The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Is your company growing? Or is it time to update old furniture and equipment? Although rehabilitating your office space can be fun, make sure your makeover goes off without a hitch by avoiding these common office design mistakes.
1. Measuring Inaccurately
Taking accurate measurements allows you to easily design a layout that makes the most of the space you have available. When measuring your office space, don’t forget to include features such as the location of the entry and exit and windows. Also, ensure the new furniture will fit through the door!
2. Failing to Determine the Function of Your Equipment
If you are replacing office equipment, the printer is typically the heart of the office and, depending on its specific function and location, it can also be a spot where employees chat when they collect their documents.
Make sure you pick the perfect printer for your office after determining its role. If you are trying to maximize space, a combination printer/scanner/copier is a good option. If your printer is the workhorse of your office, a dedicated space with storage for ink and toner cartridges and stationery might be a better alternative.
3. Designing Without a Plan
The goal of redesigning the office is to improve traffic, enhance workflow, and increase productivity. When designing the new layout of the office, consider your company culture and workflow. For example, does your company prefer formal conferences or quick informal meetings? Do your employees need standing desks and active seating for better ergonomics?
Modern corporate culture is highly collaborative. Sharing ideas is better achieved with an open office plan. But, if you are concerned about employees’ ability to focus in an open plan work environment, create small closed-off sections or quiet areas where employees can go to refocus.
4. No Budget
Unfortunately, being tasked with making over the office doesn’t give you free rein with the company credit card. Creating a realistic budget enables you to prioritize and plan the space more effectively.
Get back to the basics and focus on the aspects that are most overdue for a redesign, and optimize the areas that affect your employees daily, such as proper lighting.
If money is tight, seek out inexpensive alternatives to high-end items. For example, choose vinyl chairs over leather ones and nice-looking laminate instead of hardwood floors. Your office will appear sophisticated to the casual observer but at a fraction of the cost.
5. Not Asking for Staff Input
Enlisting a few coworkers to help with the design and installation of your new office furniture can also make the task more fun and foster a positive company culture.
So, corral your employees and determine what features are important to them. Are they environmentally conscious and want a green office with energy-saving light bulbs and recycling stations? Will a vision board inspire? What kind of desks do they prefer—modular, standing, L-shaped, U-shaped, or T-shaped? Do they want movable partitions and room dividers?
6. Chasing Trends
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While the latest interior design trends may look great in other company’s offices, it is essential to choose an office design that works for your company and its employees. Depending on your product or service, trendy or novel décor can be distracting or go out of style, leaving your workspace looking outdated. Choosing timeless furniture, equipment, and neutral décor enables your office space to remain functional and in style for years to come.
7. Going Off-Brand
Your office space should reflect the personality and values of the business. Creating a space that maintains your brand identity reinforces it with employees and broadcasts your brand to clients visiting the office.
Try using the color palette or design elements from the company logo as inspiration for your furniture selection, but focus on neutrals with pops of color that are easy on the eyes.
8. Not Planning for the Future
Failing to plan for the future may mean you need to redo the office again in a few years when the number of employees increases. Consult with HR and senior management about which positions and departments might be expanded. Update workstations to modular styles that can be easily reconfigured as the company grows.
9. Making Over Part of the Office
Your reception area is the first glimpse your clients get of your company, and a beautifully designed reception area should represent your company image, culture, and ethos. According to a study by Ipsos, the reception area and office design and aesthetics can strongly influence a client’s impression of your company.
10. Omitting a Central Supply Area
A supply room or central supply area is a vital part of enhancing workflow in the office. Easy access to supplies and equipment enables employees to find what they need faster and get back to work.
Don’t forget to add adequate storage for dependable printing supplies, office stationery, and small office appliances.
11. Neglecting Lighting
Lighting has a significant impact on the performance of employees and can also affect their mood and overall job satisfaction. Lighting can also control the atmosphere and enhance the aesthetic features of the office space, so it is essential to consider which lighting options offer function and style.
Make the most of the natural light available by locating workstations close to the window. Alternatively, overhead task lighting or compact desk lamps could be used to minimize screen glare.
Lighting can make a big design impact. Chandeliers or a statement light fixture in a reception area can turn an otherwise neutral space into an impressive introduction to your company.
12. Failing to Read the Lease
Most company office space is leased, so read the rental agreement thoroughly before beginning any major structural changes. Voiding clauses on the lease can cost thousands of dollars, so consult the landlord if there is any change you believe is essential to maximize the efficiency of the office.
Redesigning your office is an excellent opportunity to boost productivity and improve the work environment for your employees. Decorate to inspire and motivate, but design for function and clutter-control.