How to create the best work environment in our tumultuous climate
We all know that Melbourne will throw at your four seasons in one day (at the very least). The business climate here follows much the same pattern; it can either shine or pour and change at a moment’s notice, and it pays to be ready for anything.
With this in mind, here are the top commercial office interior design trends in Melbourne:
Lighting which is natural, but has the capacity to still feel natural in all weather or even the middle of the night. This also includes the challenge of creating the feel and effects of light when you are working in the lower levels of skyscrapers in the CBD. You can do this by using glass wherever possible, painting and carpeting in light tones, and using filtered light instead of artificial light.
Unpainted, natural and exposed finishes and textures, which have the effect of creating a more minimalist, flowing look and reduced clutter. This can mean emphasising wood and stone and industrial looks such as exposed timber beams or copper pipes.
Décor that promotes workers’ connection with their own natural environment has been shown to have physical and cognition health benefits. This includes using windows, light and views, plants and water features, and natural or living works of art.
Bold use of vibrant colour that is personalised to the business and the brand. Designers are experimenting with using colour confidently, but not in line with what is seasonal or funky, but in line with what speaks of the company mindset and workstyle.
Flexible and adaptable workspaces, that offer efficient use of space. Convertible spaces mean that you are using your restricted real estate to the best of your ability, while still encouraging formal meetings and informal networking, presentations, collaborations, idea-charged think-tanks and social and relaxed functions.
Plan better, use less and do more.
More balance and less burn-out
Designing your workplace with staff morale in mind is the number one way to increase productivity. This means getting rid of a number of office myths, such as the fact that people can easily multitask, a one-size- fits-all approach, the idea that we work equally well across an eight-hour day, or that we respond to titles and authority.
Studies show that people respond best to flexibility, and each individual will have their own internal clock. Different people will need different stimuli at different times to continue to work effectively, and this includes incorporating their personal and family needs in the balance.
Is commuting a factor in interior design?
Melbourne has one of the worst systems in the world for traffic congestion and unreliable public transport. When designing a user-friendly space this needs to be taken into consideration, or at least employers should do everything they can to not make things harder.
Make workplaces flexible in start and finish times, make them places you want to come to, have ample parking or are otherwise easy to access. Again play up natural light and other connections to nature that will work around the clock so people can work well whenever they come in.
Design a workplace with the staff in mind, and the aim of creating a space where people love to work.
When you are designing for Melbourne, you need to be confident, personal, bespoke and practical. This city is less sleek and sophisticated, but more cultured, creative, innovative and inspired.
In Melbourne, offices are being built into all sorts of refurbished spaces, such as factories and warehouses, old homes, churches, hospitals, shops and storefronts, and even prisons. This means that the space must be very well designed and utilised, making best use of features such as wireless or cloud technology, convertible furniture and movable partitions.
Good interior designers are working out how to blend historical aspects of a building and location with cutting-edge IT and office fit-out, while still connecting people to their natural environments and giving a workplace its own personal style and edge.
Good design is a very difficult juggling act, which is why it is worth seeking out experienced interior designers who know the city and its people well.