Modern workers spend around 2,000 hours per year in their offices, so employers shouldn’t underestimate how important it is to make the most of these spaces. A well-designed office can encourage productivity, creative thinking, and collaboration, helping to create a positive corporate culture that keeps employees happy and satisfied with their jobs. Before embarking on that next office remodel, read on to find some tips for how to make the most of the space.
1. Start With a Detailed Plan
The best place to start when it comes to office space planning isn’t with choosing furniture or picking new art for the walls. Instead of jumping in headfirst and making purchases that might not work out in the long run without any real thought, those tasked with office design should start with a clear, detailed plan. Take the time to establish not just a clear budget and furniture layouts but also priorities for the remodel, and refer back to the plan frequently to make sure everything stays on track.
2. Prioritize Comfort
Given how much time workers spend in the office, it’s somewhat surprising how little comfortable furniture can be found in modern workspaces. Part of the problem is that employers prioritize affordability over comfort, thinking that it will save them money. In fact, cheap, uncomfortable chairs and desks can contribute to reductions in productivity and even cause health problems. Focusing on ergonomics and prioritizing workers’ comfort will save the company money in the long run.
3. Pay Attention to Lighting
Lighting directly impacts mood, health, and well-being. Unfortunately, office buildings rarely feature adequate natural light, so it’s important to include ceiling lights that imitate the sun and offer a full spectrum of wavelengths. This is particularly important in interior offices and cubicles that don’t receive much if any, sun. In some situations, sunlight desk lamps may also be appropriate.
4. Create Effective Collaborative Spaces
A good office design will provide plenty of opportunities for collaboration. Collaborative spaces can be as simple as tables set up with networked computers, or they can be more relaxed. Modern collaborative spaces might feature plush chairs rather than office furniture, for example, or could even be centered around an inspiring work of art. Just be sure to consider technological requirements. Think about what will be needed to foster effective collaboration, whether that means space for projectors and screens or proximity to outlets and Wi-Fi routers.
5. Give Employees Someplace to Relax
In decades past, employee break rooms and lounges tended to be soulless places that people rarely used except to heat up lunches. Today, employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of helping their workers stay relaxed on the job. Incorporating comfortable furniture into a break room or adding a small library to an employee lounge can go a long way toward reducing stress and improving morale. When in doubt, ask the employees who will be using the space what they would most like to see in the redesign.
Know When to Hire a Pro
Creating the perfect modern office requires more than just replacing office furniture. The best way to make the most of the space is to work with a team of experienced corporate designers. These experts know just what it takes to create an office environment that supports creativity, collaboration, and efficiency.