Posted In // Design Tips
Vast majority of managers say design is keyYou might think that environment is a secondary aspect to completing work, but according to a 2005 study, that’s far from the case. Of the 200 business management professionals polled, four out of five (79%) said that the layout and design of their office was critical to enjoying their job. The top factors they listed for quality of a workspace were amount of space per worker (39%), ability to control temperature (24%), and access to sunlight (21%).
Those managing small offices may have an especially difficult time organizing the layout effectively while supporting the best engagement and job satisfaction.
Pointers to improve small office designHere is some quick advice on getting the most out of your office, despite space limitations:
#1 – Make sure your layout is in tune with the structure of your company. Think carefully about your business’s operations as you determine how the space should be arranged, notes Oregon architect Richard Shugar. "It's not only just about their business model, but how it's how they plan on running their business,” he says. “How does the space incorporate everyone so that the employees feel like they're getting vested in the company?"
#2 – Treat flexibility as a key priority. About a decade ago, the Offices that Work study was released by a team at Cornell University. The nearly 80-page report essentially sought to determine what elements of design allow rapidly growing startups to outpace their competition. The research group determined that smallness can actually be a strength if an office is designed with an open floor plan that is optimized for flexibility (with the understanding that private “enclaves” may be needed for some focused work).
#3 – Get furniture products that best fit the space. Assuming you do use an open floor plan, you want the products that you choose to be suited to that environment. Here are a couple top considerations:
- Moveable desks – It’s easy to set up one-on-one meetings, and have everything immediately accessible, when you can simple roll your desk wherever it needs to be.
- Roundtable – An open environment is in part about breaking down the walls to enhance interaction, and that includes the conference room, notes Alina Vrabie of Sandglaz. “A small round table situated to the side of the desk area allows teams to share ideas in a more intimate and informal setting,” she says. If you don’t have room for a permanent table, you can get a collapsible one.