial managers across the world to make the best decisions on maintaining, operating and innovating their facilities.

BUILDINGS has supported innovators in commercial building management through its annual Product Innovations award program, which rewards enhancements in user productivity and building performance. Winners of the award receive coverage on the BUILDINGS homepage, in its e-newsletter, across social media and on the BUILDINGS online products page for maximum visibility to facility managers.

About the SnapCab® Pod

The SnapCab® Pod, one of SnapCab’s most recent additions, launched in 2017. Later that year, the Pod was awarded the Best of NeoCon Silver Award 2017 by a jury of architects, designers and facility managers.

The Pod, a standalone quiet space for libraries, colleges, offices, outpatient facilities and other commercial settings, features the ease of installation and use that our products are known for. The Pod’s installation is quick and easy thanks to its clear labeling, modular design and plug-and-play electrical connection. It can then be relocated as often as needed, with hidden wheels mounted below that make mobility a breeze.

The sound-absorbing Pod allows workers and students to study, conduct interviews and handle phone calls with ease, no matter how busy the work environment is. Users can select from hundreds of wall panel color and design choices and beautiful Corning® Gorilla® Glass to make the Pod stand out. These customizable options can even be changed down the road to coordinate with rebranding efforts or a change in décor.

About SnapCab

The team at SnapCab has spent over 20 years crafting innovative solutions for elevators and offices. We were built on a foundation of craftsmanship and quality, and we continue to pioneer innovative solutions to commercial building managers and professionals.