Modern realia have introduced their own changes both in the style of doing business and the very concept of office work management too. Multiple researches have proved that staff performance directly depends on the convenience and functionality of work areas and good office space design. Since increase of business profitability is the main task of any company, executives started to create the most favorable conditions for employees of their office that encourage the activation of their performance and increase their motivation. Besides, the level of a company’s corporate culture that is reflected in general job climate of an office too has become one of the factors demonstrating a company’s grade. In view of the foregoing, modern office improvement trends have primarily affected the field of styling and designing various office areas.

For many years offices used to be designed as rooms holding to imply arrangement of blank walls and visual area partitioning. This traditional lay-out of several separate rooms connected by a corridor remains to be a main one for offices with operating departments that consist of several employees who do not interact with each other during a day-to-day work. This type of office interior design has some points in its favor: acoustic insulation, visual closedness and a quiet atmosphere. However, pursuant to recent office improvement trends, the room type has been going into a left-over, since emerging to prominence now are openness, cultivation of team spirit and opportunities for continuous communication between employees. This office design concept called OpenSpace is based on a functional partitioning of a total office area into separate workplaces with the help of mobile office dividers and translucent structures. Such office improvement policy is ideally suited for teamwork and allows executives to maintain unfaltering control. Arrangement of more isolated zones can be provided subject to specific office features, e.g. installation of partitions with ground opaque glass or usage of shutters and soundproof structures for meeting rooms and directors’ offices. So-called “combi offices” hold an intermediate position – they bundle the advantages of both the room type and the OpenSpace concept.

Any modern office is a combination of various functional areas; proper positioning of such areas defines both the efficiency of team-work and the level of comfort for every employee. An office opens with a reception area that is usually located in a lobby or in one of open work areas meant for administrative staff. When an OpenSpace office is designed, it will require visual isolation of the reception area from other zones; positioning of these zones depends on specific features of employees’ activities. Office premises for employees imposed by customer care duties should be the closest to the reception area. If there is enough office area, a room for messengers or advertising agents who are not obliged to stay in the office permanently can be provided in the same area. These premises will create an additional “barrier” between the reception zone and main work areas that require a quieter atmosphere. Rooms for employees dealing with cash assets and important documents should be the farthest from the reception area.

Separate premises are provided for senior executives of companies; these premises are usually adjacent to main work areas allowing executives to coordinate employees’ activities. In huge companies, these premises consist of a director’s office and a secretary’s workplace. Meeting rooms are of particular importance in office design today and in recent years there is a tendency to extend their space. Meeting rooms are positioned in such a way that they are easily accessed from executives’ offices; this being said it is important to refrain from using main work areas as a passway to a meeting room. If a meeting room is used for holding conferences and seminars, it is better to use module transformable structures for its arrangement. A kitchen is provided for in the office design for meals and a short rest where employees can have lunch. But in these latter days arrangement of a coffee-office area with light functional furniture and automatic coffee and tea makers is increasingly in common practice, though this method is more feasible for business-centers with available separate canteens for employees.

Modern office designing is an absolutely separate area of interior design, since it is necessary to bring functionality, up-to-date trends and a corporate style of companies in a perfect balance. Classically styled design is considered to be the traditional one for room-type offices, while the OpenSpace concept and combi-offices provide virtually infinite possibilities for office space decoration and arrangement. Particularly, designing and styling of an OpenSpace office can be made in American, pan-European, German and Japanese styles, aside from traditional design styles – hi-tech, modern, minimalism or neoclassicism. Office design stylistics depends on a company’s line of business too: e.g. design of huge financial institutions should personify presentability and solvency; trade firms glut their interiors with branded merchandise to promote their brands, while decoration of offices for advertising agencies and creative workshops becomes another demonstration of their democracy and creative approach.

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