Anybody can design office space to cram as many people as possible into a single square-footage while remaining within local safety codes. Designing your office to accommodate as many employees comfortable as possible while still providing everyone with ample ideal room to be as productive as possible every single day? Now, that is an art, especially when trying to minimize overhead of leased space or your own building’s utility expenses.
Each building, even a home office, will have its own structural constraints – from columns and load-bearing walls to windows and rooms with odd or inconvenient shapes. Showroom-floor furniture may not always do, making custom-designed accoutrements and furnishings a necessity. You may be working within a house or other structure that wasn’t designed with the adequate power, lighting or ventilation suited to office work and found in dedicated commercial designs.
Designing great office space demands putting yourself inside the heads of the people you’ll expect to function productively there. In other words, plugging in the computer, printer, copier and coffee machine was just the beginning.
- Space for Everything
Tie every thread of your design back to the company culture you want to bloom before your eyes. This space will reflect the past and present of your brand while hinting at its future – the sum of your business’s identity, your attitude toward employees, and where you see it standing five, ten or 20 years from now.
Don’t strive for one-size-fits-all workstations. Think about the work you expect employees to perform there every day and base the furnishings and layout on that. Take privacy, personal comfort, collaboration and adaptability into consideration for every single workspace. Every area will need easy access to colleagues, active work areas and equipment necessary to keep up effectively with daily tasks. It isn’t just how many people you can wedge into one small place; it’s catering to the realities of how many people can produce quality work within that space realistically.
- Light and Color
That essential comfort includes acknowledging how important quality lighting is, not only to the atmosphere of a spacious and bright work area, but to balancing artificial light with healthy natural illumination so that employees can always see what they’re doing clearly. By combining windows with high ceilings and other openings, you’ll forego losing employee satisfaction and productivity to visual strain and stifling discomfort. Remember also that the more natural elements you can incorporate into your office’s surroundings, the more healthy, refreshed and productive your employees will find themselves while surrounding by plants, natural light, and other reminders of the wide-open outdoors.
Don’t forsake color, either. Space that doesn’t look inviting won’t strike the tone of a space where employees will want to work. Creativity requires an ambience that evokes human emotions from positive moods. Choose a color scheme that connects with your company identity. Just as importantly, think about how your corporate identity speaks to the mood, motivations and levels of concentration and dedication you hope to stir within your employees.