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Open space arrangement - a compendium of knowledge

15 of July '21

The way to office space.
From the series "Fashionable furniture, flexible lighting - trends 2021".

There are many arguments in favor of arranging an office using the open space concept. Interestingly - its origins date back to the end of the 19th century, and while in the initial phase of development this solution left a lot to be desired, gradually, thanks to the introduction of well-thought-out solutions and the elimination of shortcomings, it managed to lead to the fact that today it is the most widely used method of organizing work space.

Open space - arguments in favor

The method of arranging interiors, which is the subject of consideration in this article, has numerous advantages, but perhaps the most important is that it allows you to significantly reduce the costs associated with renting office space. The scale of these savings is easiest to realize using the example of large corporations with dozens, if not hundreds of employees. If one wanted to provide separate offices for each of them, or even put them in rooms of several people, much more space would be needed. Open space is also synonymous with ergonomic and efficient use of every inch of available space. The advantage of such offices is also that it is very easy to rearrange them and adapt them to temporary needs if necessary.

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Type U desks

© Contino

The common notion that the choice of an open space arrangement is justified when a company has many employees is not entirely true. This is partly true, of course, but a much more important issue than the number of people in the office on a daily basis is the style of work. Creative teams or dynamic groups of employees, for whom an efficient and smooth exchange of information is important, value much more the ability to function in an open space than those employees who need maximum concentration. For programmers, lawyers, accountants and other professions that rely heavily on individual work, working in open space would be a torment and would reduce efficiency to a minimum.

Basic rules for furnishing open offices

There are very specific guidelines for arranging open space offices, the rationale for which is primarily to maintain ergonomics, safety and comfort. It is for these reasons that each employee should have at least 13 cubic meters of space and 2 square meters of free floor (that is, not shared with office equipment and furniture). The aisles in the office must be wide enough to move freely through them - translated into concrete values, this means 0.6 meters wide for one-way aisles and 2 meters wide for two-way aisles. As for the interior height, for rooms with 4 employees or less, 2.5 m is enough. If there are more employees, then the office must be at least 3 m high.

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GATO bookcases

© Contino

The right furniture in open space
are of key importance

In open-plan offices - as mentioned earlier - it is important to emphasize the maximum use of space. This can be greatly helped by the right office furniture. Multifunctional desks, at which you not only work comfortably, but in which you can conveniently store all the things you need for work, documents and use office equipment without interference, are an absolute must. In open space offices, it is important to maintain a uniform character, so also the desks for all employees must be virtually identical. How to reconcile this with the need to customize them for individual employees? The answer is one - they must be models with the ability to adjust and change parameters according to the requirements of specific people. Ideally, desks should have the ability to raise or lower the height of the top. It is important that in the tops there are discreet grommets for cables and sockets mounted in special strips, to which you can connect a phone, computer or lamp. A very large selection of modern desks is offered by Contino, which is not only a distributor of furniture of renowned brands, but also provides design and arrangement services.

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EVRO desks

© Contino

Another important piece of furniture for open space is the armchair. In his case, also an important property is comfort and functionality. Taking into account the fact that in open space offices work in a dynamic way and frequent sitting down and leaving the desk is the order of the day, office chairs must be mobile, durable and resistant to damage.

One of the more common objections raised against the open space concept is that it does not provide adequate protection from noise and bustle. There is a way - without giving up open space - to provide acoustic comfort for employees. This way are acoustic walls and other types of screens, with which it is possible to separate permanently or temporarily the desks of individual employees from each other.

Color scheme - open space office design

That colors affect productivity and well-being is a well-known fact, but it is worth reminding, especially in the context of office interior design. The open space concept calls for the use of neutral, friendly colors that do not distract, do not arouse too much emotion and do not give the impression of being overwhelmed. Therefore, light shades - broken white, light grays, possibly beiges - work best. To prevent the interior from giving the impression of a hospital room, it should, of course, introduce color accents. Most often they are "smuggled" in the furniture. Walls and floors should remain neutral. It's also worth thinking about at least a few decorative details - graphics on the walls, flower pots or interesting lighting can be a good solution.

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KUBIKI modular furniture

© Contino

Open space - or shared space
not only for work

Modern thinking about work is very much focused on the well-being of employees. The better they feel at work and the more comfortable conditions they are provided with, the greater their efficiency and commitment to their duties. We won't touch on benefits and bonuses here, but will focus on how furnishing an office can take care of their needs. In open-plan offices, where everyone is used to working together, it is also necessary to create a space for shared rest. Breaks are necessary and they too must be spent in a way that allows for integration and social interaction. In large companies, when planning future offices, not only are spaces for preparing and eating meals designed, but also for relaxing together. Rooms where one can play consoles or ping-pong together, or lie on a hammock or recline on soft pouffes are standard these days. If only the possibilities of the building allow it, it is also worth thinking about providing employees with an open-air space. It's good if it's a terrace or the roof of a skyscraper, where there are comfortable sofas, loungers and other seats and where you can recuperate, have a good coffee or a healthy drink, read a book or be in the company of colleagues.

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DUO X desks

© Contino

When designing an open space, it is advisable to use the experience and skills of professionals, such as those at Contino. Then you are sure that it will meet the requirements of all those using it.

For more information, visit CONTINO FURNITURE OFFICE on the A&B portal.

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