Office design is a critical component of fostering a creative, productive workspace. A good office isn’t just about snacks and coffee. The layout, furniture, light positioning all contributes to how people interact and how much work actually gets done. It will have a significant impact on morale and how much people will want to stay. We’ve all been in drab offices with rows of grey, highly-walled cubicles that give a vibe of coldness. No one wants to work there and people seldomly stay once the pay isn’t enough to keep them. Even home entrepreneurs and small business owners can benefit from good office design. Too often they underestimate the influence having a great office will have on how successful their business will be. Thankfully, the ideal office doesn’t take bags of money or famous designers. Small steps can be taken to lift spirits of employees or make working from home more fruitful. Here are some helpful tips on designing the perfect office.

Replicate the Winners

This may seem basic, but it’s not done as much as people would think. If you don’t know where to start with office design, start by looking to companies you admire or aspire to compete with. There are several office tours online of tech companies, retail stores, architectural firms, banks, and other businesses. You can literally see how they position desks and computers to increase human interaction, improve team cohesiveness and boost employee morale. Even if you’re solo working from home, take what you love from successful companies’ office design and incorporate them at home.

This may seem basic, but it’s not done as much as people would think. If you don’t know where to start with office design, start by looking to companies you admire or aspire to compete with. There are several office tours online of tech companies, retail stores, architectural firms, banks, and other businesses. You can literally see how they position desks and computers to increase human interaction, improve team cohesiveness and boost employee morale. Even if you’re solo working from home, take what you love from successful companies’ office design and incorporate them at home.

Consider Hotdesking

Hot-desks are almost always controversial when they’re introduced. Everyone has been conditioned to value their own space. They see the size of their desk, space on the floor, and size of their office as a measure of their relative importance. It’s an easy way for an office to establish a pecking order. Hot-desking takes all of that and turns it upside down. No one has assigned seats, which means people are moving around more. Movement increases creativity. It’s something that, believe it or not, can also be done at home. Don’t invest too much into putting trinkets or supplies onto a desk where you’ll sit every single day. Rather, create multiple work stations in the office with a spartan desk, work bench, and couch that you can move around during the day. Every time you move, you’ll have a new burst of energy to tackle work.

Keep Office Design In-Tune with Business Growth

Sometimes people feel like they need to deck out their home office with all the fancy fixings so it will feel legit. They spend thousands of dollars and then something changes, and they end up not spending a lot of time in it. In that case, the money would have been better spent elsewhere. Home offices, especially if they’re being used to run a business out of, should mirror the amount of time people spend there and how successful the business is. Continuing to upgrade furniture, finishes and equipment can be nice little milestones along the path to success. If you’re someone who likes to create a standard in the office and then match it with your work ethic, a desk made of premium stone is a luxury that will last a lifetime. They’re beautiful and will be a wonderful accent in any home regardless of how the office is being used.

Do Whatever You can to Maximize Natural Light

Natural light is a godsend for any office space. It lifts moods and gets people moving. Large windows and where offices are positioned in the house will make all the difference. Make sure to put the office where the greatest amount of light hits during the day. Don’t worry about trying to get light into a bedroom when you’re not there all day. If you work from home, having the sunlight shine in as long as possible will keep you grinding away. If you’re lucky, you have the option of creating an office next to some sort of green space. Bay doors or a short walk to a yard or garden will do more wonders for creativity than any YouTube video break can.

Manage Clutter but Embrace Creative Chaos

It’s hard to get real work done with the kids’ Legos strewn about. If there are three days’ worth of bowls and cups scattered across your desk, then you’re letting things get away from you. Managing clutter is key to keeping a good office space. The layout of an office should maximize movement. It shouldn’t be so crammed that you never have to get up from your desk to reach for something or print a document off. Make sure to invest in modern filing systems and organizers to keep things in their proper space. It will make things look and feel more professional. However, don’t get so obsesses with having everything at right angles. Add a little artistic flair to the office with designer light fixtures, bright colors, and art.

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