Open Plan Vs Office
The Open Plan office has become the norm over the last fifty years and most designers, cost planners and builders start with a concept of a mix of office and open plan in mind. So what is the dilemma?
The diffuculty is that the statistics that support a typical 1:5 mix of Offices to Open plan are diametrically opposed to staff preferences and many "human" issues:
- Research has shown that communication is more frequent and casual in Open Plan
- Collaboration and a reduction of "silo-ism" is greater in open plan envronments
- Open plan workforces are both easier to change and naturally more flexible
- Open plan offices cost less for building, services, office furniture and usually do not require approvals
- Most tenancies are brought back to an "open plan" certification as leases end
- Research has shown that most employees at all levels want offices instead of open plan.
- Most middle and senior managers prefer offices in order to handle staff issues, reviews and sensitive discussions.
- Many professions and departments require confidentiality and privacy at a level that excludes use of open plan
- Small-team collaboration can work just as effectively in offices as it can in open plan
- Offices look tidier in document heavy workplaces
One of our Design Team would be pleased to discuss the costs and benefits of Office and Open Plan options with you as you consider which way to go in planning your new office environment.
Jim HardyAuthored by
October 8, 2009
Urban Office Has Flicked The Switch
Here at Urban Office we are proud to announce that have recently joined the 900,000+ businesses & households around Australia, that have made the switch to GreenPower.
"Around 90% of electricity used in Australia is still generated from the buring of fossil fuels such as coal over over 34% of Australia's emissions come from electricity generation. This makes the electricity sector the biggest single contributor to Australia's greenhouse emissions.The benefit of switching to GreenPower accredited renewable energy is that it does not burn fossil fuels and therefore doesn't produce greenhouse gasses. Other benefits include:
- reducing your household greenhouse emissions by around 50% by switching to 100% GreenPower
- driving demand for renewable energy, helping it to compete with polluting coal and gas based generation
- reduce water consumption as renewable energy generators use much less water than coal and gas powered stations"
For more information, please visit www.greenpower.gov.au
Authored by Cassie McCarthy
November 24, 2011
Planning for your "Make Good"
So you have researched the market, found a great tenancy to move to, budgeted well and understand the costs of the lease and fitout of the new tenancy......and then......BAM!
Your Landlord hands you the quote for the Make Good on the tenancy you are leaving. Now there is a big hole in your budget......
This is the cost that knocks Business Managers and Owners sideways time and time again. The Make Good clause of your lease is somewhere at the back, and is usually disarmingly short and to the point and will say something like" The Tenant is to bring the tenancy back to its original condition including the removal of Partition Walls, Joinery, Services, Carpet and Ceilngs. New Carpet, ceiling tiles and perimiter wall paint are to be applied upon removal of all items". POW! Thousands and thousands of un-planned dollars.
The typical cost of a Make Good is running at about $150/m2 for larger Open Plan offices and can be $250/m2 Plus on tenancies with lots of offices, partitions, joinery and services (toilets, kitchen areas). It is wise to get the costs of the Make Good at the same time as you are budgeting and researching the market for a new space. Our experience with our clients is that many Make Good costs can be negotiated, as long as you have time to talk to your landlord about which elements of the tenancy they make like to keep for a new tenant.
Our Commercial Project Managers would be pleased to assess your current space and provide you with Make Good cost options for discussion with your Landlord. Just call us on 1800 FITOUT to arrange a time.Authored by Jim Hardy
April 1, 2009
"Find the spark... We all have a spark within us that ignites our creative spirit. Sometimes it's overshadowed by the big obstacles that threaten the light in our lives. But our spark will survive our darkest times, waiting to show the way to a brighter future."
Johann Wolfgang von Geothe (1749-1832)Authored by Melanie Waters
March 24, 2009
Lite Chair Range
- 5-7 days lead time (in our standard red or black upholstery)
- european styling with slim elegant square lines & uncompromising quality
- gas height adjustment
- synchronised movement of seat & back, lockable in any position with tension control
- high arch nylon 5 star base
- low back, medium back & cantilver vistior chair options
- exclusive to urban office
Authored by Cassie McCarthy
March 20, 2009
Happy staff, happy life.
Are your staff and workmates smiling?
An accountant client of ours recently referred his own client to us and asked us to "sort out the office pronto" after helping them find an in-house bookeeper. She had been working in t he city in a nice office and started her new job at a very third hand-desk in a space that was just not adequate - not a happy camper. We all know about the costs of replacing an employee, so why risk churn on employees over the cost of a new desk?
While the staffing crunch has eased a little, most business operators small and large will attest to the importance of staff motivation and morale. An efficient team and one that is happy to "dig in" can handle the peaks of workload and buffer the business against Human Resource disruptions. So how do you create an efficient and motivated team?
Here's a couple of suggestions:
- Talk to a Business Coach about your teams workflow, task balance, communication and general efficiency. You might just get that extra 10% productivity that takes the pressure off on adding an employee. Talk to our friends over at Action Coach about a consultation: Charmian Campbell 0416 181 994 (part of the worlds biggest business coaching network!).
- Have a really good Human Resource Consultant work with you on the right balance of skills in the team, team incentives and employment arrangements. A really great HR Consultant to speak to in Brisbane would be Sue Ellen Watts of Watts Next Ph: 0427 630 647.
- Create an environment that is conducive to teamwork and correct work-flow for your type of industry and tasks. And make it look nice too! We know an excellent team to talk to about that as well - US! Call Melanie on 3620 8500 to arrange a consultation at your office.
We can give you some ideas on the office layout, the right desk and workstation shape and size as well as storage and document management solutions. Do you need or want a staff breakout area? Does your office reception welcome your guests and communicate your brand? Does your office space plan encourage and enable the right type of team interraction? Let us help you answer these questions and eliminate the small things that detract from employee motivation.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on 3620 8500.
Authored by Jim Hardy
March 17, 2009
new & exclusive to Urban Office
- Urban Office is proud to introduce their latest product, the Framework screen system
- Glass or aluminium desk mounted screen panels
- A rigid but stylish interlocking telescopic beam provides structural integrity
- Integrated cable management system
Authored by Cassie McCarthy
August 7, 2008
Understanding Fitout Costs
The fitout costs how much!?.......
With a typical five year lease cylce and construction costs maintaining double digit increases year on year, many business owners and managers have been shocked to find that the cost of an office fitout has nearly doubled since their last office move. Controlling fitout costs is done more easily in the planning stages and that it why we most often opt to start working with our clients at the property search stage of their new office project. Understanding the balance between the rental/lease rate and the fitout cost is essential is running an assessment of potential properties, and having an experienced office fitout builder and designer on hand can become a significant advantage.
By having our design team work hand in hand with our licensed building team we can work with you on a brief for your new office and start planning with the end in mind, one that contains both impact in key areas and value in others. For long range planning and budgeting we have created the "Urban Office Fitout Guide" which is based on objective industry figures and which will provide you with the information you need to prepare your team and finances for the office move. If you are unsure about where to start with your plan for the office move or refurbishment, give us a call and we will be pleased to help you get the process started.Authored by
July 25, 2008
Furniture for you...
Shouldn't you have an office that looks like it was made for you?
Many businesses buy office funiture which is inflexible and is then placed in a poorly planned environment. So what happens when your business grows and you need to expand your office? Do you waste more valuable space and buy more catalogue furniture out of a container, or do you spend a little more on an office designed to save space, enhance productivity and your corporate image? More and more business are learning that a "custom office design" with scope for change is now easily within reach and that a professional, corporate office environment can become an important contributing factor when it comes to client and employee retention.
The Local Advantage
No two offices are the same. And every office space has its own idiosyncrasies that can prevent challenges to the unitiated, such as supporting columns to work around - this is where mass produced, imported furniture may not meet your expectations. At Urban Office we supply locally made furniture to suit your specific office design, so it fits like a glove without costing you the earth. It doesn't cost us any more to have furniture made to the correct size. We can design a solution to suit your budget and corporate image.
Because we are local we can offer:
- Accurate delivery times - your furniture won't be stuck on a ship for 10-12 weeks, delaying your office move or refurbishment and adding costs to your business.
- High level of quality control - we insist on only the finest workmanship, so by supporting our local manufacturers we have more control and certainty over your installation deadlines.
- Full warranty support - things rarely go wrong, but if something does, it can be quickly and easily rectified with ready access to replacement parts.
- Reliable after sales service - we're only a phone call away if you need us, and we are happy to continue to service your furture office furniture needs after the job is complete.
Our experienced furniture and interior design team will prepare a space plan, colour selection and furniture design for your office in consultation with your own business team. We have worked on thousands of projects over the last 22 years so you can rest assured we can provide exactly what you need at a price you'll be very happy with.Authored by Jim Hardy
July 25, 2008
Sooner saves money..
The Sooner We Get Involved, The More You Save.
Are you sure you're not going to discover any nasty suprises after you've signed the lease?
Many of our clients have us attend the office tenancy they inspect before they start negotiations. After all it makes good business sense - you get a professionals advice when you buy a house don't you? Making sure that you understand the situation and costs for each office tenancy is critical in your financial assessment.
Here's an example of how you can get caught out. We recently visited a tenancy that our client had already committed to. Unfortunately the previous tenant had put a coat of paint over the grid ceiling to "freshen it up", effectively ruining it. The paint sealed up each ceiling tile making it impossible to access the ceiling for lighting, data or AC changes without leaving a torn up mess overhead. The cost to replace the whole suspended ceiling was $12,000 to which the landlord contributed nothing. Its an expensive lesson and we took no pleasure in advising our client of this unexpected and costly discovery.
It's usually changes to services (such as as plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning) that contain the suprises in the fitout costs and unfortunately these are all hidden behind walls and ceilings. Having an experienced fitout builder on hand to assess the tenancy with you could both save you money and give you the information you need to run a robust assessment on comparative tenancies. The best way to start this process is for us to meet with you and your team to fully understand your needs in relation to a new or refurbished office. So how do we get this process started?
Call us if you are moving in the next 6-12 months and plan a meeting
We will help you develop a space brief for your leasing agent
Have us attend inspections on the tenancies you feel work for you best
Together we are sure that we can run an assessment on your prospective tenancies that will ensure the optimum environment for your business. In the meantime why not download the Client Tools from our website and start planning for your office move or refurbishment. Its never too early!Authored by Jim Hardy
July 25, 2008
The power of design & construct
I don't like ping pong, it frustrates me......you know, back and forth, back and forth....
We recently had a client referred to us who was in his own words "well into the process" of having his office fitout planned. Because it was a referral we offered our services anyway and suggested that we should get together to see what they wanted in their new office and whether we could at least provide some office space planning or services advice. As it turned out, this client was well into the traditional fitout ping-pong match, designers turn......builders turn....back again. Six weeks and no real progress. Two weeks after we met this client we had an approved design, full building works, loose furniture proposal and program in front of them for approval. No more ping pong. When you are paying rent on two offices, six weeks is long time...
Because we are the designer, the licensed builder and also the office furniture distributor we are able to conquer all aspects of the fitout in-house, without limbo periods where we are "standing by" or "waiting on a reply". If we want a reply we get up from our desk and walk accross the room. It does mean that we have to make a high level of commitment to each client, but in our experience it pays off for both our team and client. We still need to compete on price, no suprises there. Paying rent on two properties while you watch ping pong can hurt, especially when what you need is to just keep your business running. Why not use a design and construct solution, get your business up and running sooner and avoid the traditional ping-pong match.Authored by Jim Hardy