Office Design

Design office space: 5 Tips for designing layout

David Spence
April 13th, 2016

When it comes to designing office layout, several things must be considered, from furniture to desk arrangements to lighting to…  well, the list goes on and on.

It can definitely be overwhelming and exciting in many ways, so here are five important aspects that you should consider in your realm of planning an office space design, so that once you’re moved in, your employees (and yourself) feel welcomed and can get right down to business. 

Natural light and greenery


This is an important part of a productive office, for a couple reasons. First, natural light helps people see things better. Human vision is designed to adjust with changes in natural light, and it’s actually better for your eyes than fluorescent lighting. The latter causes headaches and eye strain, not to mention a feeling of being cooped up. Natural light is also important for biophilic design elements, which introduce living plants into a workspace.

Second, it also improves productivity. The kind of light you’re exposed to controls your melatonin levels, which in turn effects how focused and awake you feel. A recent study of young adults has shown that more exposure to natural light led them to feel more alert, while working under artificial light led them to feel drowsy. 




One of the key elements to office design moving forward is utilizing of glass offices and finding space with large windows and incorporation of green space. From startups to small business to large-scale corporations like Google and Facebook, this trend is now a reality in many mindsets of office design.

Green Build Press have found:
• Up to 11 per cent gains in productivity from improved ventilation
• Up to 23 per cent gains in productivity from improved lighting design
• Significant improvement in employee recruitment and retention as a result of green retrofits.

Get the right amount of space


Be sure that there’s enough space for your business, whether you have work stations or cubicles—or if you’re planning an open space environment,  so that employees can move freely about.  Having a grasp on space utilization and management for your company, definitely helps in this matter, and using a tool like ours, can ensure you are able to manage your space efficiently when you design your office today and into the future.

Of course, this is a practical issue and it’s a safety one too. If a fire or some other emergency occurs, you want there to be enough space so that people can exit the building safely and quickly. 

Storage and cleanliness 


Storage is often the last thing considered when it comes to office design, but it’s a very important factor to plan for. In addition to using paperless solutions such as cloud storage, look into different types of physical storage to optimize the amount of space in your office while also keeping everything stored in place. Of course, choosing the right type of furniture can help in this matter

Another element of office design can actually be provided by your colleagues: cleanliness. While this may be a less tangible design element than storage and natural light sources, it’s just as important, because it affects the office’s image and the workers’ efficiency.

Jack Dorsey, the founder mobile payments start-up Square, once required his colleagues to clean their desks at the end of each day. Using a similar approach in your office can keep everything tidy and presentable to clients. Even a shared cleaning schedule can also help keep the office areas clean and tidy and essentially cut down on your janitorial and cleaning expenses. 

Good quality furniture


If you choose to purchase cheaper furniture, remember that saying “you get what you pay for”. Substituting lower-quality furniture of any sort, can lead to lack of inspiration in the office, lowered productivity and most importantly health issues among your employees.

According to MKDA creative director Edin Rudic, “proven to simulate worker productivity and to reduce the number of sick days, ergonomic office chairs are where wise business owners invest when designing office space.”  Of course, the choice of work stations have an impact as well – so it’s important to do your research of the type of furniture that fits your company’s culture and space. To help here are  4 Office Furniture Companies you should know

Comfy lobby design


You may want to work with a designer to not only communicate your company’s values but also to overcome any challenges that your lobby space presents. Principal of LUX Design Isabelle Glinka once worked with a company that did not have a receptionist. The company’s logo used bubbles, so she incorporated their logo into the lobby design to help visitors navigate the office.  Different colored bubbles were painted on the floor so that clients could get to different rooms just by following a particular color of bubble. Another option would be to implement self-service kiosks or screens where employees can navigate and learn about the facility – and incorporating a tool like Visual Directory can be extremely impactful. Young & Rubicam, a global marketing and advertising agency, recently moved their global head office in New York City and provided this type of technology to their staff and visitors.

Once you’ve completed your office design and you’ve settled into the building, keep in mind that other issues can still occur — such as a coworker’s moving their offices. In this case, the right office management software can make it easier to handle these transitions so that your office remains organized.

Read what the Wall Street Journal had to say about incorporating OfficeSpace Software into your space, to help solve the Office-Layout Puzzle



Images: Jeff SheldonCustom Spaces – Airbnb, Custom Spaces – DropboxShelley Olsen – Office Ideas, – Shopify, – PAGI