A key aspect of any office redesign is flooring. The impact of the right flooring cannot be underestimated as it can make a real difference in whether a design scheme is effective or not. Flooring is not just a functional component of the office that needs to be durable and practicable, it can also be used to create different moods that change the way people view and use the space.
Here at CBS we love to work with award winning flooring company Desso on our office design projects. Desso are at the cutting edge of flooring design and manufacture, balancing creativity and innovation with functionality and sustainability.
Here, with the help of Desso’s UK Designer Nina Bailey, we share how flooring can be used to create workspaces that inspire those that use them.
Personalisation, Uniqueness and Individuality
Many of our clients want their office to reflect the company’s brand, values and create spaces that are unique to them. Earlier this year Desso were at Clerkenwell Design Week exploring exactly that: Personalisation, Uniqueness and Individuality. Flooring can be an effective way of making a space ‘your own’, especially when other components such as furniture may be limited to standard designs and products.
Personalisation does not necessary mean you need to have a custom design flooring solution to create individuality in your office space. Existing flooring collections can be customised to your space, using selected elements, textures, colours and patterns that result in a unique design that works for your company.
Creating Different Zones
Flooring design can also be used to denote different zones within an office space. This is particularly effective in large open plan offices where employees use different areas for different activities. A simple example of this is when flooring highlights walkways through an office, but it can also show designated areas for meetings, hot-desking, breakout spaces etc.
Atmosphere And Mood
As well as helping to define different zones through the use of colour, texture and other design elements, flooring can also have an impact on mood. A clever use of colour and texture can not only define a ‘quiet zone’ or other area of the office, but also encourage employees to use it as such.
Acoustic flooring solutions are also important in certain areas of the office and can we have used Desso’s SoundMaster carpets in various projects where either the office acoustics are poor, or specific areas need to be quieter than others. For example, a recent office relocation involved moving the customer services team onto the same floor as the sales team. As well as siting these two teams at different ends of the floor, we also used acoustic flooring to ensure that the customer services team benefitted from a quieter environment.
The right flooring can also improve employees’ health and wellbeing, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity.
Respiratory problems such as asthma are on the increase, and poor flooring can be a contributing factor. Fortunately the right flooring can help improve internal air quality and therefore create a healthier environment for your staff.
Desso’s AirMaster is one such flooring product that can do this. By capturing and retaining fine dust it removes these particles from the air and therefore reduces the irritants and allergens that may affect employees’ health. It’s 8 times more effective than smooth flooring solutions, and 4 times more effective than standard carpet solutions.
Another key consideration for many organisations is sustainability and this is another reason we are fans of Desso.
Their new Essentials II collection comes standard with an EcoBase™ backing that contains upcycled re-engineered calcium carbonate (chalk) from local drinking water companies. All products in this range are certified Cradle to Cradle® Silver, ensuring that the products contribute positively to the environment, human health and are designed to be recycled in a non-toxic closed loop. The Essentials collection also contains ECONYL® yarn – a 100% regenerated nylon made from recovered waste materials such as fishing nets and yarn waste from Desso’s own Refinity® recycling facility.
Finally we asked Nina for her advice on briefing a design team and exploring your flooring options. She says,
“Think about how the space is going to be used realistically – and what you would like it to achieve. Think about the atmosphere you want to create and whether you want to create a unique look. Sometimes a timeless design is needed, or perhaps functionality and health and wellbeing is the key priority – or maybe a combination of the two.”