10 Top Tips For Tip Top Office Design
Whether starting from scratch or redesigning an existing work space, you will be investing time and money in getting your office design spot on. Here are ten ways that you can achieve this from the outset.
10 Ways To Make Your Office Shine
Holding Pen: The area where clients and other visitors are asked to wait should be designed to cater for them as individuals. Too many offices place large settees in this space - people who don't know each other are unlikely to want to share a sofa together, and those with physical disabilities won't be catered for. Make sure you have individual seating arrangements to help your waiting area seem less like a holding pen.
Work and Play: OK, so we're all in the office to get a job done, but that doesn't mean that it's all work, work, work. You need to ensure that there is a distinct area for your employees where they can grab a coffee and mingle in a relaxed environment that is physically separate from the main work space.
Welcome: Your reception area is akin to a shop front - you wouldn't expect a lot of footfall into your shop if your window was crammed full of broken furniture, dusty old files and shabby ornaments. This is the first point of contact with your clients so ensure that it is warm and welcoming, professional and productive.
Storage: One of the downfalls encountered with hot desks is the lack of storage facilities for those using the work station. Like it or not, your employees need things; they'll bring in bags and coats, they'll require paper, pens, inks; the paperless office is still a thing of the future so ensure that your office space remains uncluttered by providing suitable storage both for essential office supplies and for your work force.
Dull & Dingy: We've talked about getting your office lighting right before, and we're mentioning it again because it is such an integral aspect of good office design. In an ideal world, you will have as much natural daylight as possible, but even if you do have plenty of large windows during the winter months you are going to need extra lighting. A well-lit workplace will aid productivity.
Variety Is The Spice: One of the downsides of open plan offices is that they all look the same. The same office chairs, the same coloured and height cubicle walls. Dull and uniform. Try and add some variety in your design - dividing walls can be different colours, different heights; breaking down the "sameness" can bring a new lease of life to a tired looking work space.
Look Down: Have you ever walked into a pub and thought "whoa!" as you could not fail to notice the glaring pattern on the carpet - and upon stepping in found it to be unpleasantly sticky. Office floors matter as much as any other aspect of your design. They need to be fit for purpose yes, but investing in flooring that looks great as well will again help lift your design above that of standard offices.
Spaced Out: When planning who will sit where you need to think about who works most with whom. If you have regular sales meetings it makes sense to have all your sales force in the same area. This goes for all departments - those who need to be in constant contact and collaboration need to be situated close to each other.
Ask & Listen: Before committing to your plans it is always worth your while asking your staff if there's anything they would/would not like in your new design. In addition to making them feel involved in your plans it may save you headaches in the future as sometimes a different perspective can shed light on things you may not have taken into consideration.
Super Hero: That is, you aren't - unless you are, in fact, and office designer, it would be madness to try and take on the entire project by yourself. There a whole host of specialists out there from office designers, project managers, office furniture specialists, lighting and flooring experts. Yes you will have to pay for this but ultimately if it means that you get your office tip top first time you will save money in the long run.
If you have an office design, re-fit, or furniture needs please get in touch with us.
What Are The UK's Office Gripes?
'Tis the season to be.....moaning, whinging and complaining....Or so you would be led to believe if you were looking out for news articles about office design of late.
Headlines such as these:
"Workplace gripes adding to UK productivity woes."
"Office worker survey: Moaners and noisy eaters among top gripes."
"Workers waste almost six hours a week thanks to office irritations."
You'd be forgiven for thinking we had skipped past jolly old December and had fallen slap-bang into the January Blues.
There is, however, a serious note in these articles. It has been reported that overall, workers in UK's small businesses lose almost six hours (5.5, to be exact) every week on various office gripes; and a proportion of this is attributed to general office design such as being too hot or cold, having an uncomfortable chair or desk, or an untidy, disorganised workplace.
We don't have access to the exact numbers of people working in an unsuitable office in the UK but we're guessing it's quite a few. And quite a few multiplied by 6 hours per week multiplied by an average of 48 weeks a year at work = a shed load of lost working days due to poorly designed offices and office furniture.
Making the health and wellbeing of your workers a top priority isn't some namby-pamby, nanny-state policy - it can actually increase your productivity. Spending out on the right office furniture, equipment and environment can produce a well-earned ROI.