For those of us who work in offices, a lot of time is spent in an environment that could be a lot more enjoyable to work in. Often we’re met with dim lighting, scratchy chairs, a lack of natural sunlight and a layout that often feels either cramped, or desolate.
Creating an inviting office space is something that is beneficial for both the employer and the employee. The employee benefits by enjoying their time at work, with increased motivation and productivity being in an environment that is healthy for mind and body. The employer benefits by attracting a higher calibre of employee wanting to work in the environment, and from increased attendance rates and productivity.
Here are some simple ways to improve your office design:
Go For Culture Over Design
When you look at redesigning your office, opt to focus on culture over design. You want a culture that encourages productivity, motivation, inspiration and drive. A space that is flexible and dynamic is an asset to any business. A great office space reflecting an excellent business culture encourages staff and also serves as a great way to attract fantastic new talent to the business.
Invest In A Refurbishment
Often businesses see office refurbishments as the last thing they need to spend money on. If employees have a desk, computer and roof over their heads then they can work right? Well, that is correct but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice to make. Your employees are an investment, so you need to invest in their working space and spend some money on a well-designed office space that enables you to get the best out of them. You shouldn’t look at spending loads of money in a refurbishment not long after your last fit-out, and you shouldn’t look at investing in a refurbishment if the company really is strapped for cash. However, if the business is in a position to put some money into a officeĂ‚Â design, then by all means it should be done. You will be investing in an office that promotes excellent performance, communication and development – you will get a return on your initial payout.
Invest In Advice
Investing in professional advice will help you avoid many potential pitfalls. You need to adhere by lots of different health and safety regulations, ergonomic advice, and you want a design that is going to serve you well for many years. It is possible to do this all yourself, but think about how much your time is worth and how many issues you will have if your attempt at designing it doesn’t go to plan. Professionals will be able to look in detail at exactly what you need and they will be able to see potential issues you aren’t aware of, because it is there job. So just like an office redesign is an investment, so is hiring a professional for advice.
If you really can’t afford a full office refurbishment and want to improve the space on a small budget, here are some little changes that go a long way:
- Make sure the office entrance looks great – it sets the mood for current employees when they enter the building first thing in the morning, and it makes a clients first impressions of your company count
- Add colour – don’t stick with neutral just because it’s ‘never out of fashion’ – it is boring. You don’t have to paint a rainbow, just add a few splashes of colour with cushions, plants or art
- Invest in ergonomic seating – if you’re going to splash out on one thing, go for ergonomic seating – this will save you money long term in sickness rates and work-related illness
- Declutter – this works at home and at work – encourage all staff to declutter their workstations – a tidy desk is a tidy mind
- Don’t fill every gap – if you don’t need to cram in lots of furniture then don’t – create space wherever you can
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It’s also important to keep in mind how the office looks to potential clients if you ever give them an office tour. You might not have a lot of money, but you want to make sure that the furniture and office space are fairly nice looking. The last thing you want it for a client that isn’t completely sold on your relationship to be thrown off by an office space clearly decorated with cast offs. Don’t overspend on all new furniture, but if you do bring used furniture into the office, at least ensure they look semi-respectable. And as business begins to pick up, you might want to replace them (even if they were donated).