Commercial office kitchen flooring

Cienna Range

Commercial Office Kitchen Flooring – Key Considerations

 
With any kitchen flooring there are 3 main considerations hygiene, durability and anti-slip properties. With a commercial office kitchen flooring that consideration also includes aesthetics. We take a look at the products that fit the bill.

Health and Hygiene
 
Keeping any food preparation area clean and hygienic is of paramount importance. It is wise to select flooring which comes with a hygienic antibacterial coating and fungistatic treatment. Duraflor’s Duragrip is coated with a fungistatic and anti-bacterial treatment and has a Topguard PUR coated surface, making it easy to maintain. The same is true of our Resolute range. Both these ranges not only work well in commercial kitchens they were designed to meet the hygiene standards demanded from a busy hospital environment.

Durability
 
All our safety flooring ranges are designed for heavy traffic environments, with a 0.7mm wear-layer. They also as part of their durability credentials have excellent life-cycle costs and are 100% recycled, as well having an impressive amount of recycled-content. Guarantees range from 10-12 years in heavy commercial wear environments.

Anti-Slip
 
Kitchens are notorious for being the scenes of trips and falls. It is essential to select flooring with good anti-slip qualities, when looking for commercial office kitchen flooring.

Our most impressive range is our Cienna Range with an R11 slip rating and PTV 36+ (Pendulum Test).  The other things to note about Cienna is its impressive durability, and as with Resolute and Duragrip it has a high quality PUR treatment to ensure important hygiene standards are met. We especially however like the depth of this range and how well it blends with classic LVT and carpet tiles used in other areas of the office environment.

Both Resolute and Duragrip Safety Flooring have excellent anti-slip qualities (R10 slip rating and RRL Pendulum Test (wet) – > 36).

Aesthetics
 
We are confident that when it comes to finding a flooring solution for busy commercial kitchen environments, we have all the bases covered. From the beauty of natural wood and stone effects found in our Cienna range to more traditional speckled designs in both our Resolute and Duragrip ranges, you don’t need to compromise on aesthetics when it comes to finding a hygienic, safe and durable choice.

Creating a post Covid-19 collaborative workspace

Freedom Storm and Pavement Waterfall Carpet Tiles

 

Collaborative Workspaces and Covid-19

 

Designers are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 restrictions. One challenge is creating a collaborative workspace that is suitable for use during the pandemic. In this blog post, we explore creative design solutions that can help to create collaborative spaces that are still compliant with social distancing guidelines.

One article we read suggested a “culture-club layout” suggesting that in fact the office will transform further into a more collaborative environment post-Covid 19, with people only coming to the central office for planned collaborative meetings.  The proposal also suggests a radical transformation – with office nodes close to people’s homes and a much larger central meeting area in the existing space.

We offer up some simple practical solutions but what is certain is there is a need to go beyond these suggestions if current attitudes towards commuting to work and health risks remain.

 

1. Individual office pods

While it may seem counterintuitive to use isolated pods to create collaborative workspaces, individual office pods can be used to enhance collaborative work. In an isolated pod, an employee will be free from noise and visual distractions, allowing them to engage with online collaborative work, such as a group video call, more effectively and efficiently. If multiple employees cannot gather in a room together, individual office pods ensure they can still meet virtually and work without distractions or indeed the pods can act as a barrier while still allowing people to occupy the same space.

2. Hygiene-first designs

If you are creating a collaborative space for employees to meet in person, you should look for large furniture that allows employees to space themselves out. For example, a large meeting table that has twice the capacity requirements of a team so employees can sit with adequate space around them. You should also include details such as LVT or sheet vinyl, which can be easily cleaned and disinfected and consider installing a tap and sink in the meeting room, so employees can wash their hands before and after a collaborative meeting quickly. Multiple taps around an office and sanitiser stations will prevent employees from having to walk to a bathroom to wash their hands, which may be time-consuming. See our blog on designing in hygiene.

3. Moveable furniture

Consider furniture that is easily moveable so employees can create collaborative workstations when allowed, whilst keeping at a safe distance from one another. Stools and fold-up chairs are ideal for quick brainstorming meetings and can be easily transported around an office space. If another peak of the virus occurs, moveable furniture can also be stored away to create even greater space within an office.

We found a very interesting article from Steelcase that talks about why many are missing the office – a key factor is the informal collaborative atmosphere it creates. They argue that many of the design principles from their research pre-Covid-19 on collaborative furniture design still applies.

 

We work closely with you to find design solutions that incorporate hygiene and social distancing elements as part of your floor scheme. We can offer suggestions from a flooring perspective that help you address the issues associated with collaborative workspaces and Covid-19 environment precautions. Don’t hesitate to contact us on [email protected] or call us on 01592 630030.

How Covid-19 has affected Biophilic Designs

Aspect Carpet Tiles and Biophilic Design

 

How Covid-19 has affected Biophilic Design – we look to the future

 
In this blog post, we look at how COVID-19 has affected biophilic design and how biophilic design will gain in stature and be adapted during the pandemic.

Over the past few years, biophilic design has been a popular office design trend. Biophilic design is focused around bringing the outdoors, indoors, and has been introduced by offices around the world to boost their employees’ wellbeing and increase their connection to nature. In light of COVID-19, however, many businesses have had to significantly change their office environment, affecting some of the current approaches to biophilic design.

1. Reduction of personal items and creation of outdoor spaces
 
Employees have been asked to remove personal and non-essential items from their work station, to ensure all surfaces can be easily sanitised and there is a reduced chance of contamination between workplaces and home environments. For many employees this can include plants around and on desks – but that was never true biophilic design anyway.

In a true design sense biophilic design is about embracing nature and architects are now starting to think about the symbiosis between nature and the built environment, developing projects that immerse buildings and their occupants in the biological world. Considering how biophilic design can help with clean air ventilation and bringing a true outdoor experience to the office, could be the best trick to getting staff to still visit the office – creating avenues of escape that enhance wellbeing and productivity. We found a great article on the subject and the mind-shift that is now needed.

2. Increased floor space with nature at its core
 
Large items, such as printers, art features and plants may have been removed from an office, in order to ensure there is enough floor space possible for a business to enforce a one-way system or maintain social distancing between employees. The removal of sculptures and plants can significantly change the atmosphere of an office.

Although businesses may have to keep a clear floor space, that does not mean they can’t use the space as a cue to nature. Luxury Vinyl Tiles are both hygienic and can give a fresh natural look to any floorspace. Carpet Tiles are also easy to maintain and disinfect plus many of the Duraflor ranges are inspired by nature – ranges from both the Natural Terrain Collection and Freedom Collections being good examples.

3. Making communal spaces look less sterile
 
To limit employee socialisation, many communal spaces within an office have been removed or closed for the foreseeable future. This means that spaces where employees could come together and relax have been removed.

The emotional toll that the pandemic can have negative consequences on productivity and mental health. We will all recover best in an environment that promotes health, first and foremost but that doesn’t have to mean sterile looking environments. So while designing spaces that enable safe distancing is important, there has possibly never been such a greater need as now, to create exterior environments inside.  Considering living walls so plants provide air purification, thinking about colours and textures associated with nature rather than a sterile white for hygiene are likely to significantly enhance positive attitudes to a new office layout. A Human Spaces Report on Biophilic Design found 67% of respondents report feeling happy when walking into bright office environments accented with green, yellow or blue colours – that will still be the case. And there are already reports out there on how colour trends will be affected by the pandemic with experts predicting a gravitation toward hues that mimic the sensation of being in nature.

Breaking up open spaces in an office by hanging plants from the ceiling is also an effective way to fill empty communal spaces and introduce elements of nature into an office, without adding more touchable surfaces for employees to potentially contaminate. Thinking of furniture design that creates the right amount of distance yet feels and looks natural are all part of a new challenge but have the potential to create a much more rewarding and collaborative environment.

Interior Design Ideas for the 2020 Office

Design Ideas for the 2020 office - board table with protection pods

 

Design Ideas for the 2020 Office – Covid-19 Considerations

 

Interior designers need to balance style with practicality, creating an inviting space which employees feel safe to work in. In this blog, we have gathered the biggest commercial interior design trends for post-lockdown and beyond.

Reinventing the individual workspace

The individual workspace has become even more important due to the pandemic. Although the individual cubicle has fallen out of fashion in recent times, social distancing means that there could be a revert to this style of working again. Before the pandemic, many offices operated on an open-plan basis, with free address seating. However, designers will now have to draw clear lines between individual focus space and social areas. These boundaries will need to become more distinct, to give employees the option to distance or collaborate. Clever space division will be used alongside higher partitions for users’ peace of mind. This article is packed with suggestion on how to arrange office space.

Workplace social spaces will simplify

Before lockdown, many offices sported large social spaces, such as kitchens with mod-cons and spaces for activities such as yoga. These spaces will undoubtedly change post-lockdown. Many interior designers will have to rethink office kitchen spaces. Instead of wide-open space, kitchens may have to be divided up, with individual seating rather than large tables. Clever and innovative design is essential, as some kitchens may have to operate a one-way system for staff. Offices that contain large canteens will have to be completely rethought, with seating moved to be socially distant. By using flexible tools, movable furniture solutions and screens you can create a safer meeting area.

Collaboration spaces are essential

Video conferencing from home is just not quite the same as seeing people face-to-face. Although interior designers should place a large emphasis on individual workspaces, they should not neglect collaboration spaces. Staff need to be able to communicate and work together again, and therefore effective collaboration spaces are needed. We may see a rise in comfortable furniture such as sofas, and the use of warm-toned colours, to invite staff back into these spaces. Conference tables may become larger to accommodate social distancing, with hand sanitising stations placed around. Important decisions regarding flooring will also need to be made by designers. A durable floor which is easy to clean will be necessary for any office reopening after the pandemic. Our survey showed there is a strong belief that we will see more vinyl flooring moving forward as the covering of choice.

On the theme of Collaboration there is a belief that offices will become collaborative/creative spaces, perhaps visited twice a week – the article we found by the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine (Oxford University) also predicts companies might choose to have more local, suburban and smaller offices nearer to where the majority of their staff live.

Creating a flexible workspace

Office with partitioning part of a flexible office set up

The practicalities of creating a flexible workspace.

 

Creating a flexible workspace is a practical and cost-effective decision for any business to make, with that in mind we have gathered together some industry thoughts and added some of our own suggestions.

Planning for change in space requirements

It is more important than ever to plan for change and we found an interesting article by CBRE on “spacesizing” in essence: “Doing the work now to figure out your workplace requirements for the future will mean an optimised property footprint, while providing the flexibility needed to win the war for talent, and realising property savings across your portfolio.”

In our view, flexible workspace post Covid-19 is about how to integrate working remotely with the best future functions of the office. That requires a higher degree of forward planning for organisations but opens up plenty of opportunities for good office design around collaboration, technology and safer working spaces.

Consider how Activity Based Workspaces need to evolve

By no way a new concept we have covered ABW before. Forbes reported on the flexible workspace concept and concluded that the most effective offices were those which had a mixture of private and communal spaces, this needs to be considered now with an added element of safety and how people’s attitudes to activities may have changed.

Avoid permanent fixtures in anticipation of change

The importance of moveable furniture is referenced in a Zenbooth article, which talks about the benefits of flexible working design. If you want to create a flexible office space, it’s important to consider future uses for various areas in the office. For example, if the company is relatively new, you might choose to design an open space where everyone can interact, but as the business grows, you need to transition part of that to a training area or conference. Thinking carefully about partitioning and how easy you can move desks and other elements will save on future costs.

Consider minimising branding

Brand consistency is an important element of running a business, but it can be stressful to change the entire office every time the brand alters. Making a nod to the brand in colour schemes can be far more effective and impactful than plastering a logo everywhere.

It’s also important to consider what the employees might want out of the space. Instead of a heavily branded office, staff members will likely prefer to work in a welcoming and comfortable environment.

Rent artwork

Artwork is a great way of building a company culture and improving employee happiness and productivity. However, office art doesn’t have to be a permanent investment. The business’s office style will likely evolve over time, so renting artwork is a great way of adding a splash of personality to the space without having to commit to a style. Renting artwork can also accommodate any larger office changes that they make. As the business repurposes the space for different functions, they can switch up the artwork to reflect their new purpose.

Design to reduce stress post Covid-19

Combination carpet tile and vinyl flooring

Design considerations to reduce stress


 

While in the past you may have found creating a stress-free environment simple and straightforward, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the office environment as we know it. In this blog post, we look at design considerations to reduce stress and how that has changed due to COVID-19.

1. Hot desking

Allowing employees to sit wherever they feel like may have once given them a sense of freedom and control, but is now perceived my many employees as a serious cross-contamination risk. Hot desking and collaborative work zones must be replaced with set desks and working areas, to minimise employee contact and to limit employee movements around an office. There is a strong argument to say this change is not really a bad thing, as there is some debate around the negative effect hot desking may have had on employee’s anyway – not really that much evidence of reducing stress!

2. Personalisation

Similarly to the point above, many interior designers may have once left a lot of office and desk space blank, encouraging employees to bring in personal items and belongings that helped them to feel more peaceful and at home. Due to the pandemic, however, personal items in an office must be limited to essentials only and stored for the cleaning processes to take place. Many designers are now turning to plants to decorate an office space, to create a peaceful environment without including employee personal belongings.

3. Light

A ground-breaking study found that employees who are situated near a window get an average of 46 minutes more of sleep a night than an employee who has a windowless space in the office. We also found a great article on how morning light reduces stress at work. In the past, designers may have created collaborative workspaces around windows, but this is no longer possible. Designers will have to look at other ways to increase natural light within an office, such as by installing mirror or skylights. For more ideas.

4. Wayfinding

Whereas employees may have once rolled their eyes at a one-way system within an office, to limit the spread of COVID-19, one-way systems and social distancing markers have become essential. To ensure employees do not become unduly stressed trying to remember routes around an office, social distancing tiles and mats can be used to ensure employees have complete clarity about where they should be walking and standing, and they do not get stressed about trying to navigate their way around the office.

 

The RIBA Journal has a very thought provoking article on the office of the future is worth a read. It looks into how office design has been impacted by Covid-19 and provides additional insights on how design considerations to reduce stress can be implemented – a revolution that can have a positive outcome.

Wayfinding a design concept and new necessity

Making carpet tiles work harder colour as a path finder

Wayfinding as a way to social distance

 

As businesses are beginning to open up again in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, they are coming up with new, innovative ways of maintaining social distancing practices without interrupting their day-to-day business operations. One of the most effective design methods to minimise contact between employees while keeping your business running smoothly is by introducing wayfinding.

What is wayfinding?

Wayfinding is a strategy used in office buildings, healthcare and educational facilities and other complex spaces to help people navigate their way around them via symbols, maps and directions.

The benefits of wayfinding

Social distancing

An effective wayfinding system is a great way of increasing the likelihood that your employees will stay between/over 1 to 2 metres away from each other, therefore minimising the risk of infection within your office space. Having a one-way foot traffic system with appropriate signage will prevent your employees from bumping into each other in the office so that they can remain at a safe distance at all times.

Improve productivity

Creating efficient workplaces is a priority in commercial interior design, especially given how office spaces have kept up with the evolution of flexible working patterns and information technology. Emerging office trends are impacting how we utilise our spaces in order to ensure productivity, and wayfinding is one way that employees can focus on their task in hand and potentially navigate spaces more effectively.

Reduced stress

Offices, especially now, can be a high-stress environment for employees, which is why it’s important to take the appropriate steps to make the space you are designing as stress-free as possible. With an effective wayfinding system, you can put employees at ease by contributing to their sense of security, safety and wellbeing. By establishing an organised office layout with an efficient method of controlling foot traffic, staff will feel more relaxed in the knowledge that their environment is properly organised.

Here to help

We can offer carpet tiles, luxury vinyl tiles and safety flooring which can all be used to create the perfect wayfinding solution. Added to this our Social Distancing Collection – SD Create includes directional carpet tiles and vinyl floor graphics.

 

Covid-19 design inspiration from around the world

Greenhouses for a restaurant in Amsterdam - design inspiration Covid-19

 

Covid-19 Design Inspiration includes humour and repurposing

 

As the coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world, we find ourselves in uncharted design territory. Designers need to be more creative than ever before with their commercial interior design and quickly create real-time changes. Offices and workplaces around the world are making changes to embrace the new social distancing measures and keep team members and the public safe. As we start going back to work, there are so many new obstacles to overcome, yet we are not alone. Coronavirus has affected nearly every country in the world, so we can learn from other countries how businesses have responded to the epidemic. When it come to Covid-19 design inspiration, thinking outside the box and adding humour could be key features in the approaches taken.

Greenhouse restaurants in Amsterdam

It may seem surreal to see pop up trailers, screens and social distancing tiles and mats, but all of these are an essential step in the fight against coronavirus. Creative businesses have been quick to repurpose spaces such as sheds and greenhouses to create socially distanced bubbles. In Amsterdam, a restaurant has opened with customers sitting in separate, distanced greenhouses. Team members are also wearing face shields, PPE and using long platters, so they don’t come in to contact with customers.  A London restaurant that would normally have glass igloos outside only at Christmas time now has them for the summer – so families can stay in their social bubble.

Pool noodle hats in Germany

You may also have seen the cafe in Schwerin, Germany which recently featured on the news. As they reopened after lockdown, customers were asked to wear pool noodle hats to remind them to keep apart from others! This may be a bit much for your office, but fun reminders to maintain a social distance are an essential new design consideration. In other public settings cartoon characters and giant bears are filling seats that can’t be occupied if social distancing rules are to apply. There is likely to be a greater emergence of using humour rather than solemn messaging to keep people safe.

Mood-boosting graphics in the USA

Morale boosting signage has been seen around the world, from rainbows in windows, to thank you notes for carers. Tamara Shopsin, an American illustrator and designer, has been spreading positive messages with her free, printable PDF posters. Her posters include bold thank-you notes to postal workers and bright, eye-catching signs which encourage social distancing.

Chasing rainbows in the UK

The Chase the Rainbow campaign has been a strong unifying symbol as we have stayed in our houses to limit the spread of Covid 19 and supported our incredible health professionals. In Liverpool, Hull and Dudley road markers have written thank-you messages outside hospitals to encourage and thank staff permanently. A rainbow in a design scheme is a good subtle reminder of the importance of social distancing and hygiene requirements to ensure the NHS isn’t overloaded.

Crossing the ‘T’s and dotting the ‘I’s in the new normal

Create SD range in an office setting to show Social Distancing

Hints for commercial designers in the new normal

 

Lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease around the UK and more and more businesses are opening their doors once again. After months of remote and digital work, many of our clients will be able to enter the premises they are re-designing and begin practical work. We thought it might be useful to provide a bit of a checklist for operating ‘in the new normal’.

1. Confirm all appointments

Many businesses are currently only able to operate by limiting and controlling the number of employees/suppliers on their premises. While it is unlikely that you would simply turn up, there could be an added dimension of ‘optimum time of sites’. It could be worth confirming appointments and getting an idea of what to expect.

2. Establish any virus mitigation systems requirements before beginning any work

Talk about incorporating virus mitigation systems into a design from the start. For example, you could ask clients whether they want social distancing screens, a one-way system or floor markings included in your design work. See Government guidelines for offices.

Handwashing stations may not be the most stylish items, but they are necessary if we want to stop the spread of coronavirus. If they are positioned so they’re accessible for all, such as next to entrance and exit points, staff are more likely to take advantage of them. For more ideas view our blog on creating the hygienic office.

3. Future-proof your work

Although lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease, the virus is still a threat. Ensure you future-proof your work by creating design concepts and making decisions that are suitable in a post-pandemic world, as well as right now. Consider if communal areas will still be a requirement, go beyond desk spacing and surface types to what future usage could look like for a client.

Room dividers for example can help with social distancing, especially if your client works in a small office, but it will be important to strive a balance between hygiene isolation and the communication benefits of being part of an office team.

Commercial flooring from Duraflor is guaranteed from 10 years to 20 years. Thinking about how to use it both short-term and long-term will be important. Flooring presents a great way-finding and zoning opportunity. Considering how colour and different floor covering can be used to create barriers and transition activity is an important aspect of future proofing. Plus investing in Social Distancing Tiles that can be replaced at some point in the future is a good call. For a hygienic vinyl option Social Distancing Mats provide an ideal temporary solution that protects the floor long-term as well.

 

How interior design helps safer working

Showing how office design helps safer working - office design for social distancing

 

We consider how interior design helps safer working

 

Our recent customer survey confirmed the importance of ‘Covid-19 safer working environments’ being part of any interior designers remit going forward. We have therefore listed a few suggestions based on current thinking of how interior design helps safer working practices.

1. Opt for a minimalist look

Once a workplace re-opens, it will be essential in order to keep employees safe and comfortable, that a high hygiene standard is maintained at all times. For this reason, decorative items and personal belongings may need to be kept to a minimum. The fewer items and surfaces there are in an office, the easier and quicker it will be to keep clean.

In fact ease of cleaning could well become a selling point that dictates shape and form of office furniture going forward.

And what about the size of desks? According to Kaicker, who heads analytics and insights at Zaha Hadid Architects: “Office desks have shrunk over the years, from 1.8m to 1.6m to now 1.4m and less, but I think we’ll see a reversal of that, as people won’t want to sit so close together.” Kaicker even imagines legislation might be introduced to mandate a minimum area per person in offices, as well as a reduction in maximum occupancy for lifts and larger lobbies to minimise overcrowding.

More interesting insights to how previous pandemics have changed our cities and workplace design can be seen in this fascinating article we found.

2. Make space a priority

Already touched on above – to ensure employees feel safe and relaxed in a workplace, there will be a need to try to make an office look as spacious as possible. Even placing rarely used seating and tables into storage will help. An employer may also wish to consider multifunctional furniture, e.g. a bench that turns into a table, so the furniture in the office can be kept to a minimum but the office does not lose any of its functionality.

3. Introduce more wash facilities

In the short term, it is likely as part of their Covid-19 Risk Assessment Plan employers will place hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial spray and cleaning products around the office and create clean sanitation stations. In the longer term, they may wish to consider having more sinks installed around the office to ensure employees do not have far to travel to wash their hands.

4. Flooring considerations

Creating a one-way system around the office using arrows or adding 2m distancing signs to the floor design is one measure. This is addressed with our CREATE SD range or on hard flooring services we recommend our Social Distancing Floor Mats.

Our survey highlighted that many of customers believe that there will be an increase in the demand for antibacterial safety flooring and LVT in the offices of the future. Where carpet tiles continue to be used it is also likely that considerations will be given to how they in themselves can be used as way finders throughout a building and how ideal they are for zoning and 2m spacing in themselves – with clever use of colour and design.

 

If we can help in any way with your new design challenges, we are here to be of service – just call 01592 630030.