On the IBA Blog we are always talking about how best to utilise your home office space to increase productivity, but with many bloggers blogging part-time or blogs being part of a wider organisation, it’s high time we highlighted the importance of larger office design too. With many of us spending more time sat at our desks at work than in our home offices, the design of these spaces are equally as important for both quality of life and work. Carly Chandra from Saracen Interiors, London discusses the top tips to maximise potential office space for when you or your company are looking to refresh the space…
A recent study revealed that 25% of employees believed that office design was hindering their performance, whilst 53% agreed that their performance would improve if they had their ideal working environment. In other words, office design is important and companies and bloggers need to take note. If you’re looking to refurbish your current office or move into a new one and would like it decorating ergonomically, then our top tips below should help you create the ideal office fitout for yourself and your work.
We understand that a lot of companies don’t have the funds to purchase huge offices with a vast amount of space, but that doesn’t mean they have to suffer. With a small office, privacy could be an issue in the same way that a close-knit team might struggle in a large office. When designing an office space of any size you should ensure that the design mirrors your company’s structure. For example, if you work in a collaborative team then an open plan design would work best, so all employees can communicate with ease. Does the Manager want to keep an eye on all the goings on? Then maybe a design where their desk is situated in sight of all others would be best.
Aim for furniture that is comfy and space saving by investing in collapsible and movable furniture that has a lot of storage. Arranging the desks strategically can also save space while boosting team productivity. Different desk placements trigger different outlooks for the organisation. For example, paired island desks can be rotated monthly to encourage team work, while a bullpen office arrangement boosts accountability and productivity. These can also affect your own personal work space in positive ways, be it a home or away from home office.
To create a particular aesthetic through your new office design, it’s key to establish a focal point that encourages relationship building and team work away from the desks. This can be a monitor, for easier sharing of ideas and presentations, a white board or a round table. You can put appliances on the roundtable, such as espresso machines to act as convergence points and encourage idea sharing, or the development of more informal relationships in the workplace.
The beauty of this is that you don’t have to compromise on space. The whiteboards and monitors can be hung up, whilst the round table can be movable to save even more valuable space. You can also get creative and create your own focal points, should you choose to do so. Some companies like to implement “fun” focal points such as table tennis or pool tables. These are often implemented to give employees ten-minute breaks to freshen their mind.
We know there’s an age-old debate on whether a workplace should have walls or not, but it all boils down to the company’s preferences. If you’re feeling that the walls are cramping your space and want a more open environment, then by all means, do it! The best moment to do this kind of work is during office refurbishment work. During the refurbishment work, you can replace the walls with less material that will not compromise on privacy. Japanese screen panels are a great example - and you can choose a colour that compliments your brand. Glass can also replace walls to make space feel more expensive and high end. You could paint the back wall in brighter colours like orange, blue or yellow to make the office look larger and more inviting to employees and customers alike!
As you may have realised, no matter the size of your office, a brilliant design is both essential and achievable. Choosing the right office layout that resonates with the organisational structure, the right furniture, or expanding your space through colour schemes or glass can give your office a well-thought out and fascinating look. One that will not only encourage productivity and teamwork, but also get you more business over time – or improve your personal working environment at home.
About the author: Carly Chandra is the Business Development Manager at Saracen Interiors in London. She has held the position for several years and has a great passion for interior design and content.