When I say “office space”, you probably get a pretty clear picture in your head. The grids of cubicles in a drab, open-plan floor are a sight that most of us are all too familiar with. Here’s a fun fact for you; yours doesn’t have to be like that! If you’re a business owner who needs to plan out a new office space, here are some ideas to give your company a breath of fresh air.
First of all, try to cultivate a heavy, though non-disruptive buzz in your office. If there’s one conventional feature I really think you should retain, it’s density. Some entrepreneurs, trying to make an office that will stand out from the crowd, keep the desks and furniture sparse and widely spread. This may look interesting at first glance, true. However, it can also make for an exceptionally uncomfortable workforce. When you keep the desks close to one another, your staff will be able to converse more easily. This will create a general “buzz”, which allows a little more privacy. Sure, an office space that forces employees to keep their heads down may be efficient, but not exactly healthy.
My next tip is don’t be afraid to be too quirky. Obviously you should make sure people can still get on with their work. Remember though, it’s your office, and how it’s designed is ultimately up to you. Google, one of the largest companies in history, famously have slides in several of their offices! If you keep within reason, there’s no limit to what you can do with your office. Fill the air above your staff with plants in hanging baskets. Bring your dog in and let them wander around the office floor. You might want to try design features which are a little more toned-down, like an aquarium or some metal panel systems. When someone’s worked at a conventional office for so long, it can feel hard to get creative with a new design.
Finally, provide your employees with private space when they need it. I know that this kind of goes against my first point. I’ll uphold that density and buzz is great for when your staff need to collaborate. Occasionally though, everyone needs to get away from it all, knuckle down and concentrate for a while. You should try to provide areas for this for the entire workforce. It can be hard to concentrate when you’re surrounded by free-roaming pets and other curiosities! This is unavailable for a lot of entry-level professionals, so I’m sure your employees won’t forget it. Having these separate, quiet offices will provide a unique design feature. However, it will also increase employee morale and productivity. Remember that some people will prefer to do all their work somewhere like this. Encourage some unwritten courtesy rules for keeping your quiet area available.
When it comes to office spaces, it can feel hard to think outside of the box. However, if you have an urge to get creative, follow it. Offices don’t have to follow a conventional design to function well!