Designing an office can be incredibly exciting but it’s also a big task and a big commitment. Here are a few points you’ll want to consider when designing your new office.
Big picture layout
Firstly, consider how much working space you’ll need, taking into account the current number of employees and allowing room for growth. Once you know how many employees your office will be home to, consider what types of spaces will best meet the individual’s and the company’s needs.
When deciding what kind of office to design, consider the nature and culture of the company. If your company thrives off collaboration, an open plan office with off-set large meeting rooms might be best. This is a very common feature of lot of the work spaces and types of offices in London and Manchester. Be careful if you’re designing with an open plan concept, too much open space can make an echoey office where it’s hard to focus. A mixture of open and private spaces is a wise choice.
Try to incorporate as much natural light as possible into your design, as natural light will stop your employees feeling cooped up and improve productivity. The more natural light we’re exposed the more melatonin we create, which affects how focused and awake you feel. It’s not a coincidence that many modern offices incorporate lots of glass and large windows. Green Build Press found that there was an 11% per cent gain in productivity from improved ventilation and a 23 per cent improvement in productivity from improved lighting design.
Desk space isn’t the be-all-and-end-all to a good office space. Consider how you might create a relaxing place for employees to hang out and take breaks. This is going to mean employees are well rested to work and will promote team bonding.
If self-care and mental wellbeing is a core part of your company ethos, you might take this a step further and design a mediation room or small yoga studio.
With wellbeing in mind, a gym might be a great way to allow employees to let off steam and improve wellbeing. However, this will probably only be possible if you’re building a large office and have the space to spare. If it is part of the existing building, this will not require planning permission, but if you build upwards or outwards of the building, this will likely need planning permission if you are branching out more than 10 metres.
Parking continues to be a major consideration when it comes to office spaces. Most businesses need access to parking for senior team members and clients when visiting. Depending on your location, you may have access to nearby parking for clients, visitors and employees. Also make sure you’ve got safe place to lock bikes, as encouraging employees to cycle can boost mood and productivity.
Storage may be one of the last things you considered when it comes to designing an office, but it’s important. Wherever possible use paperless storage solutions, to minimise mess (and things getting lost). Make sure you also factor in different types of physical storage into your design. Optimising the space in your office and keeping everything stored away will give the office a tidy and calming look.
Along with natural light, greenery can do wonders for mood and productivity. If your office doesn’t have any outdoor greenery, try to bring it in. You might be able to plant trees on your ground floor or create a plant wall in the office, but make sure you consider this in your design.
As workplaces become more connected, it’s important that our office spaces have access to the latest technology. Make sure you factor in the right infrastructure to support fast internet and Wi-Fi in shared and public parts of the building. Make sure there are enough plugs both at desks and in communal spaces, so employees have the flexibility to work where they choose.
Lastly, take your time. Designing an office space can be really exciting but its important to get it right. You may be using this space for years to come so spend time researching and planning, you’ll be glad you did in the long run.
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