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How to make the most of a small or awkward office space

By | Uncategorised

Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are amongst some of the business giants that started life working in a small, awkward office space (in garages, to be exact). For start-up businesses, it’s pretty rare to move straight into your dream office; or so you may think.

The term “Open Office” has been a pretty hot topic in the world of business interiors. Initially, the concept of a large, open-plan space had connotations of creativity, freedom, and cross-functional working, but the concept has come under recent scrutiny over how it can cause distraction. The truth is, a balance between a collaborative space and a quiet retreat can be established in any working environment, suiting the needs of colleagues who thrive in either.

The things that make you tick in your working environment, from creative spaces to interior décor, can be accomplished in any space. So, embrace your awkward, or should we say unique, office space. Take a step back and have a think if any of the following could help you make the most of your space.

Natural Light

It’s the cheapest form of energy out there, so how can we make it work for your office space? Psychology Today’s studies show that employees exposed to more daylight report better quality sleep, less daytime dysfunction, and a better quality of life. Draw your blinds and let the light in, it really can help open a space up.

If you find that natural light doesn’t reach all corners of your space, try a layout reshuffle, or look at more natural styles of artificial light.

Glass

If your office space is less than conventional, glass walls or doors can be used to open the space up, as well as create additional rooms. Glass will also help that natural light reach as far as the sun’s rays will carry it.

Storage

Whether you’re battling with lack of space or are unsure how to fill that crevice in the wall, clever storage solutions are a must. Not only can a funky design liven up your office, but it can be functional and space-saving, too. Storage units can be slotted neatly under windows or in corners. They can also host some office decorations such as plants and photographs.

Layout

Don’t be fixed by your desk all day. Look at optimising your space to create both agile working spaces and breakout zones. An awkward layout may just be a blessing, as a simple re-jig could help you section off your office. A common, functional area doesn’t require a lot of space. Don’t fill it with big, clunky furniture; think light, practical, multi-functional, and spacious.

Our team have fitted out offices of all shapes and sizes. To find a solution that works for you, contact one of our team today.

Which famous face’s workspace would you work best in?

By | Chameleon

The way your workspace looks, from the number of desks to the colour of the walls, could be having an impact on your career.

Whether your workspace hasn’t changed for years or is at the cutting edge of office trends, its style could be having an impact on your success! While a light-filled, white open plan space could be the key to one person’s creativity, another may prefer a nature-filled oasis to keep them motivated.

We’ve created this quiz for you to discover the perfect style match for your personal productivity.

We want to show you that there is not one route to success when it comes to style.

This is why businesses need to think about how their workspace fits with their company culture and how it could be updated to deliver better results.

Click below to find out which celebrity office you should be taking inspo from!

Begin

Don’t forget to Tweet us with your results!

Job Vacancy: Marketing Executive

By | Uncategorised

Location: Hull

Job type: Permanent

About the company

Chameleon Business Interiors (CBI) is a leading commercial interior design and fit-out company with an impressive client roster and ambitious growth plans. CBI has coverage across the UK as well as in Toronto, Canada. CBI has a strong, tight-knit team based at the Hull headquarters with a very positive internal culture.

 

About the role

We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced marketing executive to manage our marketing activity. You will be responsible for delivering the marketing plan, in conjunction with our marketing agency. Your day will be varied, but essentially, you’ll need to work with our wider internal teams to help generate key commercial opportunities through our new and existing client base. You’ll need to develop and maintain relationships with clients, suppliers, third parties and prospects as well as managing the relationship with our marketing agency partner.

 

Working alongside our team and agency partner, your key responsibilities will be:

 

  • Delivering marketing campaigns to drive brand awareness and lead generation in our target markets
  • Measurement, analysis and reporting of campaign performance, providing insight and progress against commercial objectives
  • Creation and publication of all marketing collateral and assets
  • Social media – curating content with our agency partner and monitoring social engagement / interactions and taking action where necessary
  • Providing visibility online to past and current clients by engaging with their content
  • Creating and curating our email newsletters, ensuring we continue to achieve industry-beating open and read rates
  • Exploring opportunities for news and blog pieces and keeping the website up-to-date
  • Brand management – acting as brand guardian ensuring everything we produce adheres to the company brand guidelines
  • Identifying and managing PR and award opportunities
  • Organising team events, exhibitions and attendance at major events
  • Preparing monthly reports for our regular board meetings
  • Monitoring industry press for key trends
  • Monitoring and updating our CRM with new leads and liaising with internal teams for sales pipeline updates
  • Liaising with clients for marketing and PR permissions and collaborative pieces
  • Organising project round-up tasks, including photography, PR and case studies
  • Preparing our client move-in gifts for delivery

 

Required skills & experience:

 

It’s essential for you to have the following skills and experience:

 

  • Minimum 5 years ideally in a B2B Marketing role with some events experience
  • Creative thinking
  • Microsoft Office proficient
  • Very high level of written and spoken English
  • Confident telephone manner
  • Efficient with a good work ethic
  • Self-starter and excellent management of time
  • Ability to juggle and prioritise many important tasks on a daily basis
  • Full UK driving licence

Desired but not essential skills & experience:

 

  • WordPress experience
  • CRM/HubSpot experience
  • InDesign/Illustrator/Photoshop experience
  • Event and trade show experience
  • Email marketing experience
  • Content marketing experience
  • PPC experience

 

Employment features and benefits:

 

  • Work within a brilliant team with a people-centric culture
  • Free city centre parking in a secure private multi-storey car park
  • 28 holiday days per year
  • Flexible hours, with work-from-home an option if productivity targets are achieved
  • Monthly team events
  • Annual team events
  • Very strong progression opportunities internally

 

To apply, please send your CV to Linda Adland, lindaadland@c-b-i.co.uk and let us know why you’d like to join us.

 

 

5 ways to make your office design more sustainable

By | Uncategorised

With the current global climate crisis, it’s important we not only consider our personal impact on the environment but also our impact as businesses and communities. In the UK, the service and industry sectors are responsible for 30% of the UK’s energy consumption. Changes made by UK businesses can go a long way to improving sustainability and helping tackle climate change, while also creating opportunities for cost-saving and boosted employee wellbeing.

Here are our tips for creating a more sustainable office that enables teams to make ethical decisions in their day-to-day working lives.

Energy Usage

Before any office re-design, think about typical energy usage and what can be done to keep this as low as possible. Make sure the office space is properly insulated, and temperature controls are appropriate for your team, it can make a big difference in reducing your environmental impact.

To make sure energy isn’t wasted while the office is empty, heating and cooling systems can be set on timers and automatically turned off during evenings and weekends. Programmable thermostats give you the ability to adjust temperatures of different sections of the office, letting employees set the temperature that suits them, and turn the systems off when rooms aren’t in use.

Suppliers

Where you source furniture and supplies for an office re-design can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint. Think about every item you will need, what materials are used in production, and how far each piece needs to travel before arriving at your office.

Do your research and make sure you agree with the values of the suppliers you choose, that you understand what their products are made from, and know how they are getting to you. This is an opportunity to support local business and ensure your air miles are kept as low as possible.

Lighting

Lighting choices can have a huge effect on both your carbon footprint and your employees’ wellbeing. According to Finder, lighting takes up 26% of the average business’ electricity bill. Switching to more sustainable lighting solutions can save energy and reduce costs.

Making use of natural sunlight is the cheapest and most effective way to reduce energy consumption. Ensure your office design makes the most effective use of natural sunlight according to the space available, this can greatly reduce energy bills and is proven to improve productivity and lift employee’s mood. Win win!

Where it isn’t possible to use natural lighting, LED bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional fluorescent lighting. Additionally, smart lighting solutions such as timers and motion sensors are effective at making sure lights are never left on overnight or during weekends.

Furniture

There are so many options when it comes to office furniture. Before making the investment in brand-new furniture, it’s worth considering the value of what you already use. Are there items in your office currently that you can re-use in your new office design? Can pieces be painted, modified, or re-upholstered to fit with the new interiors?

To save your furniture from landfill, donate anything you don’t want to local shops, charities, or start-ups.

When buying new furniture, look for sustainable materials such as wood that has been reclaimed or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Also look for natural fabrics such as wool, silk, and hemp, or make use of recycled fabrics like recycled polyester.

Employee Habits

Every office operates in its own unique way and it is vital that employees’ habits are considered when an office is re-designed. Try to create an environment where it’s easy for employees to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives.

Make sure there are facilities available for employees to cook or reheat food, cutting down the need to buy lunches and reducing food waste and single-use plastic. Encourage recycling by ensuring bins are readily available and easy to make use of. Accessible bike storage also encourages team-members to cycle to work and cut down the environmental impact of their commute.

We work closely with our clients to ensure their new office interiors tick every box, from beautiful designs, specific functionality, and a sustainable approach.

For an example of how we can to create an eco-friendly working environment, see our design and re-fit plans for the University of Hull.

Chameleon go green with three-year university contract

By | Uncategorised

Chameleon Business Interiors has been appointed for a three-year contract with The University of Hull, securing the first project to design and fit-out the new Energy and Environment Centre at Hull University.

Located in the Chemical Engineering Building, the university is looking to provide an innovative and modern open-plan workspace to further drive the successful institute, placing a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of the team.

Chameleon will work on all aspects of the design process, to ultimately provide a modern, functional interior that is immediately ready for use.

With sustainability being a key element in the design, 100% recyclable carpets have been sourced from carbon neutral business – Interface, alongside eco-friendly fabrics from Camira Fabrics. Plants will be a focal point within the design, which will help to purify the air within the Centre. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of September this year.

Once finished, the Energy and Environment Centre will be used as an example of what can be achieved at the university – showcasing the benefits of open-plan working. This is the first step in creating a more agile working environment across Hull University, as they look to remove the cellular offices across the campus.

Established in 2016, the Energy and Environment Institute gathers leading scientists together to conduct impactful research into the global challenges that currently surround climate change, and its potentially devastating consequences. This includes focusing on predicting how the world’s climate will affect communities to ensure that people can carve out a sustainable future.

Kevin McIntosh, Head of Design at Chameleon Business Interiors, says about the project: “We view this as a fantastic opportunity to work with the university and the EEI department in creating a tailormade solution to support their needs, enhancing their productivity and enabling them to grow with a design centred towards sustainability and wellness in the workplace.”

Professor Dan Parsons, Director of the Energy and Environment Institute at The University of Hull, says: “The Energy and Environment Institute is at the forefront of innovation and research in some of the biggest challenges our planet faces today.

“We are a hub for research across campus, working with businesses, organisations and communities across the world to seek out ideas, systems and solutions that will tackle a range of issues – from flooding and cutting carbon emissions to renewable energy and waste management. It’s important that we have an inspirational collaborative space to do that and we are delighted to be working with Chameleon Business Interiors to achieve that.”

 

To find out how we can transform your workspace, get in touch!

 

 

How much office space do I need?

By | Uncategorised

There’s nothing worse than working in a tiny office that feels so small you can barely think. Working in too close proximity to your colleagues can cause a number of different issues.

That being said, being so far away from your teammates that you have to take a small hike to chat to them about your latest project can make things pretty inefficient, too.

It’s easy to miscalculate how much office space your business really needs, and if you do get it wrong, it can negatively impact productivity, employee satisfaction, and your plans to expand in the future.

To make sure you get it right first time, here’s our guide on working out exactly how much space your business needs.

How much do I need per employee?

Generally, we’d recommend around 100 sq ft per employee.

This can vary, however, depending on several factors. Those factors include plans for your business’ future, the sector you’re working in, and what kind of workspace design features you want to prioritise.

Businesses in certain sectors can get away with a smaller office, whereas some will need a bit more space. If you’re working in a sector that generally does most things online, such as a digital marketing agency or solicitors, you’ll be able to cope in a workspace that isn’t so roomy. Generally, creative businesses such as architects, or those that need to file a lot of physical papers, should be looking for a larger sq ft per employee.

If you’re struggling to visualise what 100 sq ft per employee looks like, a king-size bed is approximately 40 sq ft.

What else could impact the space I need?

When choosing an office space, there are factors other than your staff that you’ll need to take into consideration.

For example, if you’re planning to grow and hire more people, it’s no good choosing somewhere that’s the perfect size for the staff you currently have. Instead, work out how much you’re planning to expand your workforce in the next couple of years, and account for that instead.

Additionally, look at the layout of the square footage you’re working with. An 18,000 sq ft open space is going to be much easier to fit your staff in than somewhere that’s an odd shape.

The extras

After you’ve figured out how much space your workforce needs, you’re going to need to add in some room for the extras.

From meeting rooms and co-working spaces to individual offices, a kitchen, and even somewhere to relax, depending on your workplace culture, you’re probably looking at including at least a couple of these features.

It’s also important to think about what furniture you might want. If you’re planning on squeezing employees into less than 80 sq. ft. per person, it’d be a good idea to think of some clever ways to save space on things like storage and meeting rooms. For some examples, take a look at our work to see how we have used space to maximise employee comfort and productivity.

If you’re planning on moving into a new workspace, let us know, and we can help you figure out how to effectively use your new office to maximise productivity and make sure your employees are happy at work!

Hull & East Yorkshire People In Business Awards 2019

By | Uncategorised

We are celebrating a hat-trick of successes after three of our team members have been shortlisted for an award at the 2019 Hull & East Yorkshire People in Business Awards.

Competing against the best talent in the region, Head of Design – Kevin McIntosh, and Design Co-ordinator – Sarah Williamson, have made the shortlist for the Team Impact award. Additionally, our Assistant Project Manager Harry Gamble, is a nominee for the Rising Star award.

The awards encompass companies from all areas of work, and across all industry sectors. The Team Impact award celebrates a team of unique, determined individuals who consistently produce great work. The Rising Star award recognises individuals who have made a notable difference to the workplace within their short time in the business.

Shaun Watts, chairman of Chameleon Business Interiors, said:

“We believe Kevin and Sarah’s contribution to the working environment of so many people across the region through our projects should not be underestimated.

“Their ability to interpret the needs of our clients and convert that into a workspace that not only looks amazing, but addresses the issues surrounding health and wellbeing in the workplace deserves real recognition.

“I am also delighted that Harry has been shortlisted for the Rising Star award. He has made an outstanding contribution to the business, receiving notable recognition from our clients in respect to his approach and ability to manage an interior design project, and taken the lead role in the ongoing development of our health & safety procedures both internally and externally.

“Harry has a great future with us and I’m so pleased he is getting the recognition he deserves.”

Founder of the Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards, Jo Fleming, said:

“There have been some outstanding entries from businesses of all shapes and sizes, and everyone who entered should be really proud of themselves.

Narrowing down the shortlist was a difficult task, but we believe that we’ve chosen the best of the best that have the potential to be worthy award winners. Supporting talent in the workplace is essential, and the Hull & East Yorkshire People in Business Awards give both individuals and businesses as a whole the chance to gain recognition for their hard work.”

Kevin, Sarah and Harry will now compete against five other finalists in their respective categories with the winners due to be announced at a ceremony in July.

 

 

Clerkenwell 2019 Highlights

By | Uncategorised

This year our Design Team attended Clerkenwell Design Week 2019. As well as hosting an abundance of furniture and interiors showrooms, Clerkenwell is also home to a variety of other creative practices including architects, branding agencies and craft studios. Clerkenwell aims to push the boundaries of design, in terms of concepts, process and material capabilities., and invites industry leading professionals to explore these possibilities. Take a look below at what we thought were the running themes of showrooms around Clerkenwell.

Living Coral…

…was a prominent theme throughout many of the showrooms this year. Mainly used in fabrics, the colour with its natural depth gave a warmth to the surrounding commercial environments. Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting work environment.

 

 

 

Biophilia…

…was a clear trend with many commercial environments incorporating the natural world into the workplace. With its obvious health and wellbeing benefits such as improved air quality and reducing stress levels, biophilic elements where typically seen in breakout spaces. This included everything from small desk plants to large moss walls.

 

 

 

Acoustic panels…

…were heavily featured this year at Clerkenwell. With the rise of open-plan office environments, and a boost in collaborative working there has also been an increase in the need for zones which offer a quiet space away from the busy office environment. This year we saw acoustic panels with equal levels of aesthetic appeal and acoustic qualities, therefore ideal for any commercial environment.

 

Palisades…

…were spotted in almost every showroom we visited this year at Clerkenwell. With undeniable benefits, the palisades allow you to create different zones instead of walls, therefore providing areas of separation within an open plan environment. Typically seen with metal frames, palisades offer a great storage solution and allows you to be creative and flexible with the design and structure.

 

 

 

Want to transform your space? Get in touch for a free consultation!