Anyone who’s ever worked in an office cubicle that faces a pillar (or the wall, or a bathroom) can attest to the fact that workspaces are better when they’re carefully planned out ahead of time. But nowadays, many companies don’t exactly have a huge budget for architects and other design pros to come in and do the job. Enter the internet, which provides multiple totally free resources for folks who are trying to design an office. This pretty much proves, once and for all, that anything you can’t do online isn’t worth doing at all.
1. IKEA Office Planner
Yet another reason to heart IKEA: their free office planner lets you try out design ideas in 3D. Drag and drop objects, experiment with decor, and view different angles. It will even tell you how much your new office would cost, if you opt for all IKEA furniture. Sadly, does not come with free Swedish meatballs.
This is one of those “free to try” dealies, so if you like what you see, you’ll have a chance to upgrade for a fee. SmartDraw boasts a variety of different templates, allowing you to design floor plans for anything from a family restaurant to a standard business office. It also has a five-star rating from CNET’s editors.
Once you’ve designed your office, you can use the software for a bunch of other functions both practical and fun: the screenshot we’ve shown above is an evacuation plan, but you can also build org charts, family trees, flowcharts, and a bunch of other fun visuals to spice up your next PowerPoint (or personal Tumblr.)
3. My Deco 3D
Upload your own floor plans or use one of this free online tool’s preloaded templates. This planner allows you to change layouts, decorating schemes, even camera angles, as well as create both 2D and 3D models of your dream office. There’s even a free iPhone app, for people who want to tweak their designs on the go.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Arnolds offers space planning and design services, along with the best used and new office furniture money can buy. If these free resources don’t float your boat, drop us a line and we’ll talk about how to design the perfect workspace for your company.