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Office design works for better performance

A great amt of research goes in with the company's HRD to understand its business space, reports Madhurima Nandy.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2007 00:23 IST
Madhurima Nandy
Madhurima Nandy

Disorganised office space the bane of most workplaces especially in the modern working environment. A faulty chair can give you a backache. Lack of a meeting room could make you lose that deal you had been eyeing for months together.

Offices or workplaces aren’t about a cluster of furniture thrown around waiting to be occupied by a bunch of employees anymore. Top corporate houses and multi-national corporations are increasingly looking at designing office space giving it the right interiors, colour, appropriate space management and furniture to enhance productivity.

Architects, interior designers and a new bunch of ‘workplace consultants’ team together to give company offices the right look and profile and create what is termed as an adaptable workplace environment.

Global furniture companies and leading architects are actually formulating research-based tools to give a company workplace an international work culture. With global companies coming into India and setting up offices, there is a greater demand for having workplaces of international standards.

Speaking to HT, Frank Rexach, vice president and general manager of Haworth Asia Pacific, a furniture-manufacturing firm said that most company heads try to create a flexible work culture and designing a suitable office, which is considered pivotal in pursuing its business goals.

"The whole idea is to customise the design and services to suit a particular workplace as well as replicate what is being done internationally in India."

Before getting down to designing offices, a great amount of research goes in with the Human Resource department of a company to understand its business perspective and use the office space accordingly.

In modern office spaces, the height of the cubicle is shortened to allow collaborative teamwork, the chair is customised to the user’s physical structure and even the acoustics and spacing is done to make it more employee-friendly.

Offices these days make space for quick meetings, provide for standing workstations where an employee can simply stand and key in data on his laptop and even provide for flexible furniture on wheels to have quick meetings when required.

The architecture is accordingly integrated to suit workplaces and enhance performance levels. Nowadays a new breed of workplace consultants come in to do a pre-occupancy survey with inputs from the architecture team to figure out how an office should be designed to suit the organization culture and meet the goals.

A corporate office in Shanghai, for example, could be replicated using the same design and research tools for another office in Bangalore with a bit of customisation.

"We conduct a post-occupancy survey after six month of the office becoming functional to find out whether the model is working well or we need to modify the space for better productivity," said Dhananjay Shahane, a workplace consultant.

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