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Sharni Verity, marketing manager at Heckmondwike FB, discusses how flooring can provide the key to a more inspiring and dynamic workplace.

Recent studies by US architecture and design firm Gensler showed that employees felt that, on average, they would be 21% more productive given a better working environment. The study estimates that poor workplace design costs US businesses around $330billion in lost productivity every year.

The survey revealed that 90% of workers believe that better office design leads to better overall performance, which could have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Open-plan design is still a very popular trend in the office sector and it’s here that choice of flooring is helping to define certain areas, for example, with bold colours providing a contrast for breakout areas, walkways, or ‘huddles’. This has been made all the more possible because of advances in fibre bonded carpet, which mean that it can easily be cut on site and there’s no risk of it ravelling or fraying.

New layouts are also aimed at encouraging greater teamworking and flexibility. With advances in wifi, networking and wireless technology, hot-desking is a popular trend, allowing people to work where they are most needed in a business, rather than being tied to a specific location.

Building designers and specifiers therefore face the challenge of having to create workspaces that allow for these productive working environments, with comfort and practicality, whilst also providing demarcation and a clear sense of purpose for each area.

Increasingly, interior designers are choosing floorcoverings as a way to mark out areas into specific zones within an office building.

And it’s for this reason that our carpet tiles are proving increasingly popular. Designs like our Planks also challenge the traditional concept of the square design of a tile, with a planked shape, which adds interest and an element of design to the floor space. Planks are available in four of our most popular

ranges, opening up great design opportunities for specifiers.

The development of our Creative range meant we could offer modern minimalist carpet design such as Array and Night Sky, but that can be contrasted with bold blocks of colour from the Broadrib range.

The Creative range gives an aesthetically pleasing, yet subtle look to large open spaces and is therefore perfect for both educational and office environments. Not only does the range create inspirational interiors, it also helps people to navigate their way around buildings in large open-plan offices, as well as providing functional, engaging spaces.

The Wallis Building in Nottingham is a workspace for high technology and digital businesses, it was given a contemporary and eye-catching look through the use of Array fibre bonded carpet tiles complemented by Broadrib.

The style of the office is open-plan, yet accommodates a large number of start- up companies, so colour was used for demarcation and clearly identifying the work area of each business.

The Array tile chosen on the project has a striking lime green surface pattern throughout, which complements the Broadrib in Willow. This was laid in contrasting stripes throughout the ground floor area. The result is an attractive, modern working environment, with clearly defined zones that cleverly separates the space, without use of barriers.

As the trend towards flexible working continues, specifiers and interior designers are increasingly looking for vibrant accent colours that create a clear distinction in the flooring for specific work areas, whilst also complementing more muted tones. The result is aesthetically pleasing interiors which promote productivity and encourage teamworking whilst making the very best of available space and resources. OFFICE | 27

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