A smart business invests time and effort into creating the right office space layout for its employees. It defines so many aspects of your company, including your brand, values, and culture.
So how do you know when your office space design is working, and when it’s not?
You’ve probably seen or felt the impact of a poor office environment before:
- The stiff chair that interrupts your thoughts every few minutes as you struggle to find a comfortable position
- The dim lighting that leaves you squinting at your monitor
- An office framed in drab walls and outdated furniture that leaves you feeling uninspired
- A crowd of cubicles surrounded by a buzz of activity that permeates the workplace
There are many design factors that go into creating an office building layout that works for your company. Every business has unique needs, and no two formulas are the same.
However, if you ask yourself these 8 questions, you’ll uncover whether your office space layout needs a redesign, along with specific design factors that will help you turn it around.
Is My Office Space Layout Starting to Feel Cramped?
Ask yourself, “Is my business growing rapidly, or do I project it to grow rapidly over the next few years?”
If you can answer yes to any part of this question, it’s time to start planning your new office space layout.
Successful businesses are proactive–not reactive. Before your office starts bursting at the seams with new employees, new business, and ever-dwindling meeting space and resources, plan for your expansion.
As you do this, think not about how to meet your current needs, but rather what kind of space your company can grow into.
Provide room for your existing employees as well as the ones you project to hire over the next 3 to 5 years.
Consider what kind of space is most proactive for your team, whether it’s an open space for collaboration or private offices for concentration.
Consider your brand and the ambiance you want it to carry, then let that translate into the type of furniture you purchase as well as the wall colors and decor you select.
Is My Office Space and Equipment Outdated?
An outdated office can bring down your employee morale and leave a bad impression on your potential and existing clientele.
If you look around only to find you haven’t updated your office in decades, it’s probably time to modernize the workplace. Consider every avenue of your office, from the desks and furniture to the room’s color and interior design.
Don’t just think aesthetics, either. Consider the state of your lighting and electrical setup, too. Dim or flickering lights and unreliable electrical setups can reduce your office’s efficiency, frustrate your team, and even pose a hazard to your building’s safety.
If you’re renovating or expanding your business, make sure that you hire a reputable and capable commercial electrical team to install and maintain it. This service is crucial to safety and maintenance of your workplace environment.
Am I Moving My Business?
It isn’t unusual for a business to relocate. Whether you’re planning an expansion, moving to a more profitable location, or even downgrading to a cost-effective space, a new office grants you a window for a redesign.
If you want to make any dramatic changes to the workplace environment, this would be the perfect opportunity.
Does My Office Match My Team’s Culture?
As companies begin to hire younger professionals, they are noticing something: these 20 to 30-year-olds bring with them a new approach to teamwork and achieving profitable results.
Many members of the younger generations are collaborative-heavy, preferring open workspaces and communal environments over stifling cubicles and isolated offices.
If your office space isn’t aligned with the evolution of your company’s culture, then it’s time to start making changes. Talk with your staff to discover what they believe will foster their creativity and productivity.
Align it with your brand and breathe new life into your work environment.
Do I Have a Lot of Wasted Space?
Do you walk into your office only to notice a lot of empty or underutilized space? If so, it’s time to explore your office building layout and see how you can optimize it.
This doesn’t always have to require a visit to Ikea. You can simply consider new ways to rearrange existing furniture or organize your departments and equipment so that it suits the space your in.
Consider appearance and functionality. For example, you don’t want to place the printer downstairs to free up space if the staff that uses it most is located upstairs.
Look around the office and think of smart ways to optimize the space you’re in. You’d be surprised how small changes can make a big impact.
Does My Office Leave a Bad Impression on Clients?
Take a step outside, clear your mind, and then walk into your office space as if you’re entering it for the first time. What do you see?
Are there cracks in the walls? Is the furniture chipped? Do the chairs in the waiting room look worn and faded?
Consider your clients’ expressions when they step into your office for the first time, and really ask yourself if it’s the kind you look you want them to wear.
If your current office setting doesn’t match the impression you want to leave, then it’s time to redesign it.
Does My Current Office Inhibit My Employees’ Productivity?
Don’t be afraid to talk to your staff and ask them what they feel helps or inhibits their productivity in the office. You may find their answers illuminating.
For example, your employees may struggle with:
- Difficulty focusing due to lack of privacy
- A stifling or lethargic feeling caused by a lack of greenery or natural lighting
- Inability to schedule meetings due to limited conference room space
- Comfort or health problems due to non-ergonomic workspaces
By remedying problems like the ones listed above, you can improve your employees’ productivity and with it your company’s performance.
Am I Adapting for Remote Employees?
Remote employees are a new, but growing trend in business. While there are many advantages, some businesses may not consider certain changes in the workplace that can make collaborating with them easier.
For example, if one of your remote employees or salespeople are often in and out of the office, having a designated space for mobile employees while they’re in office can make their job (and yours) easier.
Adaptability Is an Attribute of All Successful Businesses
Remember that change is a good thing. Just because your company has always looked the same way or operated the same way doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from trying something new.
Align your office space layout with your company’s brand and culture, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
For more tips on how to improve your office and work environment, check out our articles on productivity.