The dynamics of office design have changed a great deal over the years, but modern concepts are almost unrecognizable from the traditional boardroom and cubicle-driven designs of the past. A quick look around the internet will reveal some stunning designs in the headquarters of companies as diverse as Shopify, Google, Airbnb, and the Cartoon Network.
For small operations and start-ups, these designs may be well out of reach, but you don’t have to have a huge budget or be part of a multinational corporation to create a workspace your employees will love coming to. In this post, we will address the question of how to make a cool office without breaking the bank.
The first thing you should do before moving in sofas, pool tables, and dining tables is to check the size and dimensions of the available area. This may seem like common sense, but it is one of the things that many companies fail to take into account when redesigning office spaces or purchasing new furniture.
Sometimes, less is more, so carefully consider the quirks of your space and whether or not you can “create” more space by removing walls.
Let Everyone Know Who You Are
What do you want your office to say about your company? What do you want your employees to feel when they walk into the office? Simple things can make a massive impact in terms of impressions and workflow.
Having a feature wall which incorporates essential elements of your brand can make a massive impact. Also, glass surfaces on tables and walls, as well as chalkboards on the wall, can provide loads of areas to record creativity on the fly.
This is another area that can make a real difference. However, be mindful of using the right colors in the right rooms. For example, bright colors throughout the office can help with creativity but can also make people more impulsive. Likewise, darker colors are great for relaxing with a cup of coffee but may induce sleepiness at the desk, especially if the office doesn’t have much natural light coming through it.
The best thing is going for a scheme that reflects the work your employees will be doing. It is possible to mix and match without having to invest in a massive amount of different colors of paint.
Numerous studies have found that natural light is vital to the effectiveness and productivity of employees. Therefore, having glass partitions or wide-open spaces will help with the flow of the light. Knocking down walls can increase the cost of a project but will be well worth it in the long term.
Another way that you can make the office seem “airier” and more fun is by investing in plants for around the office and using outdoor furniture and grass in breakout areas to create a pleasant environment that can help your employees stay relaxed.
As mentioned above, having breakout areas or chill-out spots can make the office look significantly cooler. Companies such as Apple and Google are renowned for their quirky and fun chill-out zones.
Make use of redundant space by creating little nooks and crannies where employees can go to work or rest. Also, make the kitchen area a focal point for employees to come and exchange ideas over coffee or lunch. All these ideas can be realized without the need to invest a small fortune.