What do you want to achieve with the office design? What message do you want to convey? Should the office be colorful and playful, or more classic and professional? Defining your goals at the start of the process will help you stay on track as you select furniture and consider space use. Go in without at least a working idea of what you want, and the selection process could be overwhelming and time-consuming.
It may be tempting to choose a cheaper product to save money. But doing this could be costly. Is a bargain on desk chairs really worth it, when lower morale occurs because they cause sore muscles? Is going all open-office a good idea, when more people call in sick because of germs? When you’re thinking about your many design choices, research your range of options and do a cost-benefit analysis to see if what seems like a good bargain actually has hidden costs.
Simply following the latest design trends isn’t a good idea. It’s smart to keep up with new developments, of course, but you also want to think about how well those trends would fit into your own company. Solicit feedback from your coworkers, and let their needs guide your design choices. If some of them need quiet places to work every now and then, don’t neglect to include some quiet spaces in the office.
Space planning is another major part of the design process. You want to make sure that your colleagues will have enough room to walk around pieces of furniture and avoid feeling too cramped. Or, as design firm Office Principles writes, “Measuring may not be the most fun job in the world, but it’ll save you a lot of money and time in the long run. Planning your space appropriately will help to free up room for extra storage or make your office a little roomier.”1
You want the design to reflect your business in some way. Perhaps you want to use your company’s colors for your color scheme. Or art that reflects your company’s products. Or photographs of satisfied clients. Whatever industry your company belongs to, incorporating the brand into the office design is an opportunity to let everyone who walks through the doors—employees and guests alike—know what the company is and does. That’s not an opportunity you want to miss.
To sum up the above, don’t be shortsighted when it comes to your office design. Think over everything carefully, including pricing, space and employee needs. You’re responsible for providing your colleagues with a good place to work. When you take the right approach, the result will be a productive and comfortable work environment.
photo credit: Steve A Johnson via photopin cc