If you were asked to describe your office in one word, what would it be? Cosy? Corporate? Warm? Professional? Clinical? Mechanical? Your office culture has a lot to do with the look and feel of your commercial space. It influences your décor decisions and affects your ambience, which has a direct effect on your clients and business partners.
When anyone visits your office, the first thing they see is the fence. In many commercial premises, that’s not entirely true. Office fences are often so dull, drab, and unobtrusive that you don’t consciously notice them. If that’s the look you’re going for, then you can just install an uninspired cookie-cutter office fence.
However, if you’re looking to make a mark, a little more thought will have to go into it. Even standard fencing options can be jazzed up with some creative thinking. You could top your stone fence with coloured glass and strategic lighting for a dazzling display. You could print holographic film on your safety glass balustrade. You might even install a rock wall.
Start by deciding on the mood you’d like to create, and exploring your budgetary options. Also, as imaginative as you’d like to be, remember that fencing is primarily a security feature, so if you do go for the rock wall, have some big dogs on the inside of the fence, to deter unwanted rock climbers and angsty neighbourhood teens. Also, put a sign. Because law suits.
Glass it up
Glass balustrades may seem like an unusual option for an office space, but they can be quite a departure from traditional options. If you’re worried about privacy concerns, you can use mirrored glass or stained glass. Ensure that you use safety glass for better longevity and fewer accidents. Most glass fences are a metre high, but for your offices, taller is better.
You’ll have to add daily glass cleaning to your budget, because smudged glass will make your office look dishevelled. Your window cleaners will probably love the extra work though, as long as you bill it separately and don’t sneak it into window budget.
It would also help to invest in good landscaping. Glass is at least partially see-through, so you want something pretty for passers-by to look at. You can also reinforce your glass fence with motion detectors, heat sensors, loud alarms, and emergency-response services. Glass seems like an easy target and will attract a larger number of opportunistic criminals.
Still on the subject of landscaping, consider putting up a live fence. It requires far more maintenance, but it ensures privacy, and it’s good for the environment. It can also be soothing to your staff, because there will be a higher concentration of oxygen thanks to the plants. This will keep your team healthier and more relaxed.
Apart from the biological difference, greenery is calming and will boost their morale and their moods. The fence will attract butterflies and birds, especially if you select a flowering variety. This aura can brighten your team, your partners, and your business prospects. Support the fence with attractive topiary, and retain a good team of gardeners.
Socially speaking, putting a hedge around your office reduces your carbon footprint and marks you as a brand that cares about the environment. That flowery setting also makes a great backdrop for lunches, team-building activities, and ‘candid’ corporate photography.
Primp with plastic
The most common type of corporate fencing is tubular, and while it’s practical, it’s not particularly exciting. If you’re looking for something easy-to-maintain, consider PVC fencing. It barely needs attention. Just hose it down with high-pressure water to get rid of any dust. Be sure to fully dry the fence afterwards, to prevent mould.
It offers complete privacy because the fence panels are opaque, and it’s available in a variety of styles and colours to brighten your office. You could pick something calm and understated or warm and cheerful. You could even mix-and-match options from your brand palette.
PVC fences have a muting effect, so they can quiet street noise in a way that tubular fences can’t. They can pass for wood fences, but lack timber’s obvious drawbacks – namely, warping, rotting, splinters, extensive care, and potential for pests. They are surprisingly sturdy for their light weight, and are quick and easy to install.