Making the Most of Your Office Environment
Cathy Spears considers some of the challenges associated with maximising office space and creating a productive working environment.
With premium office space coming at a price in some cities and smaller businesses having to squeeze every last bit of potential out of their available space, solutions for making the most of the available space are very valuable.
Whether it is a reorganisation of the current setup up a renovation incorporating some crucial design elements, a change around might benefit you above and beyond purely aesthetics. The changes might not even be physical, as we explored in our piece entitled ‘Design Features for Modern Offices’. By offering flexible working patterns you could cut down on the number of staff in your premises at any one time, making it more spacious for those that are there.
You could also consider the colour. Whilst it won’t increase the actual square footage of your office, turning a drab wall into a bright colour will give a feel of airiness and space. Do avoid white though; a Fast Company article explains how that’s a huge faux pas in terms of productivity. Use bright, light colours to increase the feeling of space, but not too bland that it feels clinical.
In terms of other physical changes, keeping furnishings in mind is another handy tip to consider. When adding desks, chairs and the like, be sure to pay close attention to the size of those furnishings. If you’re working with a small space, it’s advisable to accept that and buy appropriately. Scaling down, certainly on furniture, isn’t necessarily to be done to the detriment of good design, or functionality if done right.
Also, consider the heating system within the office. Whilst maintaining a good environment is crucial for your staff, changing the type of boiler you have might free up some valuable storage space. Old boilers can take up a lot of space and they’re less energy efficient as well. Alternatively, combi boilers, don’t require a tank, which could help you grab a little more space for your own use. The wide range of combi boilers on Screwfix work by instantly heating water which means you don’t have to compromise on performance either. This solution has the added benefit of being greener as well, by using less energy and saving on bills.
Whilst we’re reclaiming space from other areas, why not consider wall-mounted storage as well? Often, desks have drawers, cupboards and the like which take up wall space, whereas some of the wall space will be free and unused. By installing wall-mounted storage you take some furniture off the floor and create a further illusion of space.
Whilst we’re talking about being green too, consider having plants in the office. Whilst they take up some space, a Eureka Alert report suggests they also help alleviate stress. There’s nothing worse than a smaller office full of stressed people, but with a splash of green, you can help move the mood along to a nicer, more palatable calm.
The final, most important aspect to maximising your office space is to keep organised. If possible, go paperless to reduce the amount of clutter circulating your working environment. An article by Bustle notes how a clean desk is a happy desk and that goes across the office; encourage staff to work in a tidy and organised manner and you’ll see the benefits no matter how tight the four walls that surround you all.