The design of a workplace or office space will have a great impact on the creation of a productive environment, and should also be a pleasant and dynamic place in which to work. Short of bringing in an expensive design firm, here are a few practical ideas for flexible office design.
Benefits of flexibility
Implementing a flexible and dynamic office may cost a bit more, but when you think that a company’s success can be directly impacted by it, then do you really have a choice? In the longer term, it will work out cheaper than one that is poorly designed as the frustration and time wastage incurred by the latter creates a leaking ship by hindering what should be basic tasks.
Go for space and light
Many workers spend most of their waking hours indoors, often at workstations and far from a window. Productivity and mood are negatively affected by artificial lighting, so natural light should be incorporated into a dynamic office design. Tear down superfluous interior walls, use glass partitions, and provide employees with social circulation space. How much do high quality window shutters cost? Not a lot, and installed in certain areas of the office, they’ll effectively control light levels for presentations that involve projectors, for instance.
Everything should work seamlessly together, especially in a small office, so it’s important to control clutter by using well-thought-out storage solutions such as half-height roller racks.
Don’t cut back on decent furniture. Workers spend a great deal of time sitting in the same chair, for instance, and if as a result they contract lower back pain, this can translate into lowered performance and sick leave. A flexible monitor arm will reduce neck stress, and certainly in today’s office environment, there’s no excuse for not utilizing the full advantages of wireless technology for creating a physically flexible working environment.
Break-out spaces are far more than simply a place to have lunch or a coffee. They can actually aid creativity by providing a place for informal meetings or chats, a place to swap ideas, aided by a refreshing change of scenery. A casual lounge area within the office is the perfect place to unwind and exchange a few thoughts. The Scandinavians recognized long ago that attractive and well-designed, comfortable and casual spaces stimulate great ideas and innovative thinking.
A branded environment
Branding should never just be about websites and business cards. It needs to constantly surround employees and speak directly to clients. A big logo on the wall will help achieve this, as will ergonomic office furniture and cool lighting.
Good, dynamic workplace design involves effectively injecting your company’s logo, attitude, slogans, and products into the corporate environment to showcase the company’s culture at a very basic level. Bear in mind that whereas the clothing a man wears may not say everything about him, it certainly says a great deal, and the same is true of office design.