Your office is more than just a space for you and your employees to sit down and get to work; it’s a space that feeds into your company culture, aids your productivity, and lets your customers and clients understand what you’re all about the moment they walk through your doors. Because of its importance, it’s a good idea to design your own office space – if you have the option to – rather than move into a pre-established structure. But if you take this route, then what should you be looking for? We take a look at a few of the important considerations below.
Finding the Space
Of course, it’s not just the design of your office that’s important. It’s also imperative that you pick a space with surroundings that are in keeping with your business goals. For example, if your company prides itself a being at the center of its industry, then it’ll be vital that you’re located wherever the rest of other businesses in your industry are clustered. If you’re going your own way, then you may be able to get better value for money by looking away from downtown. If you’re based in a more rural area, you’ll also have more a say about how you’re able to design your space.
What do you Need?
You’ll be in a luxury position if you’re designing your own office: you get to ask yourself what you’d like to have, and then actually include them in your plans. This question can stretch to a number of different areas, including the color of the paint on the walls, the general style, and so on. Remember, you’re only bound by your imagination! So why not get creative? You might just find that there’s a unique addition that’ll make your office space feel completely like home.
The Right Layout
While you’ll want your office to feel cool and professional, remember that this is also going to be a place of work. As such, you’ll need to think about the best ways to make your office as productive as it can be. This can start with the layout of your furniture. For starters, do you want to have offices, or are you going to take the ‘open plan’ approach? From there, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to arrange all of the desks and chairs to ensure that people are able to talk to one another, yet be private enough to get down to work in peace, too.
The traditional office is dying, and in a decade or so it’s unlikely that there’ll be too many forward-thinking companies conducting their work from bare bones, functional-only office spaces. We’re all going to be living in the office world that Silicon Valley created, and that means: relaxing spaces! You don’t want your employees to see your office as just a place where they do work; you want to make them feel like it’s an extension of their lifestyle. If they’re able unwind and relax without leaving your business premises, then you’re going to forever have a team of energetic workers ready to deliver their best.
Lighting and Getting Connected
If you’re moving into a space that wasn’t an office before – or sometimes even if it was – then there will be some practical considerations that you need to think about. For example, is the car park big enough for the number of staff that’ll be working there each day? You may also need a company like Caslec Electrical and Data to perform an electrical installation. This will be more likely if you’re repurposing an older space in a more rural area. Once you’ve got your electrical hookup, you’ll be able to focus on kitting out your new office with all the essential office equipment.
Green and Outdoor Zones
If you’re designing your own office from scratch, then you have a good opportunity to make your company one that fights for the environment. There have likely been plenty of ‘green friendly’ office improvements since they last time you switched premises, so take the opportunity to read up on what’s available, and make them a part of your office. If you have the space, then you might want to consider creating a relaxed outdoor zone. These can be complemented by your own workplace vegetable patch, which will, aside from greenifying your office, also boost your worker’s mood and productivity. Win, win, win!
While you’ll want to design your office with your current needs primarily at the forefront of your mind, it’s worthwhile thinking about your future plans, too. If you’re planning on expanding over the course of the next couple of years, would the office you’re designing be able to accommodate the extra space that you’ll need? It’s much better to make do with a little extra space now, rather than have to upgrade your office within a couple of years.
Staying Within Budget
It’s not cheap to design and build a new office, as we’re sure you know. However, that doesn’t mean that it should be overly expensive. Before you get too deep into the process, make sure that you’re creating a robust financial plan for the costs – and then make sure that you’re sticking to it. The process will require a tight fist and close control, in order to keep your company’s cash flow at the right level.
A Conducive Atmosphere
Of all the things difficult to get right, then ‘atmosphere’ is probably it. Take extra care to include things like plants, atmospheric lighting, natural views, and so on. Research has shown that people who enjoy being at work are more productive than those who don’t, and these are some of one of the easiest ways to make your staff want to be at work!
In Keeping With Branding
Finally, make sure you’re taking extra steps to design an office space that is keeping with your branding. If you’re a hip and funky company, then your office should be hip and funky: simple!