A well-designed office can do wonders not just for you but also for your team members and employees. Multiple studies already found the link between our surroundings and our mental health, and how our office looks and feels can contribute greatly to your staff members’ energy, motivation, productivity, and passion for the job.
It can also make or break the excitement they feel about coming to work every day. If your office has not been renovated or re-designed in decades, now is the time to make some updates. If your office is up for some much-needed boost, here are some modern design ideas, tips, and tricks for every room.
Aside from the office proper, your reception area is perhaps the most important part of your entire building. This is because it’s the first thing your guests, clients, and customers will see, and it can help set the tone for the rest of their visit. How your reception area looks will help determine if your guests would want to come back to your office. Here are some tips for designing and organizing your office’s reception area:
- Consider a floor-to-ceiling glass divider for your receptionist not just to keep her safe from COVID-19, but for privacy as well—especially if they have to make confidential calls.
- Think about how various colors affect you personally. Choose a palette that reflects professionalism and trust, while still expressing your company’s unique brand identity.
- Capitalize on natural light, especially if you’re lucky enough to have an office with that feature. Keep the blinds open, or do away with them completely.
- Add some small touches to help comfort your guests and clients. Add some reading materials, air fresheners, and even fresh flowers. You can also incorporate some of your company’s awards and media clippings to help establish your reputation among your visitors.
The second most important part of your office is where most of the action happens—the workstations. The following are pointers for creating workspaces that encourage productivity, focus, and collaboration when necessary:
- Be strategic with the layout. Consider the needs and challenges of your team, as well as the various working styles, company culture, personalities, and your budget.
- An open floor space plan may be all the rage, but some studies show that employees prefer privacy over the ability to communicate with their co-workers anytime.
- Make room for movement. One of the best things you can do for your employees is allowing them to move whenever they hit a productivity or creativity wall, and to give them a chance to re-calibrate and recharge mentally. Consider investing in stand-to-sit desks, and placing copy machines and other items you share on separate sides of the room to encourage walking.
- Mind the flooring of your computer room, especially if it’s more of a data center. You need anti-static flooring to be able to protect your hardware and data, and it will help protect your employees from slipping and other untoward incidents as well.
- Consider using hidden storage instead of open shelves, especially if you deal with a lot of paperwork. A cluttered workstation can have a negative effect on you and your team.
Other common areas
Aside from the reception area, another part of your office that you need to pay attention to are the places where you and your employees converge to have some non-work-related interactions, like the pantry or a resting room. Here are some principles to keep in mind when designing these areas:
- Be purposeful about the space. Add some multifunctional furniture pieces that you and your employees can assemble and remove when you don’t need them. If you must add a couch, make sure it’s placed in a way that’s inviting to your team.
- Keep first things first, especially if your budget is limited. A pinball machine may be fun, but coffee and tea are essential.
- Allow the employees to have some level of control over how the room is arranged. The room is for their use, after all.
The design of your office restroom also matters because going to the restroom is just as vital a part of you and your employees’ life and work dynamic. One study found that the upkeep and design of an office restroom contribute to the dynamic between managers, employees, and customers, so make sure to provide full privacy, create a more “residential” atmosphere, ensure that supplies are always available and that there are full-length mirrors to help everyone always look their best and most presentable.
Our offices play a big part in the success of our business, so don’t give it the attention and upgrades it deserves. You and your team deserve nothing but the best.