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What you need to consider when designing your office

You may think that designing an office is easy. Just dot a few desks around, a few tables and chairs with a microwave, a sink and kettle and you’re sorted, yes? Not entirely, it’s a little more complicated than that. 

Did you know that the way an office is laid out can reflect a company’s core values – as well as reinforcing them? 

An example of this is the rise of the open-plan office. Thought to encourage a feeling of openness and teamwork, the open-plan office has risen in popularity over the last few years. Doing away with private, enclosed offices and desk dividers has become more and more common in an attempt to make the workplace less formal and more conducive to a creative and comfortable environment. 

However, with the current pandemic making open-plan office spaces a little more complicated, the need for more division amongst staff at work is leading to a need for desk dividers, screening and other such measures. That doesn’t mean your office design has to be stale and lifeless however, with just a few simple steps, you can ensure that your workspace is safe, appealing and productive. 

Ask yourself what you want to achieve.

Before you start your design, ask yourself what the design has to provide. Are you looking to free up more space for your staff? Are you looking to reduce the number of workstations to align with Covid-19 restrictions? Do you want more break out space and less formal workspace? More meeting areas? Once you’ve nailed your primary requirement, everything else can be built on that. Naturally, as the project progresses, other questions will arise. You can answer these along the way. 

Find out what’s important to your staff. 

Design experts Peter Bacevice, Liz Burow and Mat Triebner stated in an article for the Harvard Business Review that there are seven main attributes to be considered when designing a workspace. These are location, enclosure, exposure, technology, temporality, perspective and size. People’s feelings about each of these will differ, so start by speaking to your employees about them and finding out the importance of each one. For example, with location, some employees might prefer open-plan meeting spaces, and some might prefer a workspace next to a window. Once you’ve done this research, you’ll have a better idea of where to place people, and you can then begin crafting your design. 

This also then makes it easier to tailor each work area to the person/people that will be using it. Everyone is different, which inevitably means a workspace that works for one person might not necessarily work for another. Making each workstation bespoke and catering to the individual needs of your staff will also make them feel worthy and boost their motivation whilst working for you. Win-win!

Add a touch of nature. 

There have been many reports over the years, claiming that adding a touch of greenery to your office space can work wonders for the wellbeing and productiveness of your staff. 

According to CIPHR, just having a few plants dotted around the office can reduce stress, with reports showing a ‘37% fall in reported tension and anxiety, a 58% drop in depression or dejection, a 44% decrease in anger and hostility and a 38% reduction in fatigue’. 

There are lots of creative ways you can introduce greenery into your office design. Of course, potted plants are cost-effective and straightforward, but there are also more exciting options such as a living wall or a flower garden that’s visible from the office. Whichever option you go for, you can be sure of some impressive results in terms of overall staff wellbeing. 

Realspace can help you.

Realspace is dedicated to providing a new approach to interior design. Passionate about creating innovative, sustainable and ethically-sourced workspaces, we can help you with your next office layout. For an initial chat about your requirements, please get in touch with our team today.

We are working remotely and dealing with enquiries as usual. Please contact us or call Greg Stewart on 07572 238779 for assistance. Our furniture showroom is closed to the public until further notice. If you require office furniture (new or used) with delivery provided directly to your door, please get in touch via the methods above with your requirements.

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