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Chapter 4: Office Design Ideas and Considerations

Imagine an office that is comfortable, flexible and customized for your unique brand. This office also features the latest technology and design trends to create a space that promotes efficiency and growth. All of this is possible when you make informed design choices.

Office design includes the functional and decorative items in the space. It covers elements such as color, lighting and layout. All of the components that make up office design can impact employees’ moods and attract talented workers. Office design enables you to create an ideal workspace for different personalities.

In this chapter, we’ll explore the various elements of office layout design and share ideas. If you need assistance designing an office space layout that encourages growth and innovation, we’ll be happy to assist you at Arnold’s Office Furniture.

Office Design Considerations

Before you install a ball pit in the meeting room, take some time to consider your employees and the entire office space. Every company has different office design requirements, and it’s all about you and your employee’s needs. Here are factors to consider:

  • Current workspace: What aspects of your current workspace are the most satisfying that you plan to keep? For example, is there a couch your employees adore and would undoubtedly miss? As long as it’s still in good shape, make sure you keep the couch. On the other hand, if you have artwork that no longer feels inspiring, consider decorating the walls with pieces that better fit the company culture.
  • Employees: Think about how you want to make your employees feel. For example, do you want them to feel less stressed? If so, consider creating a “zen” room with calming blue or green walls and comfortable seating. Want them to stay focused? Add more plants to the workspace.
  • Brand: Consider your company brand and the impression you want to make on visitors, clients and potential employees. Plan to incorporate elements of your brand throughout your design. For example, you might choose colorful desk chairs to express your brand, or decorate the walls with custom art. You can pull colors from your logo to make decor or furniture choices. Your brand-inspired design will remind employees of the company’s mission and help them feel like a team.
  • Budget: Before you plan to make any changes or buy new furniture, you need to have an idea of how much you can spend. Depending on your budget, you may need to prioritize certain pieces and design elements, adding the most important pieces first and bringing the rest in over time.
  • Aesthetics: One of your goals in creating or redesigning an office is to ensure it’s visually pleasing. Plan to use design elements like colors, textures and patterns to make an office more appealing, inviting and inspiring. Be sure to incorporate decor elements that suit the color scheme. You can use the color wheel to help you make the right choices and remember the rule of three: Limit a color scheme to three colors.

Office Design Ideas

Even though office design varies depending on a company’s personality, there are some general tips just about any office can use. Whether you manage a tech company or a call center, the following design ideas will help you create a comfortable environment that promotes productivity and well-being:

  • Use lighting inspired by nature: Ideally, you’ll want to incorporate as much natural light in your office as possible. You might replace walls with glass panels to spread natural light further, or install mirrors to help disperse sunlight. Why is natural light so important? Exposure to daylight is known to improve sleep, well-being and productivity. Wherever you lack natural light, install fixtures that mimic sunlight. Either way, prioritize the quality of light in your office to help your employees feel energized and reduce eye fatigue.
  • Add adequate storage: A cluttered, disorganized space can make it hard to work efficiently. It’s also visually overwhelming and can make employees experience unnecessary stress. Make sure to include enough storage options and shelving units in your design to help every employee stay organized and calm.
  • Choose work-enhancing colors: Colors can impact mood and productivity. For example, blue is believed to increase focus. Green, a color found in nature, is said to help workers stay calm and energized even while working long hours. You can use the power of color psychology when choosing colors for the walls, furniture or decor.
  • Bring the outdoors in: If you research current office trends, you’ll likely encounter photos of plant-filled spaces. Companies have realized the importance of natural elements in office design and have prioritized making their workspaces greener. You can add plants, wood elements and nature-inspired artwork to make employees feel connected to the outdoors as they work. Or, if possible, create an outdoor space for employees to enjoy. According to the University of Exeter, researchers have found that plants might increase productivity by 15%. Therefore, creating an eco-friendly vibe in the office is likely worth the investment.
  • Encourage communication: Make sure your overall design enables your workers to communicate, collaborate and be mobile when needed. This means having reliable Wi-Fi, easy-to-access charging stations and laptop-friendly communal areas.
  • Create a residential feel: You can use design elements such as decor, furniture and artwork, to give your office a cozy residential feel. For example, you might decorate the lounge with bookshelves, soft couches and plants to create a look that mimics a living room. By creating inviting home-like spaces throughout the office, you can make employees feel happier and less likely to look elsewhere for work.
  • Bring in ergonomic furniture: Prioritize furnishing the office with ergonomic pieces. Ergonomic furniture is designed to improve posture, comfort and health. When you consider the rules of ergonomics, you’ll help employees reduce the risk of work-related injuries, making them feel appreciated.

Tips for Making an Office Feel More Spacious

No matter the size of your business, too much clutter or the wrong color choices can make an office space feel cramped. On the other hand, a bright and airy office feels clean, promotes creative problem-solving and opens the mind to possibilities. Here are tips to maximizing your space and making an office feel more open:

  • Remove clutter and any unused furniture or equipment.
  • Flood the space with natural light, if possible.
  • Use light colors on the walls.
  • Add reflective surfaces.
  • Use vertical space as much as possible and try to pull the eye upward.
  • Consider converting paper to digital for all files to reduce clutter.
  • Limit the use of accessories.
  • Hang oversized art on the wall, but don’t add too many pieces to the same area.
  • Avoid blocking windows or pathways with furniture.
  • Choose light, multi-purpose pieces, such as expandable tables.
  • Choose furniture shapes that eliminate unused space.
  • If you plan to create a collaborative work area, place the furniture in the center of the room.
  • If employees need privacy while they work, focus on placing furniture around the perimeter of the room.

If you need more office design tips, feel free to check out our blog.

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