Designing the perfect office space is not always an easy task. With so many issues to think about – from layout, to lighting, to décor – it can be difficult to know where to start. However, not getting it right can prove to be a costly mistake. A poorly designed space can lead to increased feelings of stress, reduced productivity and low morale, all of which can have a damaging effect on your bottom line. Whether it’s desks that are too cramped, a lack of privacy or headache-inducing lighting, there all sorts of things that can go wrong when re-designing your workplace. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Whether your current office needs a revamp or you’re thinking about re-locating, here are six steps to planning a stress-free office re-design.
- Carefully consider your layout
Perhaps the most important part of planning an office space is the layout. The way you choose to arrange your workspace can have a significant impact on your company culture and the way your workers behave on a day to day basis, so it pays off to give it some careful consideration. Open plan layouts have become a popular choice in recent decades as they can help to encourage teamwork and collaboration. However, shared workspaces can also be loud and distracting, and have a negative impact on worker productivity and performance. To keep your staff focused and engaged with their jobs, private workspaces are also needed. If you’re struggling to find the right layout for your office, you may want to consider seeking help from professional interior designers who specialise in workplaces. They will be able to help you make the most of the space available and create a layout that is suited to your specific needs and preferred working style.
- Make sure you factor in space for storage
Another crucial design element that many companies fail to consider is storage. An office that is cluttered and disorganised can mean that staff waste valuable time trying to locate the things they need. Studies have shown that employees can lose over an hour every day searching for lost items if they have a messy workspace, which can also lead to increased frustration. To ensure that your work environment remains clean and uncluttered, your office re-design should include plenty of space for an array of storage solutions. As a minimum, most offices need desk storage, a filing area and a range of cupboards and shelves for everyday office supplies. If you’re short on square footage, it’s worth checking out the range of space-saving storage available, such as under-desk pedestals, corner bookcases, L-shaped desks, slimline filing cabinets and high level shelving systems.
- Incorporate flexibility into your design
When re-designing your office, it’s also important to take your growing needs into account. Failing to plan for the foreseeable future can mean that you end up with a space that does not fit your requirements, which could result in you having to go to the hassle of rethinking your design or even relocating a few years down the line. Particularly if your company often sees a lot of changes, such as high staff turnover or frequent layout alterations, future-proofing your office is crucial. One way to ensure you don’t outgrow your office is to allow for flexibility. For example, having adaptable workspaces can help to create a more dynamic space. Modular furniture is a great option for companies that want to incorporate flexibility into their office design, as these chairs and tables have been specially designed to be arranged into various configurations to suit your exact layout and can be adapted to suit your changing requirements.
- Don’t overlook the importance of lighting
Another important issue that is often overlooked when designing a workplace is lighting. It is well known that natural light is best for working in as it can boost productivity and reduce feelings of stress, fatigue and depression. With that in mind, it’s important to try and make the most of as much natural light as possible and ensure that desks are positioned near or in view of a window. Workstations need to be well lit and computer screens should be free from glare. As a general rule, try to avoid using fluorescent strip lights as they can cause headaches and eyestrain, and instead opt for more natural, ambient lighting.
- Allow employees to personalise their space
The way you choose to decorate your office space is also important. Get it right and you stand to boost morale and have a far happier, more engaged workforce. To ensure that your employees are content with their surroundings, it’s worth asking for their input and allowing them to add personal touches to their workstations. This will help them to feel more at home and relaxed, which can work wonders for productivity and creativity. Having branded décor can also help to improve company culture and spark interest and inspiration in employees and clients.
- Invest in high-quality furniture
And finally, no design would be complete without the right office furniture. Chairs and desks should be ergonomic and high-quality – not only to provide maximum comfort, but also to ensure that they will stand the test of time. Buying high-quality furniture now may cost you initially, but it will be worth it in the long run. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure that your furniture is the right size for your space. Look at the floor plan and establish how you want your furniture to be laid out. For example, do you want bench desks that accommodate multiple people? Or would you rather have departments grouped on tables around the room? If you think that you might be re-locating in the near future, or you’re thinking of downsizing or employing more staff, buying adaptable furniture could also be a good idea.
By following useful tips like these, you shouldn’t struggle to take the stress out of your office re-design.