May 18 22

How to tackle the issues of hot-desking

IMC
employee hot desking drinking coffee

Hot-desking is becoming more and more popular with businesses looking for space-saving solutions as they embrace new patterns of working. Done right, switching to a flexible office can bring fantastic benefits in terms of productivity and cost-effectiveness. But before taking the plunge, it’s important to consider various common pitfalls, which can be avoided with a bit of careful planning.

Providing privacy

Bee Solo Work Pod

Bee Solo Work Pod

Most hot offices are designed to encourage a spirit of flexible collaboration, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of providing places for staff to work in privacy when they need to focus on a demanding task or have a confidential conversation. Privacy pods for offices provide a perfect solution to this issue. At Lismark we supply a great range of office pods for a variety of tastes and budgets with the following features:

  • A choice of an open design or the ultimate privacy of a fully enclosed pod.
  • Built-in desk pods like our Bee Solo Work Pod or pods where we can advise on a suitable desk for the space.
  • Built-in power sockets as an optional extra on some models, making tech easy to install and providing a streamlined look.
  • An extensive range of colours and fabrics to reflect your brand’s identity.

A space to speak

Gone are the days when a personal landline was a key requirement for every team member, but although much of our business is conducted online these days, it’s still important to provide a space for employees to conduct phone and video calls, particularly if they are confidential, lengthy or require deep levels of concentration. Installing office phone booth pods means your staff can concentrate on conversations without having to worry about background noise or other distractions. Our phone booths offer:

  • The option to choose a glass front and/or acoustic foam upholstery to significantly minimise sound with option such as our Penelope Phone Pod.
  • A range of sizes, within a small footprint that won’t impact your working space.
  • The option to include a shelf, seat, fitted desktop and lighting in options such as our Bob Work Pod.

Equal opportunities

As humans, we can be creatures of habit, which is why some people can initially be resistant to the idea of making the switch to hot-desking.

Martin Bench RoomsetNot only that, in these offices, some people can still become attached to a particular desk, which can defeat the purpose of transitioning to a flexible workspace.

This type of issue can be mitigated by careful planning of the office layout to ensure that while there will always be desks people prefer for a variety of reasons, there is no one ‘bad’ workstation that everyone wants to avoid. Choosing the same standard of high-quality furniture for every workstation will also ensure every employee feels valued and content, wherever they end up working on any given day.

Our great range of bench desks, including the Martin Bench Desk, are a great option for the modern office. Not only do they provide a change from the traditional metal-legged office desk with their stylish solid timber leg frames, their intermediary legs mean they offer the option to grow with your team as they do the job of both a collaborative worktable and a solo workstation.

A change of scene

Although team members won’t sit in the same place every day, it’s still important to foster a sense of belonging in the workplace. This can be achieved by providing breakout areas for staff to socialise, take breaks and collaborate informally. An inviting and contemporary feel can be created by using soft furnishings like our stylish and contemporary Walter Sofa range.

When a more private setting is required for meetings, a meeting table is a must. Our Martin High Meeting Table creates a collaborative and contemporary atmosphere that blends seamlessly with the hot-desking environment. Or if space is an issue, why not create a striking statement with a meeting pod? Most of the meeting pods we supply, such as the stylish Brix-Up Meeting Pod are available in two, four or six-person configurations, and if you need a bigger meeting pod, take a look at our showstopping Entente Meeting Pod.

Acoustic Pod

Making hot-desking work for your business

Here at Lismark we use our expertise in office design and furniture to create the perfect workspace for your business, starting with a visit to your premises to advise on what will work best for your space. To find out more, please call us on 0116 251 7741 or email sales@lismark.co.uk.

Apr 28 22

How to create privacy for employees in your office

IMC
Bee Cluster Pods

Open-plan offices have become the norm in the UK and worldwide, and although they facilitate collaboration and communication, they can sometimes raise questions about privacy and the ability to have sensitive conversations.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to create privacy for employees in open-plan office environments, without losing the benefits of ease of movement, versatile seating plans and flexibility for individuals who only work from the office for some of the time.

Here are some of the best ways to create privacy for employees at their desk, in ad hoc meetings and when making private phone calls.

Space to work with office privacy pods

Office pods give you instant privacy by enclosing a desk or meeting space with acoustic shields. This reduces the transmission of sound to the surrounding area and provides a visual barrier to passers-by too.

Work pods and booths have other benefits too. As well as protecting privacy, they can give workers the space they need to concentrate on a challenging or time-consuming task. Employees face fewer distractions than in a large open-plan space, ensuring productivity and the quality of their work are optimised.

Bee Cluster Pods

Flexible working with meeting pods

Acoustic pods are not just for individual workstations. They can also provide a shielded area in which groups of colleagues can meet to discuss projects, problems, or anything else that needs their attention.

Depending on the size of your team, you might want to consider installing larger meeting pods. These can accommodate groups – in the case of Magna Extra Large Meeting Pods, up to eight people at a time – while serving as comfortable breakout spaces when not in use for meetings.

Bea

Speak freely in an office phone booth

Office phone booths are a fantastic way to allow private phone calls to take place without the risk of eavesdropping. That’s not to say that any of your employees would listen in intentionally, but keeping calls separate from the rest of your office is a sensible precaution.

Modern office phone booths don’t have to be boxy. Even a low acoustic surround can shield conversations from people nearby, such as on our Brix 61 Solo Work Booth. It’s all about meeting the needs of your workforce, while providing them with comfortable, usable spaces for private discussions and phone calls.

Penelope

Think about partial privacy

You might not need 100% privacy or total soundproofing in order to reduce the risk of calls and conversations being overheard. High-back sofas are a great way to break up the transmission of sound, without completely enclosing your employees.

If you prefer to leave your acoustic pods open to the rest of the office, you might want to place them slightly further away from the busiest areas, where there is less chance of individuals in either area disturbing their colleagues.

Designing for directional privacy

You might not need 360-degree privacy. In some cases, it can be appropriate for a meeting booth to open on to the team’s work area, while being shielded from the rest of the office for security reasons, or just to avoid distracting co-workers.

Meeting pods with an acoustic surround can be orientated to provide maximum privacy in the desired direction, with ease of access to the seating area they serve, creating a best of both worlds solution in busy offices.

Why is versatility important for privacy?

Our work pods and booths are designed to be as versatile as possible, with comfortable seating, optional mains electricity outlets and a range of built-in desks to choose from. All of this adds up to privacy with flexibility for your entire workforce.

Why does this matter? It gives your employees and managers options. Conversations can take place in surroundings that meet the privacy needs on the day. If a discussion is more sensitive, it can move inside a fully enclosed acoustic pod. This means you can rest assured that you have catered for your workforce privacy needs.

Creating office privacy in confined spaces

Even open-plan offices don’t have unlimited space, but with compact meeting pods and office phone booths available, you can create clearly defined private spaces in even the smallest offices.

Traditional square-footprint booths with straight vertical sides are among the most space-saving and standing phone booths work well as part of the modern sit-stand office trend, allowing employees to stretch their legs while on a call.

Performance acoustic insulation materials mean pods and booths can be placed close to each other, with little to no audio leakage between adjacent pods, depending on which booth design you choose.

Find out more

To find out more about any of our acoustic pods, work booths, meeting pods and office phone booths, please get in touch today and we will be happy to discuss your privacy needs.

 

Mar 3 22

How to place office furniture

IMC

Choosing good quality office furniture is fundamental in creating a comfortable and productive workplace. However, knowing how to place office furniture is also important to showcase the furniture and give your employees an office interior layout that works well for them.

A well-organised office makes it easier to move around, to store and retrieve important documents and to work without feeling uncomfortable or developing repetitive strain injuries.

Here are five top tips for how to place office furniture in a way that’s pleasant to look at, comfortable to work within, and maximises productivity and output throughout the working day.

1. A sense of space

Where not to place office furniture is just as important as where to place it. Open space is crucial to allow employees to move around, for safety in an emergency, and to give everyone a sense of comfort and spaciousness.

Keep entrances clear and avoid clustering large, heavy furniture such as floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets, in one part of the office. By dotting them around, you prevent any one area from feeling overly cluttered, and give everyone easier access to storage nearby.

Natural light can help offices to feel more spacious. In areas well away from windows, give employees a choice of bright overhead lighting and controllable task lighting, so they can give their eyes a rest over the course of the day.

2. Creating balance

You want your office layout to feel balanced, so extend the tip above to include the visual impact of different items of office furniture. Try to have roughly equal numbers of cabinets, cupboards, desks and shelves in different areas.

If you can’t balance items exactly, it’s not the end of the world. However, you may still be able to achieve a more balanced aesthetic, for example by placing a clock, notice board or wall art flat against one wall, to match the visual of a deeper piece of furniture placed elsewhere.

High-quality office furniture is designed to look great, as well as to be ergonomic during use, so choose some statement pieces and make them focal anchor points for your overall office interior design.

3. Plan for change

Office environments are rarely static for long, so be ready to reconfigure your office furniture layout to accommodate changes in team size, management hierarchy, or anything else that affects where your employees and line managers need to sit and work.

Modular office furniture is a fantastic way to achieve this. Just add more segments to modular seating to extend it, or to add a different configuration of arm rests and side tables. Modular office sofas can have optional back rests, or can be bench-style to allow seating access from both sides.

By using modular office furniture, you can create comfortable breakout areas, divide larger spaces into smaller ‘virtual’ rooms, and make the best use of open-plan office floors without having to put up any stud walls or temporary partitions.

4. Cater for privacy

Although open space can make offices feel comfortable and healthy, sometimes employees need privacy, whether that’s to discuss confidential business, or just a personal desire to work away from the noise and hubbub of the rest of the office.

If your office layout is dominated by open-plan or you’re still deciding how to arrange office furniture in a new workplace or refurbishment, consider whether private work booths could be the key to your office productivity.

Private work booths and individual office pods create cubicle-style spaces for employees to work in privacy and confidentiality and can be conducive to productivity when individuals need to focus on demanding or time-consuming tasks.

5. Consider hotdesking

Not all of your workstations need to be assigned to a designated individual. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more offices are allowing employees to work flexibly, and even when the pandemic is no longer a health concern, remote working can save on overheads and keep employees happy by reducing the daily commute.

Modular office furniture is again a great way to make sure you still give everyone the workspace they need, with comfortable hotdesking areas that can adapt to the changing nature of your flexible workforce in the years ahead.

Give your employees good quality office furniture and they will feel valued, even when they do not have an assigned workstation of their own. When you factor in the added bonus of reducing your office operating costs and capitalising on the positive lessons learned over the past few years, it’s a no-brainer.

Sep 1 21

Could private work booths be the key to office productivity?

IMC
private work booth

private work boothThe landscape of the office has changed dramatically over the past few years. In the wake of the pandemic, many employers are now offering flexible working solutions and opting for hot desking and open plan layouts in place of traditional office setups.

But what does this new style of working mean for productivity? A recent study found that one in three workers feel distractions and noise from open work spaces hinder their productivity, while one in six say it has a negative effect on creativity as well (Forbes.)

Privacy is also a major factor to consider. Some studies suggest the lack of personal space and privacy can cause a slump in communication, collaboration, and productivity in the open-plan office.

So how can employers combat the downsides of the open plan office? Providing private work booths or individual office pods for employees to retreat to could be the answer.

What are the options for private work booths?

When it comes to furnishing offices, one size does not fit all, so luckily there is a wide choice of options when it comes to providing flexible, modern and attractive individual office pods for your employees.

Many individual work booths come in the form of desk booths, which give employees everything they need for a peaceful atmosphere to concentrate on the task in hand in private and without the passing distractions that working in an open plan office inevitably brings.

As well as built-in desks, many workstation pods come with electric sockets and lighting as well as comfortable seating designed with long periods of work in mind.

Can I hear office noise from my work booth?

No workstation pod will provide sound proofing but most will provide a degree of noise reduction, depending on the design, as well as keeping some sound in, using materials such as sound dampening foam to reduce ambient noise.  Also, the privacy and screening provided by work booths mean most workers find it easier to zone out from any sounds around them than they would if they were sitting at an open plan desk where they can also see the source of noise.

For increased peace and quiet and privacy, acoustic pods and office phone booths work well alongside your work pods for times when significant noise reduction or complete confidentiality is required.

Practicality with style

Good quality work pods always come with the high standards of design you would expect in terms of durability and style. Due to the robustness of our commercial grade work pods, we carry out installation in your location, however they can be relocated at a later date with careful handling.

Our work pods are available in a huge range of fabrics and colours, meaning making an on-brand style statement is easy whether that involves the palest of pastels to boldest of primary colours.

The end result is a high-quality style statement that will enhance employee happiness in the workplace as well as their productivity.

The importance of ergonomics

When opting for a work pod with a built-in chair, it’s important to ensure the seating provided is contract grade and provides safe and supportive seating for a variety of users to work in comfort.

Equally, when choosing chairs for pods without seating, it’s crucial to opt for an easily adjustable and supportive chair to maintain employees’ wellbeing.

A cost-effective investment

While a high-quality office pod will always involve a financial investment, it will pay dividends in terms of longevity and the flexibility it adds to the working environment. Not only that, the increase in employee productivity that providing this kind of space results in, will also save the business money in the long term.

Specialists in private work booth furniture

Lismark offer a wide range of work pods and booths with options for any office space. Get in touch today to request a brochure or speak to our experts about finding the perfect work pod for you.

Jul 7 21

What is a breakout area and why do I need one?

IMC
office breakout area

office breakout areaOffice breakout areas are all the rage at the moment, driven by the more relaxed approach to office interior design taken by big web businesses such as Google.

But what does the term mean, and is it defined by physical features like your choice of office breakout area furniture or less tangible aspects like how the space is used?

In this article we’ll look at the defining characteristics of an office breakout area and the kinds of office furniture you’ll usually find in one.

What is a breakout area?

The general definition of a breakout area, breakout room or breakout space is a versatile zone that is available for employees to use as and when they want to step away from their own desk.

There is usually not a specific designated use for breakout areas. They may be used to relax, for informal meetings, or to work away from the desk for a while.

The area may be clearly defined by walls, temporary partitions or high-backed breakout area furniture. Alternatively, it may be more open plan and loosely defined.

Benefits of breakout areas

Breakout areas done right can bring plenty of benefits to a business. Not only do they create extra workspace, relaxation areas and somewhere to casually collaborate, they also provide an interesting setting to meet with visiting clients, stakeholders and other guests.

You can read more about the positive impact of breakout spaces in our article 7 Benefits of Office Breakout Areas.

However, not all office breakout area furniture is the same, so it’s useful to know what’s available and give some thought to what you want from your breakout room, booths or pods.

Modular furniture

The modular nature of modern breakout area office furniture means that when you want a change of scenery in your office, you can reconfigure the space to suit your evolving needs.

Stools, tub chairs and two-person meeting pods are at the more compact end of the scale and can be fitted into tighter spaces – with the help of a pull-up laptop table where required.

Larger zones can be furnished using modular seating systems which incorporate elements like corner units, end units, middle seats with no arms, and curved 30/60 degree linking seats.

Modular office furniture is ideal when you want to change the layout of your seating, and this is especially true in breakout zones, where it can help to keep things feeling fresh when it comes to giving your employees somewhere to escape from their desk.

Task-specific breakout zones

While breakout zones are usually very versatile, some furniture is designed with a specific task in mind.

For example, a freestanding laptop table can be pulled up to almost any seat to provide a temporary desk, or even a side table for snacks and drinks.

Alternatively, an office phone booth provides a comfortable but confidential space to have a phone call, as well as block out unwanted noise and visual distractions from the rest of the office.

Acoustic pods

Self-contained acoustic breakout pods can also reduce distracting noise from elsewhere in the workplace, while keeping conversations private for participants.

Acoustic pods come in a range of styles, including high-backed bench seating which can feature an open top or be fully enclosed with a roof for even greater privacy. These are ideal for relaxing, holding informal meetings, or even as a more casual working space when paired with a table.

Breakout area furniture specialists

Lismark offer a wide range of breakout area furniture, available in a choice of styles and upholstery to match your branding, company livery or interior design colour scheme.

Get in touch today to request a brochure or speak to our experts about creating your own breakout area.

Lismark Office Products Limited, Unit D, Magna Road, South Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 4ZH

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