Plan your perfect office space

If you’re moving to new premises, or if you’re about to revamp your existing space, taking a bit of time to plan the layout will be well worth it. Here’s ten easy steps for you.

shutterstock_116677738Maximise your space

It doesn’t matter whether your premises is small or the biggest office space SW1 has to offer, you need to make the best use of every square inch. Are there loads of desks shunted into one half of the room to get away from the hot sun? That’s easily solved – invest in some blinds and space the desks out a bit – you may have some room left over for a breakout area.

Use segmentation wisely

Each business has different aims, staff, needs and structures, so it’s up to you as management to work out where everyone should go. It’s not rocket science – if you’re aiming for informal, use circular seating patterns. If you have a chatty sales team, keep them away from the designers and IT gurus. Maybe separate them with a kitchen so they can interact every now and then.

Pick out your colours

Talk to your staff to get their opinions on colours – if you have a big space you can use different colours to denote different zones. Don’t try this in a small space, though, or it may look chaotic. If you can, use lighter, less saturated shades near windows to maximise the natural light.

Make room for mobility

People like to wander around with their phones and tablets now – they’re still working, so give them even more chance by providing them with benches, power points, fold-out tables or mini cubicles. Centralise these features so different departments cross paths now and then.

Think branding

Even the tiniest start-ups need branding – it’s their image, their message and their little bit of online real estate. However, it’s easy to overdo it and have logos everywhere. Pick out a few prominent locations to show off your branding and leave the rest of the place alone – maybe use some signature shades here and there.

Match your meeting rooms

You might want your meeting rooms to look serious, but this has led to some design disasters. An open-plan informal space gives way to dark wood panelling, a deerhead and a wooden monster of a desk, complete with Newton’s cradle… It’s not great.

Make yourselves at home

Of course your office is a workspace, but if it’s friendly and welcoming, as well as comfortable and inspiring, your employees will feel more like staying late now and then. Especially if there’s great coffee, a sushi delivery and maybe even a sleep pod for really late efforts.

Are you taking enough risks?

Many companies go for safer options and this can end up feeling and looking uniform, pedestrian and boring. Bring in a bit of personality – statement furniture pieces, or a striking wall mural, for example.

If you’re feeling bare…

You might fit out your office according to the dreams of you and your staff, but then you see a neglected corner or a blank wall. Fill it with something useful or beautiful. The corner could be a contemplation space, or you could have a print on the wall of your home city’s skyline.