The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Selecting the furniture is only one aspect of designing an office space. Mapping out an area and knowing how to design the interactivity of an office space can make a significant difference to company culture. We’ve recently seen the move from traditional office layouts with cubicles and a standard desk and chair to open floor plans that promote a collaborative work environment.
Style, day-to-day workflow, and functionality are all critical aspects to consider when designing your office space. Here are some key things to take into account when planning your modern office.
Not all offices will or should look the same. Different businesses have different needs for their workspaces and the way their teams work together. If your company works better with each employee working in a focused, distraction-free environment, then you may favor private, dedicated workspaces for everyone.
If your business thrives on a more collaborative environment, it may make more sense to divide up the workspaces according to work projects. For example, a content studio may have a workspace for graphics, one for content development and editing, and an entirely different room for audio work that promotes the multi-step collaborative process. In this case, a manager’s L-shaped desk may be suitable for an interactive tabletop workflow.
Size and Layout
Once you have determined the functionality of your workspace, you can start to put together a design based on your needs. Considerations such as how big the workspaces and desks should be or how many people should be assigned to a workspace can help you start laying out your space accordingly.
Choosing specific items with these ideas in mind enables you to approach the furniture design with a cohesive plan. Use apps like magicplan—2D/3D floor plans to help you map out and visualize the space.
Since your team will be spending upwards of 40 hours a week in this space, it is essential to ensure the working environment is conducive to productive work. Making sure all the working spaces are well-lit or lit suitably in specific settings can optimize the work being done.
Consider soft lighting and natural lighting as a good source of daylight and feeling of warmth, but use bright lighting for evening work. Studies show that natural light is the best for productivity.
Additionally, excess noise should be reduced, and the office temperature should be comfortable. Consider adding fragrances to the room with an oil diffuser or pleasant subtle-smelling plants.
Some spaces need pens, paper, markers, and an assortment of other tools ready to be used during work, while others need a more minimal working area.
If clutter does impact the space negatively, consider having a shared supply closet or area where employees can use additional tools for their work. Stay ahead of employee needs by having an accessible storage area with organized shelving and bins or a dedicated space for a printer and ink cartridges.
Consider your employees, clients, customers, and brand image and design your space accordingly. Even if your office may not be a meeting place for your clients, it is still vital to create a space that reflects your brand, mission statement, and the way your company works.
For example, a business that works with high-end brands and clients will likely reflect that in their office design with modern, sleek furniture. To bring out the company’s personality, find a unique accent piece or modular seating options that match your brand.
While high-end furniture may not be an option for some smaller businesses, it is still essential to focus on the basic requirements you need for your office to function the best. Have a plan and stick to it, and this will enable you to make design choices well ahead of time.
By focusing on your big-ticket items first, you can still create a modern and high-value space without maxing out the company card on items that are not as important.
Some of these items will be desks, chairs, filing cabinets, and Brother printers and ink. A modest budget and thought-out design can create workspaces that are modern, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
Different businesses have their own ways of operating, but most will have employees who spend the majority of their time in your office space, using the tools provided and sitting on the furniture.
Make sure you get their feedback on what works best, what preferences they may have, and how the potential new office space may affect their workflow. The people who spend every day in those chairs will have a lot to offer when it comes to building an ideal office space. Look for something that is designed for comfort.
When it comes to picking the furniture, comfort plays a vital role. A chair that looks great but is uncomfortable may contribute to the overall office aesthetic, but it also may lead to an employee needing to take more breaks or stand up more frequently. Consider ergonomic designs and desks such as Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desks, which are also eco-friendly.
Are you going to be growing in employee size? Are you in a high-demand industry that changes often? Future-proofing your office allows you to optimize workflow as you move forward in your business. If your team is likely to grow, consider the repercussions of having a shortage of workspaces.
If your workflow depends on technology such as HP printers or high-end computers, consider how much that may change in the coming years and design your spaces accordingly.
Nothing will affect your company’s workflow more than the sense of community in your workspace and the type of culture your company promotes. A formal work environment that encourages independent work may not benefit from a large, open floor place.
At the same time, a company that promotes collaboration, flexible schedules, and group work would have a harder time working in cubicles. Your company culture is part of your company’s identity, and the space you create for the work to get done should reflect that.
No matter what your budget is or what your company does, by planning out the workflow dynamic of your day-to-day affairs, it is possible to create a suitable modern office space that serves your business, your employees, and your clients all at once.
Picking out furniture and office equipment that is comfortable or easy to use, promotes good work, and matches the style of the company is essential to having a functional workspace. By assessing these elements and which are most important, you can create a custom, unique plan for your modern office.