Workplace culture is evolving, and so is office design. In today’s office design, the focus is primarily on flexibility and openness. With this in mind, here are 8 questions to ask while you are planning the design of an office. Using this list will promote an effective office design that is in line with today’s ever-evolving workplace.
1. Should I make room for camaraderie and transparency?
A large number of companies are considering commercial office design ideas that involve creating more open space rather than putting up cubicles and walls. The present trend promotes layouts that allow managers and executives to sit with employees in open areas. An open design paves the way for team spirit. If you want to include walls, you may consider glass instead of something opaque.
2. How do I make room for privacy if required?
An open office design might be your favourite, but it is still essential to have some areas for quiet individual work or private conversations. In short, there should be an amalgamation of “we” spaces and “me” spaces. Consider designing privacy rooms where an employee can go to avoid all distractions.
3. What is the amount of space that is actually required?
While designing the office, you should decide upon the average number of square feet to be allocated to every employee. In a typical office, the space for each employee would incorporate a walled workspace with a desk to hold a computer and other personal items. While calculating the total area, keep in mind which employees, if any, would mainly be working from home. An office that is only partially occupied throughout the year will lead to unnecessary costs.
4. Is it possible to make the office space flexible?
This question is especially important if your business is young and growing. If you have plans to incorporate more employees in the future, it would be unwise to waste money on future renovations. The best thing is to ensure maximum space flexibility.
Space reconfiguration is a great solution to tackle a predicted future inflow of employees, and for this, you can purchase tables and desks on rollers. Also, consider creating “plug and play” areas where laptops can be connected when required. You can even make provisions for a temporary conference room by using dividers.
5. What should I do to have a welcoming reception area?
It goes without saying that the first impression visitors have of the office is created by the reception area. It is vital to make sure that the ambience of your reception area is hospitable and comfortable. A feeling of warmth can be generated by lighting up the place with soft artificial lighting or by allowing a certain amount of sunlight to peep through the curtains. As expert designers suggest, you should use an appropriate combination of colours to convey a positive vibe, be it loyalty, honesty, prestige or sophistication.
6. What message should my office space convey regarding my company?
Your brand image, corporate mission, and in fact your entire business model should be effectively conveyed to your clients as well as your employees through your office design. On one hand the commercial space should encourage the employees to ‘”live the brand” on a day-to-day basis, and on the other hand, it should fully communicate your business perspective to your clients.
7. What type of employee behaviour should my design incorporate?
If you intend to achieve some results in your office, your commercial office design project can rope in certain related elements. For instance, if recycling is on your mind, to achieve your goals in this area, recycling stations can be set up throughout the office. This will provide your employees with clear guidelines and easy access. Again, if you want more solidarity amongst employees of various departments, do include a centralised printing station or coffee bar.
8. Where will my employees relax and socialise?
Popular places for such activities are pantries, cafes and the like. If you have the budget and space for it, you can make more elaborate arrangements, such as message therapy centres, fitness rooms, and more.
Are windows adequately placed to allow ventilation for the staff to operate efficiently? Can you use vinyl windows to save energy and reduce painting and other costs?
Whatever you do, it is great to think about sustainability. Many offices are using renewable, recycled materials, and you can also follow suit.