When it comes to office layout and design, we’ve come a long way since the days of stuffy cubicles. But, as a business owner, it’s your responsibility to continue to adapt the office space to your employees and create a comfortable and enjoyable working environment,
Having a good office design can make a world of difference to team morale and contribute to a more innovative workplace while also improving the mental and even physical health of your employees.
So, whether you’re planning an office refresh for 2023, or you’ve just moved into a new space, keep reading to find out how to plan a good office layout.
1. Think about different workstations and seating arrangements
Different workstations and seating arrangements will work well for different tasks and teams. For example, having a quiet and private space to make phone calls will ensure employees feel more relaxed and focused. Having an area where people can work together, and bounce ideas around will create a collaborative environment. Having a mix of both private and social settings to give employees a choice of where to work will strike the perfect balance.
When it comes to seating, we’d recommend saying goodbye to rigid seating plans and allowing employees to move freely where they feel they can work best. You may find the employees prefer to sit within their teams or with people from other departments who work with the same clients. These days, flexibility is key.
2. Prioritise office ergonomics
Realistically, your employees will spend most of their working day sitting down at their desks. This can lead to many health issues, such as back and neck pain, poor posture, muscle degeneration and even lead to more risk of heart attacks.
Investing in quality ergonomic chairs, which are designed for maximum support and sitting habits, can massively help reduce stress on the body. This, in turn, will allow employees to customise their chair, from seat height and tilt to the proper lumbar support and adjustable armrests and headrests to support the natural curve of the spine and create a far more comfortable way of working.
3. Stay on-brand
While it’s important for your office design to be functional, it should also be on brand. Your overall office aesthetic can send a powerful message to clients and future employees, too, as it will reflect both your brand and your values as a company.
If you’re a formal business, either in finance, insurance or law, for example, it may not bode well to have a casual-style office with a beanbag corner. But, if you own an online florist, having a biophilic office design with uplifting colours and fragrances will be perfectly suited to your brand. Think about the message you want your office to communicate the moment someone steps inside.
4. Choose the right colour scheme
Colours can have a great impact on someone’s mood. Blues and greens are known for being calming colours because of their connection to nature, whereas red is fiery and passionate. White is a popular colour choice for offices as it can help a space look larger, however, it can also be perceived as boring and unimaginative.
We’d suggest choosing warm neutral colours to create a calm and welcoming environment and adding splashes of colour through feature furniture, artwork, plants, sculptures and even books to add depth and interest.
5. Ensure there’s plenty of natural lighting
Did you know that workers who are exposed to more natural lighting during the day sleep better at night? This leads to a more productive working day and a more relaxed and rested employee. If you have plenty of windows or skylights, place the office desks and chairs nearby for optimum light exposure.
If you have an office space that doesn’t get a lot of natural light during the day, then make sure you provide sufficient lighting that is similar to sunlight. It’s also possible to get desk lamps that mimic the cycle of sunlight throughout the day, which can help to increase alertness, health and productivity.
6. Add plants
Plants don’t just brighten up an office space with their bright and cheery nature, but they’re also proven to be amazing mood boosters. As plants can help to purify the air and stabilise the humidity levels, employees may feel more refreshed and optimistic during the day.
Some of the best office plants to include are snake plants, hanging air plants, aloe vera, succulents, peace lilies and English ivy, as they are all exceptionally easy to maintain, which is ideal for busy office workers.
7. Use moveable furniture
Moveable furniture is the perfect way to encourage flexibility and collaborative working. Furniture doesn’t need to be fixed in one place, and there are plenty of options for moving items, such as agile mobile screens for privacy, desks on wheels and portable technology.
This means workstations can be moved to a quieter spot, if one area is too loud or if someone needs to make a call. Or, chairs and tables can be pushed together for a quick team meeting with ease.
8. Provide storage space
Providing ample storage space is essential for every office. No one enjoys working in a cluttered environment as it ends up creating more feelings of stress and anxiety. Plus, if your office is untidy, it’ll give the wrong impression to clients or potential employees too.
Ensure there’s plenty of storage, such as drawers to store paperwork and everyday supplies to keep desks clear, cupboards for any larger items and personal smart lockers for employees to store their belongings or any packages they might get delivered to the office.
9. Experiment and listen to ideas
Office design is not a quick, one-size-fits-all project. It’ll take time, patience and understanding to get it right and ensure employees are happy. We recommend experimenting with design and modular furniture, as well as listening and taking on-board ideas from the people who work for your company. After all, they’re the ones who will spend the most time in the office and will no doubt have plenty of ways on how to make the space more functional, comfortable and enjoyable to be in.
At Officeology, we specialise in creating effective work environments and interior design solutions for all offices. Take a look at our office fit out services and our office furniture solutions and let us guide you in the right direction.