Designing your Best Commercial Office Space – Built for Productivity and Comfort 

With more people being vaccinated against COVID-19, 2022 and the months leading up to it are set to be a busy time for companies returning to the office, and by extension, the commercial property industry in Cape Town. 

If you’re planning to return to the office soon, one of the realities you’ll soon be faced with is that your employees and team members will have vastly different expectations of their workspace than they did pre-pandemic.

  • An emphasis on cleanliness, hygiene, air and temperature control, and ample places to relax and socialise will help set your office space apart from others.

Let’s take a look at the elements of a winning office floor layout and how you can implement one at your business premises.

Hygiene has never been more important

Gone are the days of doing a spot check for “laptop, wallet and keys”. Because of the pandemic, most of us have gone from a carefree relationship with germs to checking for the masks and hand sanitiser every time we leave the house. 

This new awareness of the importance of hygiene is not likely to go away anytime soon – and it’s an excellent starting point for any modern office design. 

  • It starts at the door. Temperature checks and on-demand masks and hand sanitiser at your building’s entrance will make visitors and tenants feel safe on arrival.
  • Keep everything clean and free of clutter. A clutter free environment centred around open workspaces is easier to keep clean and sterile.
  • Keep dust to a minimum for good health. House dust and pollen allergies cause millions of people around the world to miss work every year. Regular dusting and vacuuming and the use of air purifiers can help reduce the number of these particles and improve the health of your employees.

Air temperature and humidity

The circulation of fresh air in your building plays a vital role in the health of all building users – but it can’t be too hot or too cold. 

  • Temperature is an important element in any office space because it has a powerful impact on the comfort levels of employees and that can directly influence their productivity
  • It’s important to adjust the air temperature in your office space on a seasonal basis, especially in Cape Town where the winters can be chillier than in other parts of the country.

Humidity is another factor that needs to be carefully controlled so that the water content of the air in your building remains in the sweet spot throughout the year. 

A building with high humidity tends to be unpleasant in summer and encourages the growth of mould which can lead to respiratory problems. On the other hand, a building with air that’s too dry can also cause breathing problems and trigger allergies or asthma in some people.

Modern aircon systems usually control temperature and humidity automatically. But even if your building has this it’s important to check with building users on a regular basis to ensure that the physical atmosphere in their workspaces is conducive to productivity. 

Maintain a social office for good mental health

Physical well-being isn’t the only important factor in the overall health of office space tenants. The psychological well-being of employees and managers is hugely influenced by the amenities they have at their disposal.

As we emerge from the pandemic and go back to the office it’s essential to create a workspace floor plan that’s both productive and relaxing, as well as motivating and stress reducing. 

commercial office space
Image: Steelcase

From a design point of view this means creating spaces where people can socialise, strategize, and blow off steam without leaving your business premises. 

  • Lounge areas, breakaway rooms, and workspaces with a view can all help to make office users feel at home again in your commercial premises. 
  • Many of these facilities can be created relatively inexpensively using drywall partitions and other structures while adding substantially to the appeal of your best commercial office space. 

Traditional water cooler chats are something that many of us miss from the pre-pandemic era but bringing back communal eating and drinking facilities will have to be done with safety in mind. 

  • Hand sanitiser, supplies of disposable cups and utensils and other measures that form part of a comprehensive health and safety policy are essential ingredients for successful workplace socialising in this era. 

Return to the office with us this year

Finding a safe and welcoming Cape Town office space is easy with the right knowledge – and that’s where our team of area specialists comes in. Contact us today to get started. 

Image Courtesy of Steelcase