In Office Design, The Lines Between Home and Work Blur
In the extreme, commercial and residential technology integrations are very different. Both projects have shades, lighting controls, TVs, audio, and security, but the scale can be very different. At BRAVAS, we do a few home projects every year with more than 20 rooms with TVs, but they don’t have video conferencing. There can be hundreds of rooms in a commercial project, and all of them may have TVs and conferencing capabilities. As an office design company, we know firsthand that commercial projects are often of a massive scale as compared to most homes.
Today, after a year of working from home, some of us are starting to head back into our offices. However, as we re-enter these spaces, while many of the office chairs are better, we have noticed other elements of the experience are not as good. We explored some of the issues in a recent BRAVAS Luxury Living podcast which you can hear here.
Same but different – home and work
When we work on a luxury home, we think about each room and ask about shades, lighting control, TVs, sound, and security needs. We also might think about how we can hide the technology so that we don’t ruin the design of the space. For lighting, it’s not only about the light fixtures and control, but also about the bulb. Modern LED lights can dim to warm and be tuned to specific colors to help with eyestrain and overall health.
If you have lived on Zoom for the year, you may also have invested in a better camera, lights, and microphone to maximize your effectiveness and minimize how tiring it can be. By the way, if you have not done these things in your home office, you should; it will make a massive difference to how you feel and how effective you are. BRAVAS would be happy to help show you some great ideas.
Yet, none of these changes have been implemented or even considered when you head to the office. Take your average work conference room: overly bright lights, lousy sound, poorly positioned microphones, TVs that are hard to connect to your laptop, and poorly integrated cameras (or none at all). For those who will live in a hybrid world, with some people at home, the future will be crowded around someone’s laptop – a bad experience for everyone.
Coming to work is bad enough with all that traffic; why would we want to be less effective when we get there? In addition, there is a considerable amount we can learn at work from how we have worked at home.
Same but different – work and home
There are also things we can learn from our work environment and bring them home. One of the most important is automation.
At work, few companies pay someone to walk around all the offices, turn off all the lights, shut the TV off and generally put the location into sleep mode. Across an enormous building or complex, saving in power can be substantial if you take these steps. A well-designed system from someone like Crestron allows you to automate these steps and manage them remotely. Integration with the HVAC and security systems is also possible to ensure that the workplace is safe and comfortable.
All these same automation and connections are possible in our homes. While savings are not as significant, they can still be helpful. Studies have shown, for instance, that by including a smart thermostat in your home automation system, you can cut heating and cooling costs by more than 20%, meaning you can cut your home's energy bill by over 10%. These augmentations can also add to the value of your home. Some claim that automation systems can raise the value of your home by up to 5%. Others report that it can be up to 35%. Smart homes can make your life easier and save you money.
If saving or value does not sway you, our advice is to ask someone who lives with this type of automation what it does for them. Done well, this automation makes your home more comfortable and convenient. That's enough of a reason for most people.
Call Your Local Office Design Company
Whether it is taking lessons from the home to use in your office space or taking office ideas home, BRAVAS can help you. Our motto is 'Beautiful Places. Smart Spaces' and that does not only have to mean our home. While you might not be putting up your artwork in the office, there are still many things smart automation can do to help you live, work and even play better at home and work.