Reception areas should accomplish a few key things. First, they should be welcoming to your visitors, with functional details such as umbrella bags placed near the door for rainy days and a coffee pot so guests can enjoy some coffee while they wait.
Second, reception areas should also reflect your brand. Televisions showing your advertising, logo art or a lobby designed in the company color scheme are all good options for broadcasting your brand as soon as visitors step into the office.
The breakroom is another important area to think about. Since it’s intended to be a place of respite from work, you can emphasize that fact in the design and use a different color scheme here than you do in the rest of the building. Other best practices include making sure staff have a nice window view, stocking the vending machine with healthy snacks and choosing easily movable chairs to encourage mingling. A television is a nice addition, but if that’s not possible, magazines can also help workers relax.
To create a well-designed office, it’s important to know what pitfalls you should avoid. Like providing uncomfortable furniture. Or making the design only open-office, without any private spaces included. These mistakes can be costly, because they’ll lead to an unhealthy, unhappy workplace. For more design don’ts, see this blog.
4.) Design for All Ages
While it may be easy to assume that older generations have different design needs, recent research has argued otherwise. According to the study Welcoming Workplace, all workers, regardless of age, want areas where they can focus, collaborate or simply unwind for a few minutes from the stress of work. If FMs fulfill those needs, while also paying attention to the specific needs of older workers, like the risk of carpal tunnel and other musculoskeletal disorders, an office can be comfortable for workers of all generations.
What makes a furniture company stand out? It could be winning several design awards and gaining recognition at NeoCon. It could be having a product displayed in museums like the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Or, it simply could be offering educational and consultation services to help FMs ensure they make the best decisions for the organization. However you define a good furniture company, you’ll find at least one of these qualities in each organization found in our list of top office furniture companies.
So there you have it—the best of our office design tips for 2014. Did we miss any other good insight? Let us know in the comment section!
photo credit: K2 Space via photopin cc