The shift toward the modular office comprised of numerous sizes and styles of movable partitions is one that started slow but has become the dominant commercial design trend of the early 21st century. There are a lot of reasons for that but they all come back to the fact that demountable partitions provide a slew of benefits fixed drywall construction simply can’t. And those benefits are more than just aesthetic (although that certainly is a big part of the mix). Below we’re going to outline those benefits and how they have helped various companies adjust to today’s changing business environment.
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- The Many Ways Office Partitions Benefit Modern Business
The Many Ways Office Partitions Benefit Modern Business
The number of companies that have made the switch to movable office partitions is staggering. It encompasses every type of business from high tech to hospitals, law offices to manufacturing firms in every locale from east coast to west. Below we’ll take a look at the benefits these companies are enjoying and the thought processes behind their conversions.
That movable glass partition walls are a significant step up the aesthetic ladder from drywall is beyond doubt and one of the main reasons many companies are drawn to them in the first place. Partition walls allow you to open your space to natural light, encourage the free interchange of ideas while retaining quiet spaces and best of all bring you into the fold of those companies whose office designs are leading the way toward a brighter, healthier, more productive future.
Take for example a Toronto graphic design firm that wanted to give itself a more forward leaning image. They were concerned that their old fixed wall layout was not only limiting their ability to respond to changing business needs but that they were presenting visiting clients and would-be clients with an inaccurate picture of the company as a vital, contemporary enterprise. After installing office partitions they experienced not only a higher level of engagement from their current clients but a higher number of referrals as well. It’s safe to say their aesthetic upgrade had its intended effect.
As the old saying goes “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. And with beautiful, versatile partition walls the first impression you make is the right one.
2 ) Economics
While aesthetics is of primary concern to many businesses it’s only one of the major benefits to be gleaned from partition walls from IMT Modular. The other major, compelling reason to make the switch to partition walls is economic. Few developments in the past half century have made such a fundamental impact on the bottom line of companies large and small as movable partition walls.
Take for example the large Ontario manufacturing concern that was haemorrhaging money trying to keep their main office well-lit and comfortable for their staff. Like many companies they employed dozens of overhead recessed fluorescent fixtures in their office. These were necessary to illuminate the centre of their office floorplan where natural light rarely made an appearance due to the fixed office walls around the periphery. These dozens of fixtures led to astronomical monthly lighting bills and also added to the amount of heat in the office. That, in turn, created strain on the HVAC system which had to work harder and consume more energy to keep up with the heat load.
After making the switch to partition walls the company was able to decommission a majority of those overhead light fixtures because natural light was now able to infiltrate all parts of the floorplan. Remaining lights were hooked up to sensors which turned them on and off only when they were needed. As an added bonus energy use and air conditioning costs were dramatically reduced and the heat from all those old fixtures that used to help out a bit in the winter was compensated for by warmth from the sunlight that was now flooding the space.
The business of business is profit and few things help you retain more of your hard earned profits than movable glass partitions.
If there is one truth about the new global economy it’s this: the future belongs to the flexible. Circumstances, treaties, technology, the rise of hot new products and the entrepreneurial culture mean that if you are not able to respond quickly and effectively to change you’ll wind up on the slag heap of business history. More companies than ever are prone to sometimes dramatic changes in staffing needs and their facility needs to be able to accommodate and adapt to these needs on the fly.
A good example is one of the largest call centres in the GTA that found itself constrained by a fixed wall office that had them scrambling to accommodate frequent fluctuations in staffing levels. New hires were being jammed 3 and 4 at a time into tiny offices originally designed for a single senior manager. Interoffice communication was frequently breaking down and the quality of services the company was able to provide was being challenged by these logistical hurdles. After relocating to a new space – one fitted out with demountable partitions that could be quickly and easily repositioned and repurposed – the company saw a significant uptick both in productivity and in client satisfaction levels. As a result they’ve been able to take on additional clients (and the additional staff those new clients require) without missing a beat from a logistical standpoint and are poised to enjoy further expansion going forward.
If staying competitive in a fast changing global business environment is important to your company demountable wall systems from IMT are the answer you’ve been looking for.
4 ) Environmental Responsibility
You’d have to be living under a pretty big rock for most of the 21st century to be unaware of the environment crisis facing us all. From the Pacific garbage patch to overflowing landfills, to depleted primary forests and all the various side effects of climate change. If we are to leave our children and grandchildren a world worth living in it’s crucial that individuals and businesses pull together to get a handle on the situation now, not 10 years from now. Modular walls from IMT are composed almost entirely from recycled materials and at the end of their extremely long productive life they can be completely recycled, thereby breaking the cycle of primary resource waste. This aspect of movable walls is attractive to a wide array of environmentally aware companies who have seen the light and made the switch from drywall.
Take for instance a Toronto media production company which, after producing a number of features on the environment, began to look inward at its own environmental posture. They became keenly aware that every time they needed to alter the layout of their office or production space it resulted in massive piles of debris that ultimately wound up in landfills. At one point company management convened a get together to discuss alternatives that would bring their organization out of the environmental dark ages and settled on movable partition walls. Since doing so several years ago their organization has become more efficient, more profitable and best of all they now practice what they preach when it comes to environmental issues.
The environmental crisis is no longer a can we can kick down the street for future generations to deal with. It must be addressed now and movable office partitions from IMT are a great place to start.
5 ) Improved Traffic Flow
No we’re not talking about relieving congestion on the main commuter arteries in and around Toronto. What we’re talking about is the need for companies to have workspaces that encourage and enable the free movement of people and resources. If any work environment is to succeed in fostering creativity and collaboration it’s vital that staff are not constantly tripping over each other.
A major player in cloud computing with a significant office in Toronto realized they were being held back by the inability of their staff to collaborate in an effective fashion. Individuals and teams were isolated by the fixed wall architecture of their space, communication was poor, morale was suffering, valued staff members were being lost as the company was being outperformed in every meaningful way by the competition. After assessing their needs the company moved to a new space that employs glass partition walls along with a number of other movable wall solutions and have seen a marked uptick in both employee satisfaction and employee retention as well as productivity.
The days when staff members remained glued to their desks all day have gone the way of the dinosaur. Today’s companies need to get the most out of every member of the team and more often than not that means providing staff the ability to communicate and collaborate.
6 ) Reduced Overhead
If there is 1 hallmark of the ongoing business revolution it’s the astonishing reductions in overhead made possible by technological advances in the workplace both physical and digital. From a physical standpoint the ability to use movable walls to create flexible, tech ready workspaces has transformed the office from a type of business monastery into a dynamic theatre where elements are moved in and out and shifted freely around according to the needs of the moment.
Companies from every sector of the economy are finding their old fashioned fixed wall offices are becoming little more than a fixed wall money pits. That includes more traditional enterprises like the Toronto law firm that came to us looking for a way to reduce office related overhead. We made an assessment of their current office space which was several decades old and composed of a labyrinth of fixed office walls. We then devised a modular wall approach that eliminated cubicles, allowed natural light to penetrate and thereby reduce lighting costs, allowed for more efficient airflow and was more amenable to future technological upgrades. The law firm then submitted the plan to their building owner and made implementing it a prerequisite for them to renew their lease. The owner agreed to implement the plan and the law firm has since cut operational costs by more than 30%.
7 ) A Healthier Workplace for All
Workplace health has become a major issue for companies as they have seen the cost of caring for ill workers skyrocket. Productivity also takes a major hit when staff members call in sick, which studies prove happens more often with companies that utilize cubicle farms and the like. The imperative then to create a healthier workspace for all is both a quality of life issue for workers (who spend most of their waking hours in the office) and a bottom line issue for companies trying to contain costs and enhance productivity.
For example a large brick and mortar retailer with a sizable office staff came to us looking for way to make their office a healthier place that would reduce staff sick days as well as doctor visits that were pushing up insurance premiums. We devised a plan that called for the removal of their cubicle farm as well as the opaque drywall walls along the periphery of the space that were preventing natural light from entering. We replaced these elements with a flexible design that included glass partitions to bring in the light. We then arranged things in a way that maximized airflow. Just months after the new layout was in place the company reported staff were calling in sick much less frequently and trips to the doctor (and the attendant drag on health care costs) were also down. Overall productivity was up and late arrivals were down as well.
Studies show conclusively that a healthy, attractive workplace is one people want to go to work in. They show up more often, are rarely late and feel a greater sense of company loyalty because they believe the company cares about their health and wellbeing.
Contact #1 modular wall company @ 416-743-4513 to know more.
8 ) Portability
When companies need to relocate they are typically hit with an enormous bill from the new location related to building out the space to their specifications. An army of contractors is usually assembled to prepare the new space and the process is not only an environmental nightmare but a financial one as well. If your current office is comprised of modular walls however, the age old scourge of build out costs when moving is virtually eliminated and the amount of time between signing a lease on a new space and actually moving in is also drastically reduced. That’s because you can simply transport your existing walls to the new location.
A good example of this is a medical devices distributor who had purchased movable wall systems from IMT some years ago for their downtown Toronto office. When their lease expired last year they decided to move to a less expensive suburban location to cut costs and become more competitive. Because they already owned a full suite of demountable office partitions build out at the new location took less than a week. They then made a seamless transition to their new space without skipping a beat or incurring massive construction bills in the process. The biggest challenge – the digital infrastructure – was also no problem because demountable office walls come with easy access panels that allow for lightning fast installation of computers, printers and the like.
With modular walls from IMT you no longer have to start from scratch at your new location. You simply take your existing walls with you. Now that’s progress!
9 ) The Fusion of Openness and Privacy
One concern we hear from customers is their fear that by installing movable partitions they will lose any semblance of privacy in their offices and that this could be disruptive to the normal conduct of business. While we understand the concern we’re also happy to say that there is no need for it. Glass partition walls provide both the open, collaborative environment needed today where people can communicate easily between different areas, and the need for privacy. That’s because most modular wall segments extend to the ceiling and create a quiet, secure environment within where confidential conversations can be safely held and important phone calls are not interrupted by the kind of chaos inherent in strictly open plan offices.
For instance; recently a large health clinic came to us looking for a way to upgrade their facility. They wanted to make it more open and inviting while at the same time ensuring that doctor/patient confidentiality would not be compromised. We devised a plan that emphasized openness in the reception and waiting areas using glass partitions and rock solid security in the medical suites and exam rooms using opaque soundproof partitions that also made technological adaptability and future reconfiguration a snap.
With movable walls from IMT your spaces are as open as you want them to be and as private as they need to be.
The benefits of office partitions are many and varied and can help your enterprise achieve a higher degree of productivity, profitability, liveability and more. Contact IMT Modular Partitions 416-743-4513 today for details and to discuss possibilities for your business.