The office sector in India is on the recovery path, with the Bangalore market continuing to stabilise although landlords were forced to remain flexible when negotiating with tenants as demand still lagged behind prevailing robust levels of availability, according to a CB Richard Ellis report.
Speaking about rentals across India, Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & MD, CB Richard Ellis South Asia Pvt. Ltd. said, “Since the beginning of 2010 we have seen movement in the real estate sector, including the office segment. Demand levels have improved across most metros and the markets are more rational now. There is an improvement in transaction velocity as well, especially in places like Mumbai and Bangalore where financial institutions and the IT sector have regained some confidence and this has led to improved take up of space in these cities. I do believe that in the short-to-medium term, values will remain stable. There is still oversupply in various micro markets and this will continue to put pressure on the rental values which should remain stable or correct marginally in some locations in the short-term.”
On the design front
This improvement seems to have found a reflection on the workspace design front too. Today, more companies are seeking to occupy spaces that mirror the values they believe in. Take Eka Software Solutions, for instance.
The firm has moved headquarters, occupying about 35,000 sq ft of space at Vrindavan Tech Village, Outer Ring Road.
Designed by Atelier, the theme of the facility is a Boomerang which symbolises simplicity yet superior technology, the philosophy behind Eka’s business model.
The facility has also been themed according to a set of the company’s internal, informal guidelines called the ‘Eka Senses’ which are innovation, team work, discipline, work with fun, growth, community and environment.
Each of the ‘Eka senses’ is displayed across the facility through abstract illustrations emphasising creativity, innovation and thinking out of the box.
Also, the use of vibrant colours coupled with wide spaces strongly introduces the element of fun in the facility.
Then, there are companies that have taken up energy-efficient solutions in their work spaces. Everest Industries, for instance, is among the early adopters of green-building practices in the country. In an effort to provide energy-efficient solutions to lower costs, Everest Industries has customised solutions to provide aesthetic office spaces which are energy-efficient too. ‘Green solutions’ makes use of Everest’s expertise in building and construction and combines popular products like light gauge steel systems which are strong, re-locatable and can withstand adverse weather conditions. Everest’s commitment for greener practices in building and construction can be gauged from the fact that one of its products, Everest Fibre Cement Boards, is made from 40% recycled content and is considered the best substitute to natural wood and wood based products.
The company’s acoustic ceilings offer a number of advantages over the conventional false ceilings or other similar products.
For one, they are made using high quality mineral wool and composite fibres with superior acoustic performance and improved resistance to humidity. Also the tiles are acrylic coated to offer outstanding light reflectance and are complemented with a variety of grids for a complete acoustic experience that brighten up the interiors.
They are excellent for heat insulation and resistance against fire. One of the unique features it offers is resistance to sagging/deformation even under higher moisture exposure. Usually during monsoon or due to faulty installation, acoustic ceilings start sagging after sometime. This, apart from looking out of place , also leaks out insulation –thus defeating the basic purpose of putting up a false ceiling .
Everest’s Acoustic Ceilings do not sag , are very lightweight and install quickly.
Aesthetics and design are a major part of any modern workspace. Keeping this in mind, Everest has launched the acoustic ceilings in three different designs to suit different tastes.
*Corporate houses exist and grow because of their individual DNA. It is important to let the environment drive the culture and designing interiors in harmony with this is key.
*From low-cost mimics of their international counterparts, Indian offices now depict and emote their own sub-culture. Empowerment of every individual and an egalitarian outlook has led to planning paradigms that empower the whole. And this reflects in the latest trends like consolidation of employees, uni-floor offices, common cafeteria space. These are all indicators of a more lateral hierarchy than a vertical one.
*In terms of ergonomics, latest technologies like wireless mouse, wireless keyboards, flat screens, webcams, voice phone with sound cut-off, WiFi, tele-presence etc. are changing the core work environment induced with a high self knowledge of good workday practices. Good ergonomics is also a lead driver that is defining module and elements in workspaces like chairs, work stations, lighting and controlled environment technology.
*The best way to make office spaces interesting is by challenging established paradigms.
Personalise the office space. Use open wide spaces, surprisingly it aids free thinking. Use happy colours and lots of indoor plants aesthetically placed.
Tony Kunnel, Principal,Atelier, an architecture firm