Planning something isn’t always easy, and the more complex a matter is, the more difficult it becomes to plan. So when it comes to your business and office space planning, you need a lot of knowledge & information, deliberation, and foresight. But no matter how complex it is, hammering out the details of your base is crucial. Even a simple misstep in office design can be quite detrimental in its effectiveness. Luckily, there are a few things that are more important than others when it comes to office space planning. If you are able to keep those aspects in check and put sufficient thought into them, it is possible to have an optimum office for your business.
There are reasons why people say they ‘work better’ in a comfortable environment. Be it an office chair with lumbar support or a relaxing work environment, finding comfort in the workplace increases job satisfaction. However, the word ‘comfort’ is subjective and can mean a number of things. So going overboard trying to deliver the utmost comfort is not a wise idea; an office is, after all, a place to work. The key to office space planning is finding the right balance between comfort and functionality. This can be difficult, as the optimum level will be different for each business and even different departments within the same organization. Yet, you need to ensure that the office design is homely, has a positive effect on mentality, and has ergonomically designed furniture to provide maximum productivity.
Openness of Layout
The next thing you should focus on during office space planning is the layout. For some organizations, segmentation is best as it allows more privacy. However, this type of ‘closed off’ layout design is frowned upon nowadays. Many are of the opinion that open spaces allow for more collaboration and interaction. To some extent, they do, but not always. It also varies from culture to culture. One Harvard study came to a conclusion that is in contrast to this popular and trending office design. They found that open spaces actually discourage collaboration, though, many who experienced the benefits of an open layout would argue against that claim. So the best route for you would depend on your business modality, culture, and goals.
Navigation and Efficiency
Closely related to office layout is navigation and efficiency of the design. Deciding on this aspect of the design takes a lot of thought. You first need to figure out how everything in the office is connected. What I mean by that is in the song ‘Dem Bones’, the singer sings about how different bones of the body are connected to each other, but create a whole when we take a step back.
Similarly, every part of your organization is connected to each other, and you need to figure out how to arrange them to give you the most efficiency. Determine which employees need to be in close proximity so it takes less traveling/back and forth to get the job done and insert that blueprint into your office design.
Color and Aesthetics
Did you know that different colors have different impacts on your psyche and productivity? That’s right. Green has a calming effect on the mind while blue makes you more focused. Yellow is used in spaces where creativity is important while red is used in sections where the job requires more attention. Choose the color(s) that best suit your needs. Research a bit, talk to experts if necessary, but don’t just go for neutral colors like beige or white that can make the workspace dull. As for decor and aesthetics, choose things that match your brand image but keep enough space to personalize. Being able to decorate their own workspace can boost an employee’s productivity and mentality.
Lighting – Artificial & Natural
Poor lighting can be the bane of your organization and its employees. It puts a strain on your eyes, can cause headaches, and increase stress. A healthy office design needs good illumination since it has an impact on your mood and productivity; so don’t forget to pay special attention to it during office space planning. Don’t just rely on artificial lighting though; natural lighting should be utilized to the max. According to research, exposure to natural light has a positive impact on workplace productivity and mood. If the space you are thinking of getting doesn’t get enough natural light, finding another office space that does isn’t a bad idea.
Safety and Security Measures
We have recently experienced a number of fire-related tragic accidents that took many lives. Most of these unfortunate events were due to faulty or inadequate safety measures. That is why raising and maintaining fire-safety is so important. We need to do everything in our power to ensure we don’t experience a repeat of similar tragic events. Make sure, during your office space planning, that there are sufficient safety measures included in the design as well as an emergency exit and a proper evacuation place. And while you are at it, take the necessary steps to fortify the security of your office. After all, there are many valuable items and documents in the office that you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands.
Last, but not least, always think about your future growth when office space planning. Growing your business is always a goal as an entrepreneur. So you need to estimate how that growth relates to your office space. ‘How much growth do you want to achieve in the next five years?’ ‘Will you be able to accommodate in the current space or will you need to move somewhere else?’ You need to figure out the answers to such questions. Shifting offices, after all, isn’t a walk in the park.
Designing an office space for productivity and comfort is difficult, but achievable. Your preparedness and attention to detail can be the key. Keep a sharp focus on the points we mentioned above, and surely, you will be on your way to tremendous office design.