There’s no denying that environment is important. Employees at a typical office spend eight hours a day (or more) in that space, which is about one-third of their lives! It’s no wonder that an office space is so important. A great work environment should be engaging and promote not only productivity, but well-being too.
Whether you’re setting up a brand new office layout or looking to give the current space an update, here are some of the things you should consider in the planning process.
One of the most important steps in planning an office layout is breaking down the available space and determining what purpose each will serve. Obviously, you need to keep in mind things like employee numbers and future growth. However, other ideas to think about are having spaces geared toward certain goals. For instance:
- Creativity and Collaboration: In nearly any office, working as a team is of the utmost importance. Having a space that specifically fosters these types of interactions can help encourage daily teamwork. Examples of spaces dedicated to creativity and collaboration include conference rooms, mutual work areas with no walls and even simply positioning the right people’s desks near each other.
- Relaxation: While you certainly want a workspace to help facilitate productivity, having a special area dedicated to breaks and relaxation is equally important. No one can be 100% focused all the time, so having a space where employees can take a breath or grab a coffee can actually help productivity by preventing burnout. Examples of a relaxation space might be a breakroom with a coffee machine or an area with a few comfy chairs and no work items.
- White Space: Not every space needs to be jam packed. Leaving a little white space can help the eye and unconsciously make employees more comfortable. White space also discourages too much clutter. It’s especially important to make sure there’s enough space where traffic patterns are heaviest and where people might naturally tend to gather.
No one likes being disconnected from nature all day. Feeling forced to be cut off from the outside world due to work can take a toll on employee morale. Combat this by having some greenery around the office. This might be achieved through multiple windows that provide a view outside or even potted plants throughout the space. Another important thing to consider is natural light. Not only is natural light easier on the eyes, causing less strain, but it can also boost your alertness. Studies have shown that those with boosted alertness are typically more productive. If possible, try to incorporate as much natural light as possible into your work space. If your location or space limits this, there are a variety of lighting options available that are designed to more closely mimic natural light than your typical fluorescent fixture.
Quality of Furniture
Furniture is one of those products where you definitely get what you pay for. With desks, chairs and tables being so central to employee productivity, this isn’t a place where you want to cut corners. Some things to consider when looking at office furniture is the overall look and feel. Will it go with everything else in the room? An easy way to make sure everything coordinates is to purchase pieces from the same product line.
A great way to ensure the furniture really fits into your office aesthetic is to look at custom options. A good company will be able to provide you with personalized options for things like stains, dimensions and wireports. If you’d like to talk about personalized furniture options from Iron Age Office, simply contact us and we’d be happy to help you plan and design a comprehensive, quality furniture solution for your office.
Last but not least, storage is a huge consideration for any office space. Even if your company is predominantly paperless, there will always be tools and supplies floating around that need a permanent home. Whether you need protable filing cabinets on wheels or lots of shelving, your storage solutions should flow together just as well as the furniture. Not only will it look great in the office, it will help drastically reduce clutter while also encouraging organization and cleanliness.
In addition to considering the above, you should also keep in mind the technology employees will need to use and the decorations you’ll use to complete the office space. While planning a new office space can seem daunting, breaking down your goals and considering your employees’ comfort and well-being well go far in helping you create the space your business needs.