Mention collaboration in the workplace and many people think that means open plan spaces filled with ‘funky’, expensive furniture and pool tables! The reality is that companies can achieve a truly versatile working environment which seeks to nurture employees as well as supporting different working practices without spending a fortune. 
Drew Barker, Marketing Officer at Lee & Plumpton, examines how to create a modern, interactive workplace without blowing the budget! 
In today’s highly competitive recruitment market, employers are recognising that workplace design is an impact factor in attracting and retaining motivated personnel. A well-planned office space can make it easier for people to complete tasks more quickly and effectively, work together more collaboratively and creatively, and have a positive effect on their health, wellbeing and engagement. 
Whilst open plan offices maximise space efficiency and, arguably, encourage collaboration, there is now evidence that many people find it difficult to concentrate when surrounded by constant visual distractions and incessant background noise. 
It is incumbent on employers to create environments that create functional work zones providing social, collaboration, concentration and personal spaces. The modern workplace should offer a choice of alternative areas allowing staff to choose where and how they want to work. 
Physical activity is essential for our well-being. Different zones encourage movement and can be supplemented with sit/stand desks and standing meeting spaces. Reports show that standing while working for just 30 minutes a day can burn more calories, decrease blood pressure, cholesterol and stress levels. 
Creating your new workspace need not be cost prohibitive. At Lee & Plumpton, for example, we offer a comprehensive choice of solutions, at different price points, to facilitate the creation of dynamic, inspirational environments that will revitalise your workplace. 
Soft seating choices, such as high back, upholstered sofas, can create informal, collaborative spaces as well as quiet zones within an open-plan environment. Fabric choices introduce accent colours whilst the acoustic properties help minimise noise transmission. 
Storage options provide a practical solution to divide the internal space without the cost and lack of flexibility of permanent partitions. Alternative height units can be specified with a worktop to act as a standing height meeting space accompanied by ‘poseur’ seats – for those who prefer to sit! 
Working together, your furniture partner will create concepts, proposals and space plans to demonstrate that a modern, dynamic workspace need not ‘break the bank’. The improvements in productivity as well as employee physical and mental well-being will offer a rapid return on investment – that’s sure to please the finance director! 
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