There are many ways to simplify the space planning process, and OSCO Interiors is ready to help. From project management to design, installation, and audiovisual elements, OSCO provides a comprehensive approach to creating the ideal workspace for a variety of commercial industries.
The company has been a tenant at Lincoln Mill for years and they are always at the forefront of implementing new technologies and research into their offerings. Recently, Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate sat down with OSCO to discuss the future of office spaces post-COVID.
Who Is OSCO Interiors?
“OSCO provides office solutions that include interior design, moving services, installation, project management—anything and everything that goes into creating high-performance spaces through furniture,” explained Andrea Simpson of OSCO Interiors. “We have a sister company at Lincoln Mill under the same umbrella called Verta Technologies that provides audiovisual systems. As sister companies, we work hand-in-hand to provide turn-key solutions to clients.”
A local company, OSCO works with a variety of brands and budgets. One of its most prominent partners, Steelcase, is the number one manufacturer of commercial furniture in the world. OSCO is proud to say it is the sole Steelcase dealer for North Alabama and parts of southern Tennessee.
“Steelcase integrates a lot of research into creating its designs,” said Andrea. “Many of our office clients are focusing on restructuring their workspaces to accommodate for workers returning post-COVID. It is a delicate situation and we have been sharing research from Steelcase to our clients—especially those in the commercial real estate, architecture, and development world—about ways spaces can adapt to increase safety, comfort, and productivity.”
What Do People Need In An Office Space?
Business leaders know that the overall office experience and employee contentment tie directly back to the environment. Steelcase wanted to find out how environmental needs have changed since the pandemic and how office users can feel more comfortable when returning. The team compiled data from more than 32,000 surveys, 8,000 floorplans, and opinions from office users throughout ten countries. They say what they found will give us a clue into the features and needs of future office spaces.
When employees were asked what they needed most at the office, five features were identified and ranked: Safety, Productivity, Belonging, Comfort, and Control—in that order. All of these elements are affected by layout, furniture, and available technology. With this in mind, Steelcase proposed four main design principles/layouts that they believe will be most utilized in the future.
New Design Principles
How can real estate professionals, architects, business leaders, and decision-makers incorporate this research into a physical space? Steelcase identified four distinct design principles/layouts that create a better work experience.
Me + We – This design equally supports team and individual work, allowing for quick shifts between working alone and together.
Provide employees a range of privacy options for solo work.
Adjacent spaces for “me” and “we” work let people toggle back and forth.
Spaces with acoustic and visual privacy let people focus or take video calls.
Open + Enclosed – Includes more enclosed “me” and more open “we” spaces to provide a range of individual privacy and control opens.
More collaboration options let teams adjust based on size or task.
Closed collaboration spaces for more privacy.
Movable flexible boundaries to create a territory in the open.
More spots for individual privacy.
Fixed to Fluid – This design incorporates more adaptable spaces with highly mobile furniture, power, technology, and space division.
Multi-modal spaces support multiple purposes and modes of work.
Flexible architecture elements allow for multiple ways to reorganize your space.
Braiding Digital + Physical – Places an emphasis on adding smart, sensing technologies for data-driven experiences. It also adds more options for including team members who work remotely.
Provide shielding and backgrounds for video calls with headphones.
Add collaboration devices and access to mobile power use.
Add spaces dedicated to video calls and conferences.
A Better Work Experience Starts With A Better Workplace
“As more people return to the office, creating a safe and productive environment can be a challenge for some companies,” said Eric St. John, Vice President of Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate. “Offices are changing layouts and adding technology that enhance safety, sanitation, comfort, and productivity. Staying on top of the latest trends and needs of the modern worker help industry professionals create spaces that improve employee satisfaction and retention.”
Lincoln Mill’s Dye House is busy with construction as its confirmed tenants are getting spaces ready for business. Last week, the first concept—THREE15—opened its doors with a grand opening celebration complete with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, giveaways, and more. The fitness-focused studio is a three-in-one facility offering classes that combine cycling, strength training, and barre exercises designed to keep members entertained, motivated, and successful.
“Overall, we believe 2021 will be a positive year for commercial real estate and the economy as a whole. We are blessed to live and work in the Huntsville/Madison market and know the future is bright for all of us.” Those were the final words of our annual report in 2020, and I am happy to say we got that one right—despite all the obstacles that were put in the way of the U.S. economy.