In this day and age, businesses are focused less on extravagance when it comes to their workspaces, and more on enjoyment and productivity. If you think about many of the relatively-new tech companies, some of their offices resemble more of a playground than a traditional office. Think bean bags scattered everywhere and colourful walls; a far cry from your typical cubicle offices, many of which are still around today. However, every business is different, and a lawyer’s office filled with beanbags and slides would be much less appropriate than in a youthful tech company. When designing an office, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you start in order to gauge your needs and requirements. Here are a few below.
What layout is best suited to your business?
As mentioned in the intro, an open, casual office with bean bags is likely not suited for a lawyer’s office as it would be for a tech company. So the question is, do you need an open plan office or one with more privacy, as you would find with cubicles? Contrary to popular belief, open offices while looking fun, are actually less productive than private offices. They are prone to more distractions and this is why many organisations go for a mix of the two, if space permits. Affordable investments such as installing room scheduling software can turn meeting rooms into multi-purpose rooms.
Control the noise levels
Similar to libraries, an ideal workplace should have areas that are dedicated to quiet work and others where normal conversations can take place. It can be very distracting overhearing other people’s conversations, even more so if you can see them. This is less likely in a private setup, but not guaranteed. Ensure employees only listen to videos and music through headphones, and all meetings are taken in private.
Have good lighting (natural if possible)
There are known health benefits to working in natural light, as opposed to the intense white lights found in many offices. Natural lighting can greatly affect a person’s mood, cause eye strain as well as other mental and physical problems. Where possible, allow as much natural light into the office by investing in large windows, and not only will your workforce benefit, but you’ll also be able to save a pretty penny on your electrical bill!
Paint the walls
No, not white. Adding some colour into your office can help improve productivity by improving people’s mood. Staring at blank walls all day has a sterile feel, rather like hospitals – not something many people are a fan of. Different areas should likely be coloured differently and according to their purpose. Some research has shown that green can encourage creativity, while blue can improve productivity. Pick and choose where these go accordingly.