The modern office now makes a statement about that brand and has certainly moved away from the traditional mix of open plan, meeting rooms and private offices. This piece looks at some creative office design ideas that can be used to improve an existing space or when designing a completely new workplace – hope you find them useful.
Office Design Idea #1 – Provide Choice
As preached in our Office Design Matters guide, the modern workplace must be designed to provide workers with a high degree of choice and a variety of spaces where they can work, collaborate or unwind away from their desk. Empowering staff to proactively choose how and where they want to work is critical and consequently including quiet spaces for concentration, creative spaces for collaboration and relaxing spaces to unwind can have a hugely positive impact on both productivity and staff wellbeing.
When reviewing space plans and layout options, our office design team always recommend including these dedicated spaces for concentration, collaboration and relaxation, in addition to the traditional workstation which is equally important.
Office Design Idea #2 – Maximise Natural Light Wherever Possible
Biophilic office design has influenced office design hugely in recent years, and while it is a multi-faceted concept, one of its key elements is natural light, and where possible we always advise that it is maximised. This can be achieved through effective space planning i.e. positioning key areas like the open plan workspace where there is optimum natural light and also including glazed partitioning that allows light to filter throughout the workplace.
Studies have shown that increasing natural light can have a massively positive impact on everything from mood to creativity and concentration and as such is an important consideration and one that can potentially improve the workplace.
Office Design Idea #3 – Utilise Dead Office Space
All workplaces contain a number of what are termed ‘in between spaces’ or dead spaces – think corridors, under stairs and other nooks and crannies not previously utilised for any purpose. One of the most prevalent current office design trends is the increasing use of these unconventional spaces which are transformed into functional work areas in the form of small huddle booths, informal meeting spaces or even private one-person pods.
As companies embrace a more flexible way of working, office design has endeavoured to be far more space efficient and to make full use of all available space, thus rendering ‘dead space’ extinct. Giving serious consideration to how to optimise any space and thinking creatively about how to use otherwise dead areas can be a thoroughly worthwhile task and can result in the inclusion of an array of new work spaces that allow staff to work effectively and in an increasingly agile manner.
Office Design Idea #4 – Designing for Workplace Wellbeing
Whilst all of the afore mentioned office design ideas all positively embrace workplace wellbeing, there is so much more that designers can do to improve wellbeing, such as including sit stand desks, tall tables to encourage standing meetings, showers to facilitate staff cycling or running to work or at lunch plus adequate bike storage.
This can be supplemented by providing healthy snacks, fruit and quality tea and coffee options, while many companies have gone further by scheduling lunchtime yoga and staff massages – all worthy of consideration as great staff deserve a great workplace.
Designing for workplace wellbeing isn’t a new concept and as competition to attract and retain the very best staff intensifies, many companies are creating staff centric workplaces with wellbeing at its core. The benefits of designing any workplace with wellbeing as a key priority are many and consequently, spending time thinking about how wellbeing can be improved is fundamentally important.
Office Design Idea #5 – Introduce colour, artwork and brand messages
Colour can make a big impression and while many companies look to just use their own brand palette, we always recommend considering other tones which subtly denote what certain spaces are designed for i.e. soft colours to improve concentration, vibrant colours to enhance collaboration and creativity etc… You can find out more in our dedicated article focusing on the relationship between Colour and Office Design.
In addition to utilising colour, it’s a good idea to include artwork as a feature in prominent areas and also adding key brand messages via wall art or graphics as a means of communicating these to staff. Artwork has proven to be more than merely decorative and can help to boost productivity in many cases and also inspire creativity – you can find out more in our dedicated article looking at the impact of art in the workplace.
Office Design Ideas – What Next?
While many of the ideas outlined above may seem unattainable, they don’t need to be and can be integrated into any existing or new workplace in a straightforward and cost-effective way. If you would like to discuss an upcoming workplace project, we’d love to find out more.