What to consider when choosing office blinds?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best office blinds and naturally these revolve around your own comfort and productivity (if you are a home worker) or that of your team members/employees (if you have returned to the office). Screen glare and temperature control are among the top considerations for office blinds.
It's important to put some thought into any features you require and also the dimensions of the window that you are covering.
Think about how you use your office and workspace. If it's a home office, are you in that room only for a few hours during the day? While you work, do you want to be able to look outside at a picturesque view or do you need maximum privacy from passers-by outside?
An outside view
It's a strange paradox that many modern offices feature huge expanses of glazing. Yet because of problems such as solar glare and heat control, occupants naturally install window blinds at each window to ensure the comfort of their employees and visitors.
However, the wrong choice of blind and fabric can leave employees feeling cut off from the outside world behind a blind that is permanently closed and opaque!
Consider that a staff member will feel more motivated and happier when they feel they have contact with both daylight and the world beyond that window. Consider vertical or Venetian blinds that allow a degree of external view, either through slats that tilt or louvres that rotate. Or by using an open-weave roller blind fabric that allows in natural light and a degree of view out!
Large spans of multiple blinds that are closed at one point of the day to reduce glare or heat gain, are rarely all opened again, often causing a dark, claustrophobic environment. So how about motorising those blinds, so that they either automatically open at a particular time of the day, or can be operated centrally via a wall switch, app or control panel?
As mentioned above, glass is a big feature of modern offices. And where there is glass and sunshine, there is heat gain! Not only that, where there is glass and winter - there is heat loss!
Blinds can play a big part in maintaining a comfortable temperature during the summer months. And they can also act as a thermal barrier to prevent heat from escaping during the winter.
Maybe you converted your conservatory into a home office during the pandemic. Blinds can be an excellent means of ensuring your conservatory is a comfortable environment throughout the hear - helping keep it toasty and warm in the winter and reflecting heat back out in the summer.
Following on from the above, with energy prices soaring, whether you work from home, or own a commercial building, you will no doubt be filling the sting of increased heating and cooling costs!
The best energy-saving product for commercial buildings are thermal blinds. They will help you save money when it comes to cooling or heating your office building.
Thermal blinds can help insulate and reduce the load on artificial cooling and heating systems. In addition, getting the right balance of natural light reduces reliance on internal lighting. Another energy saving.
Again, automated electric blinds are a way of ensuring that blinds are deployed and retracted at the right time to maximise energy efficiency.
Lighting control and blackout
Speaking of lighting, during COVID, we learned that it's possible to collaborate easily with remote workers and clients in different regional and international locations via teleconferencing services such as Zoom and Google Meet. The right choice of blinds can help reduce excess light and allow staff to be seen clearly on calls.
Many workspaces now have Audio Visual facilities, which can require blackout so that presentations can both be seen clearly and have maximum impact.
Most businesses these days have requirements for using computers and screens. In fact, many of us work at screens for many hours of our working day, often positioned near a window.
Solar glare can be distracting making it difficult to read your screen. It is also a health and safety concern as extended periods of screen time when exposed to solar glare can cause eye strain.
For offices which are used at night time, you may also wish to consider the disturbance which might caused in the evenings due to artificial light from nearby streetlights.
The correct fabric and blind type can reduce glare, distraction and ensure visual comfort for your team. A blind with slats or louvres such as venetian or vertical blinds, can provide great variable light control and prevent glare with the slats being adjustable.
Privacy - Day Time and Night Time
it’s possible that you need to protect elements of your operations from the prying eyes, either temporarily or more permanently. Or if your workspace is at ground floor level, you may be overlooked by passersby.
For temporary privacy, consider blinds with slats or louvres such as venetian or vertical blinds, and opaque roller blinds.
Bottom-up Perfect Fit pleated blinds are ideal where your room is overlooked at ground level. They can be partially pulled up to block the view-in, leaving them slightly open at the top to allow in natural light.
Do you or your team work late into the night? Certainly, at night, employees working in well-lit glass buildings can feel conscious of being on show.
Transparent or semi-transparent fabrics, such as screens or voiles, that offer a degree of privacy during the day will conversely allow a view in when it is dark outside the building but well lit inside the building.
The correct window dressing can provide ensure privacy when needed. If nighttime privacy is required, then an opaque roller blind fabric or a venetian or vertical blind where the slats or louvres can be rotated closed can be ideal to ensure nighttime privacy but allow daylight into through the window during the day.
You may also wish to consider a double-blind - for example, a screen/voile blind mounted behind a more opaque 'blocking' blind. Mind you doubling up on blinds can obviously have an impact on price!
At night, technology and equipment can be highly visible to the outside world. Blinds, especially automated electric blinds, can ensure that such valuable assets are not on display to opportunist thieves when your workspace is unoccupied.
By law, the UK requires that window treatments installed in commercial environments meet certain flame retardant thresholds. So for a commercial office, you may also want to search for materials that are flame retardant.
By law, all blinds installed in buildings the UK must be child-safe. That is unless the person responsible for a commercial space is willing to certify that young children will never have access to a specific room or the whole building.
Obviously, for home offices, given that they are part of a residential property, your blinds must be child-safe, regardless of whether you expect to have children in your office room or home.
Luckily all of our blinds are supplied compliant with child safety legislation.
Brand and aesthetics
The aesthetics of a workplace can play an important role in attracting both new clients and employees, retaining existing employees and also in supporting the brand values of your organisation.
Providing a comfortable, stylish environment is a strong signal to your employees that you value their well-being.
If you are looking for blinds for your home office, then, of course, you'll want it to feel "more like a home than an office" and your choice of blind may reflect this.
Convenience and time-saving
Many of the above factors require adjustment of the blinds multiple times a day. This can be time-consuming with a single-blind in a home office, let alone in a large building with large banks of window treatments which all need attention.
Luckily the price of electric blinds has reduced over the last 5 years making them more affordable than ever for your home office or work-place.
A simple battery-powered blind can feature control by handset, but can also be used in tandem with a hub which allows voice control by Alexa or Google Assistant.
At the other end of the spectrum is commercial automation, where blinds can be integrated with an over-arching building management system which can intelligently co-ordinate the use of blinds, HVAC (heating, ventilation and airconditioning), lighting and security amongst many other building services.
Simply put, choose the right type of blinds and this can have a very positive impact on your business. Employees feel comfortable and appreciated. A happy team that feels appreciated and supported is a motivated and productive team. Visitors and potential clients will enter a stylish and welcoming environment that supports your brand and company aspirations. Blinds can enhance the energy efficiency of your workspace as well as ensure its security and privacy.
The 5 Best Office Blinds
Whether you're looking for blinds for a home office or commercial blinds for schools, offices, hotels, museums, or any other commercial space, we have the right blinds for every purpose. All of our blinds are custom-made to fit in any space and purpose.
1. Roman Blinds
Roman blinds are an attractive alternative to traditional window blinds using soft fabric, also used for curtains. Roman blinds are not the most obvious choice for an office, but if you are looking to create a sophisticated and elegant feel then a window furnishing that softens the environment may be ideal.
Among the most popular fabric choices for roman blinds are cotton, polyester, linen, and voile fabrics. As you raise the blinds, the fabric gently folds over, creating a layered look that’s reminiscent of regal Renaissance style.
Upholstery fabrics and faux leather can be used but are less common because they are very heavy fabrics that make them difficult for the blind to layer and create seamless pleats that are characteristic of Roman blinds.
In many instances, roman blinds include an optional thermal lining, providing energy-saving insulation at your window. Blackout linings are also available, making them perfect for home offices which are also bedrooms.
2. Roller Blinds
As with roman blinds, these window coverings are made of fabric and are available in blackout or voile styles. Roller blinds are more sleek and modern than roman blinds, taking up less space when retracted. They are therefore a more mainstream choice for a work environment.
In terms of supporting your company brand and aesthetics, you can create a statement piece with roller blinds in vibrant colours. Or you can stick to neutrals if you're creating an understated and minimalist office design.
If you have AV equipment and need to reduce light ingress, roller blinds are available with blackout fabrics. Blackout fabric can also be supplemented with a head cassette and side tracks to exclude more light if required.
For a light and airy working environment, you can also choose open weave 'screen' roller blind fabrics which transmit natural light, reduce glare and allow a slight view out.
Thermal fabrics are available with reflective coatings that provide insulation and also reduce glare.
Browse our full range of roller blind fabrics and colours here. Order a free sample to touch and feel your ideal blind fabric before buying!
3. Venetian and Wooden Blinds
Amongst the most popular office blinds and also known as Horizontal Blinds, Venetian blinds can be made from real wood, faux wood, aluminium, and sometimes PVC.
Office Venetian blinds are suited to working environments as they feature the option of adjusting the light as the sun changes position throughout the day by tilting the slats.
Venetian slats are available in a number of different materials. You can use real wooden blinds to add a touch of warmth to an office or you can go for clean, sleek aluminium for a more modern look.
In addition to natural wood, you can also use grey, black, white and ivory wood finishes to improve the aesthetic of your office. Explore different ranges and colours available on our website.
4. Day & Night Blinds
If you're looking for style and versatility, Day & Night Blinds (also known as Vision Blinds) are a great choice for office window blinds. Day and Night blinds are one of the most stylish and striking ways of controlling sunlight whilst ensuring privacy.
Day and night blinds have two layers of fabric combining horizontal sheer and dim-out panels. The dimout panels can be positioned to provide complete privacy and sun control. Or the sheer material can be positioned to allow some natural light into the room, and encourage a view out! They are available in neutrals and plain fabric as well as some very vivid colours that will brighten up your environment
5. Vertical Blinds
Traditionally, vertical blinds would be our first port of call for offices with large windows, or bifold doors which open out into outdoor areas.
If you want to make your commercial building or home office look smart and professional at a price that will not hurt your budget, then vertical blinds should be your first choice.
Vertical blinds are sleek and stylish and come with an option of angling the louvres to give your employees enough light whilst protecting screens from glare. Our white voile vertical blinds will allow soft light to filter through.
Where can I buy office blinds?
Newblinds.co.uk have a vast range of blind types, fabrics and colours with features to suit your home office or a commercial workspace. We offer a fast and free sample delivery service. If you require any extra information or have any queries please feel free to contact us at [email protected]