The average American works 34.4 hours per week. Let’s say you take two weeks’ vacation. This leaves you with 50 weeks and 1720 hours in the workplace. It’s not atypical to spend more of your waking hours at work than you do at home!
With that in mind, you start to realize how important designing an office truly is. You and your employees spend so much time within this space that it’s crucial for your office design to be top-notch.
But if you’ve never designed an office before, you might not even know where to start. If this is the case for you, you’ve come to the right place.
Listed below are 5 tips for designing an office layout that both you and everyone you work with will love. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Create Zones for Different Work Styles
No two people are exactly the same, and it’s unfair to expect everyone to thrive in the same environment. Though an open office design might be appealing to you and a percentage of your employees, there’s always going to be a portion of people who prefer to work in a quiet space.
This is why, when creating your office design, it’s a good idea to include a space for everyone. The majority of your workspace can be open concept, but you should have a section closed off for people who prefer solitude and quiet.
Now, make sure this space is actually separate from the hustle and bustle of the main work area; otherwise, it won’t be effective. Take the time to create a focus area inside a more traditional office space with some corner sliding doors to block out noise and other distractions.
2. Don’t Overlook the Importance of Light
If at all possible, when creating your small business office you should include as many windows as you can. Natural light not only brightens up any space and improves the atmosphere but will boost your employees’ happiness and productivity.
If natural light isn’t an option, be sure to include plenty of light sources throughout the office. Don’t rely on the overhead fluorescent lights, either. A good layout will include ambient (overhead) light, but also task and accent lighting.
3. Give Your Office Personality
Every business owner’s goal is to have a productive office environment. And the best way to achieve this is to ensure that you aren’t designing your space without personality. No one wants to work in an office with no pop.
There are two options when approaching this aspect of your office design. If you have a reliable team that you expect to stick with you for the foreseeable future, invite them to bring in art and inspiring decor of their own with which to decorate the office. And even if you have a bit more turnover, it’s always a positive step to allow your employees to add a personal touch to their individual workspace.
If you’d rather follow your individual vision of what your finished office looks like, just be sure to add plenty of artwork on the walls and fun or attractive pieces to brighten the mood. A fun work environment will do wonders for improving work satisfaction and employee efficiency, which should be the ultimate goal.
4. Don’t Skimp on Break Areas
Expecting your employees to work every second of every day is both unfair and unrealistic. Not to mention, people are actually more productive when they take frequent breaks. Show the people who work for and with you your appreciation by giving them some fantastic break areas to utilize throughout the day.
Don’t throw a plastic table and a vending machine into the corner of the room and call it a day. This area should feel as inviting and comfortable as possible! The goal is to create a space where people can relax and unwind for a few minutes away from their desks.
Add a few comfortable couches, a stylish table, and a dining area. If you want to take it a step further, you can also add things like gaming consoles and complimentary snacks.
Remember that stretching your legs throughout the day is important as well for productivity and energy levels. If you can, consider adding a walking track around the perimeter of your office where you can hold walking meetings or that your employees can simply use to step away from their workspace every now and then.
5. Focus on Mood-Boosting Elements
On top of artwork and decor, you need to add a variety of mood-boosting elements to your office design. Houseplants and other natural features, for instance, not only add to the aesthetic of a room but improve the mental and physical health of everyone around them.
You could also bring in an office pet to help people feel relaxed and at home throughout the day!
Last but not least, maintaining organization is key to a positive work environment. For the best results, provide storage spaces to hide clutter and keep things open, as well as a variety of shelves and display units.
Use These Tips to Start Designing an Office Today
Looking at the blank slate that is an empty office space can be intimidating, but by using these tips for designing an office, you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you might have thought.
Remember, the main thing is to put the comfort and productivity of yourself and your employees first. No one feels their most productive in a stark, sterile environment. Make it a place where everyone feels at home and watch productivity and employee satisfaction soar.
Looking for more tips and tricks for designing the office of your dreams? Be sure to check out our blog!