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Choosing commercial office blinds is something that is often not fully considered and wrongfully neglected. There are many elements to reflect upon in the decision-making process which can each impact upon the running of your business. Typically, many offices utilise a combination of vertical and roller blinds, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Unlike blinds for your home, blinds in an office are primarily used to keep out light effectively and reduce glare. Glare on a computer screen in an office can affect productivity and therefore the ability to provide adequate solar shading is going to be essential.
Buildings containing vast amounts of glass are renowned for issues with shading and either heat gain or loss, yet the views and natural light they provide will positively affect morale and productivity. It is therefore important to consider ways to refrain from blocking the light completely. Which blind you choose will be dependent on several factors and therefore there are some considerations that you will want to take into account.
Maintaining natural light
Providing solar shading through commercial office blinds or shutters can help to maintain a more natural and comfortable environment to work in by utilising natural light effectively without blocking it out fully. Offices that are under or over illuminated can often be the cause of eye strain, headaches and increased absenteeism. By providing an effective combination of natural light and solar shading, you can allow for large areas of glazing within an office whilst also being able to control heat and natural light where necessary. For this reason, vertical blinds are often implemented as they can be made from thinner fabric which can dampen the light rather than block it completely. You can also adjust the panels to restrict or increase airflow and external views.
Controlling heat gain or loss
By use of effective blinds in the winter you can help to control heat loss and reduce energy consumption. During the cooler months, up to around 30% of heating energy can be lost through windows.
But careful implementation of blinds can also reduce your air conditioning bills. It is even worth noting that given a choice of installing air conditioning or solar shading, shading will usually be the more cost-effective option. When closed reflective blinds will offer the most protection from temperature increases and can actually reduce heat gain by up to 45 percent.
But solar shading doesn’t just help with temperature control and glare, there are many other motivational effects that need to be considered. In fact a study in 2016 by the BBSA provided proof of the positive benefits that solar shading brings to commercial companies..
The amount of sunlight entering the building is one of the major points to consider. The actual location of your building will affect how much light you need to filter, so a building with south-facing windows may require greater consideration.
A suitable option to reduce glare on a screen without compromising on view would be a light filtering roller blind. This option won’t completely block out natural light or compromise the view outside which are both factors that will help to improve productivity.
You will also want to consider unwanted heating and cooling effects of glazing in offices. With options to install blinds with a solar reflective coating you can help to control heat gain and glare as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
Is privacy an issue?
Most office blinds will need to allow for a degree of privacy. If you occupy a ground floor space or have additional buildings or offices next to you then you may require more privacy than alternative spaces.
Perhaps there are certain areas of the office, such as boardrooms or executive offices, where you will also require the option to block visual capacity from time to time. Executive offices and boardrooms are spaces where important decisions are made as well as often confidential discussions. In this situation a horizontal blind can suffice and be folded away when not required.
The ability to restrict visual capability or darken a room quickly for use of projector screens at the touch of a button can be implemented with motorised blackout roller blinds. If your office requires complete darkness, then a cassette roller blind in blackout material would be the best option.
Consider the business culture
One of the first things to consider when it comes to culture will be the colour of the office blinds. You will need to consider if there is an existing colour scheme throughout the office or if you are free to choose a colour palette to reflect the culture that the business wishes to project.
If the culture of the business is more modern with lots of open-plan spaces, then you probably want to create a lighter and airier feel and perhaps even have the ability to section off some areas occasionally. In this scenario the standard venetian blind may look too old-fashioned and you may want to consider the use of panel blinds for a cleaner feel.
Perhaps choosing a translucent fabric can help to let in more light and careful use of colours can really lighten the mood and help create a contemporary feel.
Hygiene, durability and safety
Finally, long term investment is something that needs to be considered in an office space, and many commercial office blinds will come with options of antibacterial and antifungal properties. In addition to the fabric used you may wish to consider electric blinds which will help to prolong the durability of the blind from reduced touching as well as providing ease of use.
Finally, flame retardant fabrics are also an important consideration when it comes to ensuring the safety of commercial buildings. Consider all of the options available versus your needs and long term requirements.