Coping with an Upstairs, Downstairs office.
Older readers will recall Upstairs, Downstairs, the story of the up market Bellamy family and their loyal servants beneath stairs that provided for their ever whim. A fore runner of Downton Abbey, both demonstrate a situation that we often have to consider when designing a new office.
How do we create an office that will act as a flagship for the company, an impressive environment that will promote all the brand values of the company, whilst also allow the back ground staff to drive the business forward on a day to day basis?
The latter will need the tools and surroundings to help them keep on top of heavy workloads, hordes of paperwork, the ability to interact quickly and efficiently with other members of staff and provide all the support areas to keep everyone fed and watered.
Often we have to discuss in great detail how we can best develop these two layers of a business to best effect, much of which will depend on how our clients view the opportunity.
In the days of an Edwardian household, visitors would never see the engine room of the house downstairs and therefore there was no real need to consider this area of the house, as long as upstairs ran like a Swiss watch no one cared.
These days in the business world there are decisions to be taken. When you introduce clients and prospects to the business environment is it necessary or desirable for them to see the inner workings of the office and/or see staff at their desks? Does it provide an additional selling point or is it to be avoided?
Alternatively, if this is not possible, it is important that we design areas that not only act as appropriate work spaces but which are also acceptable to host visitors. It will also be important to keep these areas clear of the normal detritus of day to day operations with good storage and space management so that these now public areas continue to impress the important visitor no matter when they visit.
So whether you are going to embrace upstairs or downstairs or a mixture of the two, talk to us about making the very best of the situation and make sure that your office puts its best foot forward.