Traditional office space has evolved as occupiers seek to maximize efficiency, attract and retain top personnel, and provide a welcoming, engaging work environment. Architects and designers are rethinking the use of office space, which is causing substantial changes in the workplace. Private perimeter offices have evolved into open office layouts, bench furniture seating has increased population density and collaboration, ceiling systems have been removed to maximize ceiling heights and expose the building structure and infrastructure, polished concrete floors have replaced carpet, and high-end, luxury cafés have lounge areas and soft seating. Outdoor patios, billiard rooms, putting greens, bars, and concierge services have all improved the employee workplace experience.
When you live in Dubai, foreign personnel visiting your office is familiar, and your office needs to be in proper shape to form a good impression. Fit-out companies in Dubai always develop innovations that significantly with the same. Despite their popularity, these trends have created many functional and operational issues, including increasing noise levels, inefficient infrastructure, a lack of parking availability, extended operating utilization, and increased facility expenditures. However, with the introduction of new technologies, materials, and progressive design aspects, project teams have overcome these obstacles with creative solutions. The top six issues for a new workplace fit-out are outlined here, along with methods to handle them successfully.
(1) Levels of Noise
Ambient noise, frequently a subjective disturbance, is the most prevalent source of worry since it can distract personnel and reduce productivity. In addition, when drywall partitions are removed, and hard-finish surfaces are employed, sound travels with no barriers or absorption regions. Glass office fronts and doors, for example, may considerably contribute to sound intrusion.
White noise sound-masking systems and gadgets can be strategically placed to cancel out unwanted sounds. Acoustical materials, such as spray-on acoustical coatings or ceiling/wall panels can also reduce noise levels. Furthermore, sound intrusion can be reduced by using double- and triple-insulated door/glass office fronts with specific seals and gaskets. The furniture sector has also produced systems that provide unique noise-canceling options.
The lack of wall partitions and suspended ceilings, which are commonly used to support the construction of an office building, has contributed to perceptible vibration from the slab within steel frame buildings. This issue is compounded further by the size of column bays, floor plate square footage, and building designs when architectural components that contributed to attenuate facility vibration are removed. We recommend strengthening the existing beams or adding tuned mass dampers to absorb the vibration and solve the problem.
Growing employee numbers and flexible work hours necessitate a more robust infrastructure to handle increased office utilization. Infrared sensors, for example, can assist project teams in responding to a more fluid work environment and controlling mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
Large, highly inhabited open areas provide difficulties in heating and cooling the office since occupant comfort levels fluctuate.
Most office buildings were not initially meant to house many people. As a result, older buildings frequently have insufficient bathroom plumbing fittings, which does not comply with today's construction requirements. Bathrooms must be altered to satisfy demand in these circumstances. Furthermore, contemporary facilities like cafés, conference centers, and outdoor roof gardens need plumbing systems that may not be foreseen.
(4) Demand for Parking
Additional parking is necessary for an open office setting due to increasing employees. However, in many suburban markets, the occupant-to-parking-space ratio is out of harmony with demand. As a result, new office build-outs are not viable in certain circumstances because the land cannot sustain extra parking or the necessary money. Some landlords solve this issue by including Uber services in lease agreements with renters. Furthermore, longer work hours may lower the number of parking places required. Finally, transit-oriented development (TOD) programs have enabled developers to lower parking requirements in suburban areas with direct access to public transportation.
(5) Operational Impact
Employees are increasingly provided flexible and extended office hours as a strategy to recruit and retain talent. Companies are moving away from the usual 9 am-5 pm work model to achieve a better work/life balance.
When combined with a rise in population, prolonged work hours bring additional issues for maintaining and operating the workplace. When choosing and specifying finish materials and equipment, consider longevity since original colors, textures, and functions frequently degrade with time—especially with lengthy daily usage and continued exposure. When evaluating the long-term operational impact, the initial capital premium may be justified since it considerably will lower yearly running expenses and the requirement for additional stock of replacement or maintenance items.
(6) Capital Expense
Because of new flexible workspace alternatives for workers to work remotely, many corporate real estate portfolios are seeing the possibility to minimize the office footprint while raising total occupancy.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, there is sometimes a premium for the initial capital expense of constructing a new office. The current minimalist design of new workplaces includes complicated and delicate architectural features that can be difficult to build. In addition, these features need additional time and visually acceptable materials.
Although these notions have been broadly accepted, there is still worry that the new open office setting is unsuitable for all businesses. In addition, some employees do not find the area effective. As a result, we see the need for a more balanced workplace strategy that reduces the office area while maintaining functional components.