Office design is often disregarded and not a lot of thought goes into it, at least if we’re talking about small businesses. Some big companies don’t put a lot of effort into office space either. Having all the necessary equipment and enough space for your employees is important, but practicality is not the only important feature of a well-designed office.
You don’t necessarily need a huge office, if you use the space you’re given in the right way. Read on and learn how to min-max your office space usage, and make its design refreshing and motivating for all employees.
1. Declutter Your Office
It’s really important to use your office space well, and a part of that is removing all the junk and other things that aren’t helping anyone do their job. People are subjective about the things they need for work, but the type of work is also a big factor in deciding what to keep in your office and what to throw out.
Things that nearly every office needs are chairs, desks, computers, phones, office supplies, and other equipment, furniture, and materials. Although it’s important to have that, don’t go overboard and hoard any of the mentioned things in the office. You can have a storage room or an archive outside or within your office for keeping the documents and supplies.
The things that aren’t necessary for the daily work routine may as well be thrown out, sold, or recycled. You should declutter your office space before you open your business, but also do it continuously and make sure that the office stays clean and minimalistic, for most optimal work conditions.
2. Optimize and Zone Space
If you have the resources, you can have a separate game room or lounge where the employees can take breaks. People need to let off some steam once in a while, and it’s not bad to have a dedicated room for it. You don’t want your employees chatting and lounging in the place of work, because it decreases productivity. The workers should associate their desks with work, and that’s why it’s important to have a break room.
In case you have separate teams in your small business, separate them so that for example, accountants are in one room, the legal team is in the other, HR is in the third room, etc. Place the essential items of the office in the middle, especially if they are used by everyone (coffee machine, the copier, the fridge, the watercooler).
3. The Meeting Room
Small business owners often disregard the importance of a separate conference or meeting room. It’s essential to have such a room in your office space, no matter how small it is. If you can’t find space for it, use your own office (the owner) for meetings. However, it’s best to have a separate meeting room, with a big table, a projector, and a whiteboard, you get the drift.
This shouldn’t be a room only for discussing the agenda. You should brainstorm and come up with ideas here, in unison. The layout of the meeting room can vary. You can go for a round table, or have a classroom layout, whichever suits you best.
4. Minimalism Works
Keeping things minimalistic in a small business office space is crucial. You don’t want any distractions that may take up the attention of the workers. We already talked about decluttering, but this is different. Being minimalistic doesn’t mean that your office should be empty, with blanks walls, desks, and chairs. No, it’s important to add some color and life to the office design, but it’s best to keep things simple.
You can add some tasteful art pieces to the walls, colorful furniture, some nice plants, and make a pleasant atmosphere. The employees should feel relaxed and motivated at their job, and these things can contribute to that feeling. If the workers want to keep a picture of their loved ones on the desk or keep other important possessions on their desk, let them have it, as long as they don’t make a mess.
5. Lighting Is Very Important
Having a well-lit space is imperative for a productive office. You want as much of that light to be natural, coming from sunlight. If possible, make sure that there are windows in every room of your office space. Not only is it good for lighting, but it also gives fresh air to the employees. Artificial lights should only be used when necessary, as they are tiring for the eyes, and sometimes, they can cause headaches.
Open space offices with gardens and beautiful landscapes are becoming more popular, but they cost quite a lot. If you can, grab some glass dividers and use them for your meeting room so you can get as much sunlight as possible. There are portable glass panels which are amazing, and we especially recommend them if your office has access to a garden or something similar. Everyone feels motivated for work when they have a beautiful view, enough air, and proper lighting in their workspace.
6. Add a Splash of Art
We touched upon this a bit, but it needs further discussion. Most people can appreciate bright colors, art, and other visual stimuli. You don’t have to paint your office walls white. Add some color to them, and make one wall a different color than the others in the same room. It will break up the monotony, and give some taste to your office.
You can hang several art pieces across the office walls, or hang up some mirrors. The former adds some eye candy, while the latter improve the lighting and make the room look more spacious. Everyone who enters your office should feel positive and energetic, and some art goes a long way. Not all art is expensive, you can hire some local artists to paint you some pieces, or make something else.
You shouldn’t introduce aggressive colors into your office (like dark red), but you don’t want bleak colors either. Sometimes grey and white walls aren’t so bad, but it depends on the furniture and other items you have in the office. The choice of furniture could be artistic too, so feel free to experiment with it.
7. Use Subtle Marketing
It makes sense to expose your brand as much as possible, so why not do it in the office? You can make your brand a part of the office design, just don’t overdo it. Everyone who walks in should see the brand name, but it shouldn’t poke out their eyes. If this sounds vague, let’s talk about some tasteful examples of including your brand in the office, without making it tacky.
You can add your company logo to the office entrance, the doors, have signs or company motto etched on some office pieces. It’s difficult to find the right piece to carry the logo, but there is an ideal solution. Why not use quality logo mats? Carpets and mats are ideal logo pieces because they are subtle, but visible enough for everyone to notice. You can have a custom printed logo mat with your brand name, but also customize its size. Some of these mats are very durable and can withstand heavy weight and a lot of footsteps. You don’t want a cheap mat that gets worn out after a while.
The best thing about logo mats is that you can place them anywhere. There are both outdoor and indoor logo mats. You can place them in front of the door, in the lobby, inside the office, or in all of the mentioned places. They can be in single or multiple colors, with elaborate designs. The possibilities are endless!
Starting as a small business or a startup is hard and takes a lot of effort. Office design is very important for multiple factors, both for new and existing businesses. It affects productivity, motivation, and it has a huge impact on your business, even if it doesn’t seem that important at first.
With the tips you’ve learned here, you’ll have a better understanding of some of the important office design aspects for smaller businesses.