Tips for Designing and Laying Out Your Office Space
When it comes to choosing an office space, many companies, especially small ones or strapped-for-cash startups, consider only their budget when making a decision. While it makes sense to go with something that’s within your price range, be wary of letting price ultimately drive your decision. Going with the cheapest space will certainly lower your expenses. However, you mustn’t overlook how your space will affect the mood and work ethic of your employees.
The following is a list of things to keep in mind when deciding on your office space. We’ve also included some design tips for laying out your office to maximize employee happiness and productivity.
Natural Light and Space
Studies have shown that exposure to natural light improves workplace performance. It’s also been shown to improve sleep and vitality and reduce eye fatigue. It probably goes without saying that a workforce that is sleep deprived and slowly going crazy from being trapped inside a windowless room is not good for business.
So when choosing an office space, try finding one with plenty of windows. Eliminating interior walls and using glass walls for private offices will also help spread some sunlight around the room. Having a few skylights is also great if your location permits them.
Another energy zapping factor to look out for is a cramped workspace. Making sure your employees have enough space to roam is vital to their creative output. No one wants to have to squeeze between their coworker’s desks every time they need to stretch their legs or get a drink of water. Choosing an office with an open floor plan is the best way to ensure there’s enough circulation space for your employees to get around. No one wants to feel like they work in an airplane cabin.
Laying Out Your Office Space
While keeping the amount of natural light and space in mind, it’s time to start organizing your office space. How you decide to do this will be determined by your company culture, team structure, and nature of your business.
For instance, if you split your employees into teams to promote collaboration, it would make sense for them to work closely together. In a team environment, you’ll probably want to group members together with bench-desking.
On the other hand, if a fair amount of your employees primarily work on their own, giving them their own desk and enough space might prove more beneficial. The idea here is to limit their distractions so that they can focus on their work. If your company is evenly split between teams and solo workers, a good compromise would be to turn an area of the office into a quiet workspace. This way your solo workers will have a refuge where they can go to concentrate.
Create Break-Out Spaces
Break-out spaces are great for having informal meetings and getting a change of scenery. They also encourage spontaneity and redraw the lines of communication. The more time and places you give your employees to be away from their desks, the freer and happier they’ll feel.
Cut Down on the Clutter
Office clutter can build up very quickly if you don’t put trash or recycling policies into place or bother to take storage space into consideration when laying out your office. A cluttered work environment has the potential to bring down the productivity of your workers who prefer a tidy workspace. So don’t forget to incorporate a few well-placed storage solutions around the office.
Invest in Good Office Furniture
While the cost may be greater upfront, failing to invest in good office furniture can come back to hurt you. This means outfitting your office with ergonomicchairs and desks so that your employees are comfortable and less likely to injure themselves. Yes, office injuries do happen, most of the time involving the tendons and spine. Investing in a good office chair can save you thousands of dollars in lost productivity and workers’ compensation.
Brand Your Workspace
Decorating your office to fit the personality of your brand will have a tremendous impact on employee morale. Business owners sometimes forget that while it’s important for their customers or clients to have loyalty towards their brand, it’s just as important for their employees to feel the same. After all, your workers are your brand’s biggest advocates. And one of the best ways to build and sustain brand loyalty is to give them a place they’ll look forward to going to day in and day out.
So don’t forget to put in the added effort of branding your office space. This means incorporating your logo, color palette, slogans, attitude, and philosophy into your office. Not only will it make your space look cooler, it will also serve to solidify your company culture and put it on display for all to see. Every square foot should stand as a constant reminder that they don’t work at some nameless company with drab-colored walls.
We hope these tips have helped you come up with some great ideas for laying out your office space. Remember that everyone wants to work at a company that makes them feel special. And you can begin to do that by giving them a place to work that is like no other.