If you are about to build out a new office space or are contemplating a redesign of your existing space you need to consider whether architectural walls are right for you. When it comes to configuring office space things are no longer as simple as calling the local contractor to slap up a bunch of drywall and then punching some holes in it to accommodate cables. The 21st century office has very little to do with the office of even 20 years ago because today’s business environment favours flexibility above all else. Advances in ergonomics have also shown business owners new ways to increase productivity nothing to do with typing a bit faster and everything to do with freeing up creativity by providing healthy, nurturing environments for your workers.
Modular wall systems are not for everyone but as companies seek ways to stay current, expand to new markets and minimize costs, the case for them is now stronger than ever. So before you sink large chunks of your company’s hard-earned into sheets of drywall take a look at what architectural walls can do for you.
Advantages of Architectural Walls
- Flexibility – Modular walls can be repurposed to meet your changing needs at the drop of a hat. No more waiting for contractors to clear time on their schedule, no more high priced tradesmen dictating to you what is possible and what is not: when you need to move, your modular wall system is ready to move with you.
- Minimal Disruptions – When you bring in the contractors to reconfigure your space using drywall you bring in the noise, dust and disruptions that comes with them. With modular walls repositioning and repurposing can be handled at night or on the weekend by your own maintenance staff with few, if any, disruptions to your business.
- No Permits Required – Most municipalities allow the repurposing of architectural walls without a building permit. Since there is no “construction” involved you are free to reposition your modular walls whenever you need to.
- Beauty and Functionality – Today’s modular walls utilize state of the art design concepts that will wow potential clients while enhancing the functional capabilities of your office. Staff will appreciate the upgrade to their work environment while you and your managers are freed to envision possibilities instead of rueing limitations.
- Green to the Core – Today’s modular walls are manufactured almost entirely of recycled materials. Not only that, but you never again have to dispose of the mountains of refuse created by the demolition of dry walls when you decide to reconfigure your space. Every move is now a clean move.
- Safety and Health – Today’s architectural walls are fire resistant and free of formaldehyde and other environmental contaminants. With unlimited configuration options and integrated glass panel elements you are able to open up your office floor plan to allow for the free circulation of air and the penetration of natural light so important to employee well-being.
Now, consider for a moment the argument from the other side. Why is it that in 2015, with all the advances in office design, environmental awareness and employee health and safety drywall is still an option for so many business owners?
Advantages of Drywall Construction
- Short Term Savings – Typically drywall construction is less expensive than purchasing a system of modular walls. Not every company has the financial wherewithal to invest in modular and that makes drywall a reasonable alternative.
- Availability – There is something to be said for supporting local business and chances are there is a drywall contractor within shouting distance of your company offices. Though distributors of architectural walls are becoming easier to find, it’s still possible you will need to look further afield to obtain your modular walls and thereby incur shipping costs that could increase the original purchase price.
- A Matter of Taste – Maybe you don’t care for the look of modular walls. Maybe you prefer wallpaper and paint that you can change at any time to your liking. If that’s the case drywall is what you want.
The ability to hang wallpaper aside though, the advantages of drywall revolve mostly around its lower upfront cost. While this is certainly a legitimate concern the fact is that after just a single repurposing your modular walls will start to assert their superior long term value.
It must also be remembered that choosing a modular wall system for your office is not simply a matter of dollars and cents. There are also intangible benefits that you will likely never experience with drywall such as…
- A More Motivated Workforce – Young people today have little interest in treading the same ground as their forebears. Well-educated, technically savvy and anxious to live in their own time and make their own mark they respond better to a workplace that reflects the contemporary aesthetic rather than one hidebound in the past.
- Built-in Flexibility Going Forward – It’s hard to know what the future holds but it’s not hard to appreciate that an easily reconfigurable office is one that has a pretty good chance of weathering future changes wrought by technology or shifts in macro-economic realities.
- Enhanced Company Image – Businessmen and women are human like everyone else and like everyone else they are attracted to the aura of success. Few things can create such an aura like an office that reflects forward-thinking attitudes about technology, the environment and our relationship to the place where we spend the majority of our waking lives.
Architectural walls are not for everyone. Nothing is. However, if you hope to thrive in the business world of the 21st century then you’ll need to shape your company in a way that allows it to respond quickly to emerging trends, answer the call of opportunity and bend without breaking when it encounters the winds of change. To be that company you’ll need the right leadership, the right workforce and a dynamic, flexible workplace in which to operate.