Creating a new workspace or redesigning your office? Discover the three biggest office design mistakes you can ever make
There’s no question about it. A superb office design can create a positive atmosphere and invigorate a workforce. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t take their space, brand and workers into consideration when designing their workplace. Then there’s the fact that office design is constantly evolving, making it even harder for owners to know what is best for their company. At the end of the day, each business and its team are different so it’s never going to be as simple as copying a look from a magazine or a layout used in another building.
Picking the wrong design for an office can affect a number of things, such as productivity, employee morale and brand image. If you’re about to set up a new office or refurbish your workplace, make sure you avoid making these three major blunders.
Adopting Trending Office Designs Simply Because They Look Fantastic
Some business owners think that designing an office is as easy as choosing one of the latest trends, but this simply isn’t the case. Let’s say you work in the healthcare industry and have seen an eye-catching design used by a property management firm. What works for another industry will not necessarily work for your company, so you need to think about the bigger picture before getting carried away. Plus, you need to consider your brand and people, as well as the types of tasks that need to be completed in the space that you have when planning your office layout.
Remember, you’re employees are in the office at least 5 days a week, so it’s only fair you ask what will work best for them. If the space isn’t suited to their needs, you may see a sudden drop in productivity, morale and turnover. On top of that, you need to make sure you send out the right message to your staff and clients. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish, then look to your brand and company culture for inspiration. Embrace the fact that your business (and office space) is unique and showcase your identity. Forcing a design somewhere it doesn’t belong will just lead to failure.
Choosing Cost over Comfort and Attractive Furnishings
You work in an office, so chances are you‘ll be sitting for hours each working day. Although it might be tempting to opt for cheap furniture to save money, your co-workers will not thank you for it. Quite the opposite in fact. Poorly designed furniture can actually have an effect on an individual’s health, especially when they have no other choice but to use it, day in and day out. And let’s be fair, you don’t want to be stuck with an uncomfortable chair or awkwardly sized desk either.
Ergonomic furniture is ideal for any office because it promotes comfort and well-being. Things like adjustable-height chairs with memory foam padding and sit-to-stand desks are fast becoming must-have items in offices across the globe. You also need to take into account how aesthetically pleasing your furnishings are, from chairs and tables to the reception desk and the rest. Put simply, put design first, and don’t be afraid to spend a little more on comfortable furniture.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to invest in the finer details too. We’re talking about carpeting, wall colours, branding and visuals. Be careful not to overdo it though. It’s more about creating a stimulating environment, rather than an eyesore. As we touched upon earlier, your space should be used as a communication tool to remind workers and visitors of where they are and what you offer.
Completely Ignoring the Impact of Office Noise
It’s amazing how many people overlook noise levels in the workplace until it’s too late. Problem is, once a design is complete without adequate soundproofing, it becomes very difficult to change. When you’re designing an office, it’s crucial to think about sound and the quality of the acoustics from the outset. This is especially important in open offices because sound travels farther than in more traditional workspaces.
Ideally, your office will have both private and collaborative areas so that your colleagues get the best of both worlds. This means that there will be noise pollution at one time or another, so you’ll need to find ways to reduce excess noise from those around you and any noisy equipment. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do cut down on unwanted office noise, such as using upholstered furnishings and sound-absorbing wall and door panels. You can also invest in noise-cancelling flooring and a variety of portable storage units to fight against negative workplace acoustics.
Sadly, these aren’t the only mistakes business owners make when designing an office. If you want to get your project right from the word go, feel free to get in touch with the experienced team at Office Principles. We love nothing more than transforming workspaces into places that reflect each business and its needs.