The creativity architecture and design companies bring to their plans for the interiors of new workplaces can make these more creative places for end-users to work in.
'Creativity is a product of the cross-pollination of ideas and experience,' according to Ken Wai, Greater China managing director of Aedas. 'The work culture and environment are major considerations when designing an office interior.'
Bryant Lu, vice-chairman of Ronald Lu & Partners, uses his firm's own office as an example of thinking behind his designer's work.
'Common meeting areas are critical for internal flow,' he says, adding that e-mails and texts are the least efficient way to communicate. 'We strategically break up all the senior staff and locate them in different areas to encourage more walking between offices. If you group all the senior management in one place, they tend to just hang out there and they don't have as much face time with their colleagues.'
Lu says that wall surfaces for scribbling ideas on are becoming key to work processes and flexibility is another important consideration. 'We have the flexibility to combine several meeting rooms into one very large space that allows us to host monthly office forums among other activities.' He says the notion of flexibility should also extend to the provision of mobile office space for travelling staff.
Wai believes that the careful choice of furniture and colour schemes helps provide an appropriate identity for the workplace. 'Other considerations include the daylight factor, thermal comfort, energy efficiency and indoor air quality.'
While the growing emphasis on green issues makes the designer's job more complicated, close attention to factors such as air quality can bring tangible benefits to clients. 'If you have better air circulation with better fresh air intake then your staff will have [fewer] sick days,' Wai says.
For Lu, sensitivity is one of the most valuable traits in a designer. 'They need to be able to step into the end user's shoes and find a way that will work for them,' he says.
Wai says that the most important thing is to provide creative designs that can inspire and generate self-esteem.