Office design flaws you should avoidPublished 04.07.19
When your office design is due an upgrade, it’s important to think about functionality and sustainability as well as aesthetics in order to avoid costly mistakes. There are some aspects of office design that many forget to consider, which can ultimately affect the motivation and productivity levels of employees. It’s important to increase your awareness of any potential design flaws that you may come across right from the very beginning, in order to avoid inconveniences along the way.
Time scales and management
The planning and design processes of an office renovation can often take longer than originally anticipated. It’s therefore essential that you plan your time well, to avoid rushing and making unnecessary mistakes. Allow yourself plenty of time between the beginning of the project and the end-point to make any necessary changes, or address any potential slip-ups. The beginning of the project is the ideal time to organise suppliers and designers, and secure your consultations. Ensuring that you give yourself ample time avoids costly and time consuming mistakes being made, that can ultimately set back the completion of your renovation.
Diversity and individual differences
It’s important to recognise that, particularly within an office environment, the overall design needs to cater to individual needs – both personal and corporate. A one-size-fits-all approach might seem easier to implement, but it’s highly likely to reduce employee motivation, productivity and performance levels. It’s essential to realise from the get-go that every business is different and therefore has different functionality and aesthetic requirements. Whilst it’s a good idea to seek inspiration from other sources, it’s equally as important to adapt these to suit your business needs. For example, if you’re renovating a small office space, you’ll benefit from maximising natural light and installing multi-use desks.
It’s becoming increasingly important to install comfortable, ergonomic furniture within a workplace, since sitting down for long periods – particularly with a poor posture – has been shown to have negative impacts on our physical health. It’s been suggested that firms who have installed high-quality ergonomic furniture have encountered lower employee turnover rates – so it’s a worthwhile investment. From chairs that support back and spine health, to ergonomic keyboards that assist with RSI (repetitive strain injury), there are plenty of options to explore.
Open-plan offices, in particular, benefit from considering acoustics within their design. Having poor acoustics can take its toll on employee performance; the majority of employees need the option of a quiet space for maximum productivity, free from surrounding noise. If you’re working with an open space, consider installing sound-proof partitions and booths, as well as rugs and wall panels.
Work and play areas
In today’s corporate world, it’s more important than ever that employees are provided with a space in which they can relax and unwind. These areas are becoming increasingly more integral within office design, with many employers discovering that workers who have been allowed some ‘play time’ perform better overall. Make sure that when planning the office renovation, you incorporate an area that’s dedicated to games and/or comfortable seating.
When planning an office renovation, it’s important to take lighting into consideration. It’s best to make the most of natural lighting wherever you can – so try not to cover windows. Equally, it’s important to incorporate multiple light sources. In a reception area, for example, it’s a good idea to install soft lighting, as this creates a warm, inviting atmosphere. In the office, try to limit artificial lighting, and use spot lighting wherever needed. Too much or too little lighting, however, can cause headaches and eye strain – so it’s important to consider this carefully.
When entering the office, visitors and potential clients should instantly gain a sense of your office personality and values. Incorporating your brand colours, logo and displaying awards/examples of your work is a great way to do this – and carrying this through to the office space also helps your employees to strive towards mutual goals.
Seeking the help of professional interior designers can really help to ensure that you’re making the most of your available resources and budget. To get in touch with a member of our team, please click here.