Creating a well-designed office space that encourages productivity and is collaborative for both employees and clients is a very rewarding experience. If you could imagine your perfect work environment, what would that look like? Is it open, bright and colorful? Is it muted tones, quiet and subdued? Does it have rows of open benching, down the center, with glass walled nooks for private meetings around the edges of the space? Or classic individual offices?
Now imagine the worse case scenario. We’ve all been there: dusty large old-school hand-me-down desks, stained over-used desk chairs, and dingy musty smelling carpet. In that context, it’s easy to see where a new design would be beneficial to your overall office appearance and functionality. And especially how you FEEL while you are in there. It may seem prudent to reuse what you have, but you have to realize what sort of message that is sending to your staff and clients seeing your office for the very first time. It tells a profound story about your company.
Investing in good design and space planning at the onset is the very best impression you can give your brand, your staff, and your clients. First impressions speak volumes about your company. Being on an upwardly mobile trajectory should not blind you to the key benefits of design in your office space and the functionality it can provide. Prioritizing the benefits of aesthetic far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of altering your space. Great design provides a firm foundation for the many good things ahead for your business.
The Benefits of Great Design & Space Planning Include:
Create Culture & Boost Morale: Taking into account how departments function individually and in groups, as well as how spaces can multitask and provide opportunities for collaboration, are strong inner office culture builders. Something as simple as a dedicated breakroom area with wifi access can make a significant impact. Encouraging people to step away from their desks, take a break and reconnect can clear the mind and refresh the creativity. The more opportunity you can provide for cross-departmental socializing and communication, the stronger the employee bonds and natural networking within the company will become. This is team building via design.
Maximize Space & Productivity: Ergonomic decisions, such as lighting, ambient sound, seating and desk choices may seem like small details on their own, but they quickly add up in the productivity department. Even small design changes and furniture updates that make your employees more physically comfortable can provide fewer distractions and increased focus. If your office environment has a distinctive look, your employees will take on a productive mindset the instant they step inside. A cohesive office design helps people associate that particular aesthetic with getting to work. Utilizing your brand message as part of your design is another way to keep your core values top of mind and intrinsic to your work environment.
Create An Impressive Brand Message: When clients enter your office for a meeting, they can learn a lot about your business based on how the workspace looks. If everything is chaotic and disorganized, they can easily get the impression that you won’t be able to keep up with their needs. If it’s nice but doesn’t line up with your company’s brand, clients might think you don’t yet have a clear vision for your company goals. Great design communicates. A client’s first impressions are often how they will perceive your business acumen. A cohesive color story, messaging that correlates and furnishings that collaborate will send the right message to your clients before you even begin the conversation.
Plan for Growth: Ideally, your company will always evolve and grow. Eventually, you may need to expand into a new space entirely, but your current design should allow room for more people to join your company. Flexibility with the furniture choices and how the space can multitask is the best place to start. The last thing you need to be doing when bringing on new people is feel hampered by your ability to find them a place to sit. If there’s no physical room for growth, it may be time to consider shopping for a larger space. An office planning professional can ensure that you’re making the most of the area available to you. They can help you select the best furnishings for flexibility and durability if you are on a growth oriented path.
Improve Efficiency & Reduce Waste: One of the most practical differences between an average office and an excellent office is how well organized it is. This is another area where space planning can help your productivity. You can structure your layout to help visualize your company’s chain of command and departmental structure. Designing for collaboration by keeping people who work together in the same proximity, so they can easily communicate efficiently. Managers and executives should have their own areas or designated office spaces, so it’s visibly obvious where people should turn for help or guidance. This macro-level organizational change makes work more efficient. On a micro level, small additions like desk organizers and personal filing solutions for all employees can make a big difference. Even a relatively paper-free office has some papers that need to be kept in order, and these accessories can go a long way toward keeping desktops well-organized, reducing paper waste, and keeping things tidy.
A well-designed office space is a powerful motivator and sends a significant message about your business to everyone who enters your company. Creating productive environments that give you the maximum use of space and flexibility is where space planning excels in your design story. Thinking ahead of growth, finding the best furniture solutions for your workstyle and devising a plan to accommodate those needs requires the expertise of a space planner. Rendering your best options will give you an opportunity to explore ideas and find the best solution for your office.
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