Office design choices and how it reflects the business
A great office design is an opportunity to reflect and reinforce a business’s core values. It showcases that the business puts a lot of thought when it comes to investing in its employees. A well-planned office design also drives companies to realize their diverse targets too. It enables a more conducive, cohesive, and collaborative workspace.
An important question a business needs to ask before designing its office in this day and age would be – ‘What are my employees going into the office for?’
We are currently in an era where we are learning to navigate the new normal. Re-opening plans post-pandemic have left us debating over whether there really is a need to return to the office at all. Many of us have adjusted to a new remote work lifestyle. According to a study by Harvard Business School – over 80% of workers either don’t want to go back to the office or prefer a hybrid solution going forward.
Answering the question above helps provide an in-depth analysis of what kind of experience you want to create for employees as well as customers who come to your office this post-pandemic. Anxiety around returning to the office and engaging physically with colleagues after 2 years of not doing so is natural and expected. Companies should be more sensitive and understanding of how the pandemic has taken a toll on employees’ mental health and wellness and think about how they can design the office in a way that supports their return to the office.
This article highlights some considerations a company should take when planning for its office design. It is dependent on the industry their in as well as the culture they’d like to cultivate. This would naturally result in an office design that is instrumental in driving equity, brand identity, well-being, and flexibility.
Why office design matters for employees?
A good office layout enables employees to work more efficiently
There are plenty of ways to design an office layout that best suits the functional units within your business. This promotes ease of collaboration between the different units which in turn promotes diversity. Studies have shown that diverse teams outperform individuals 87% of the time when it comes to a business’s decision-making process. Smart companies understand that the workspace of their employees is a business tool.
It is also worth noting that a study has shown that an overwhelming majority (87%) of workers prefer their employers to offer healthier workspace benefits, with options ranging from wellness rooms, company fitness benefits, sit-stands, and ergonomic seating. If your office space allows for a variety of spaces such as these, it is definitely something you should consider in an effort to support employees returning to the workplace.
Office interiors, decor, and colors have a profound impact on productivity by simply encouraging positive emotions in employees
Warm yellows can inspire optimism, creativity, and a sense of new vitality. Natural-toned colors like green and blue can increase productivity and concentration. Red adds intensity to the decor, arouses passion, and encourages physical activity. Combine colors with furniture choices – if executed well, will create a workspace that is most suited for your employees and the business to thrive in.
What office layout & design suits your business?
In recent years, we have been seeing an explosion of focus on open office layouts. Companies have recently been striving to achieve openness, collaboration, and cohesiveness. This may be beneficial to a creative company but not so much in a corporate setting where privacy is key.
Here are some design options that work on the different types of businesses.
Creatives: Marketing, Advertising & Consulting
The moment you enter a creative company’s office – the office design should reflect, creativity, purposeful layouts as well as a bold appetite to push boundaries. Think of mismatched furniture, bright colors, huge artwork, and a colorful rug.
Anyone in the creative industry would agree that on top of the design, they need a space that caters to an activity-based environment allowing them to whiteboard their ideas but also a space that allows them to center themselves and work in a focused mode and quiet environment.
Generally, office spaces catering to creatives opt for openness and fluidity to move from one workspace to another. Therefore office spaces for creatives should include a collaborative space to whiteboard, a meeting space to present ideas, individual pods to allow individuals to have their quiet time, and a lounge/pantry that enables them to unwind and interact with each other in between work.
Innovative: Tech Startups
When entering a tech startup office, the space should reflect the ability to not only create but also network and collaborate in openness. It should also reflect what tech startups are like – risk-takers and fun. Think of foosball tables, sit-stand tables, a pantry stocked with snacks, a variety of textured walls, and a huge lounge area.
The key to designing an office for a tech startup would be in ensuring that there are enough customized areas that foster creativity, innovation, and productivity.
Tech startups are filled with individuals who are enthusiastic and burning with ideas. The needs of startups can change quickly, therefore the design of the office needs to be fluid. An example of this would be the ability of a lounge space to also double up as a presentation space.
Corporate: Accounting, Finance & Law
As you enter a law office, you may expect to see a cookie-cutter corporate office. These days, law firms are pushing boundaries when it comes to designing their office space. It no longer needs to feel mundane and dull. The law firm in the photo above has architectural character from its high ceilings. The use of timber-framed beams and posts is also a fun way of expressing the firm’s courage to push the envelope when it comes to corporate office design.
Corporate offices though however do have basic interior design requirements that are usually common. Think about luxury furniture, clean textures, and tasteful fittings.
Law offices also require a standard set of design requirements to be met. This includes privacy as well as a physical division of spaces between employees. The challenge in designing such spaces is to also ensure that there is shared space for instances where collaborative work is required.
Some solution to deal with this is to create accessible areas to be in an area where there is more natural light. This way – when the need arises for more collaborative work, employees can work in a space that is not constraining and is more conducive.
Your ideal office space
At AR-kee design studio, we are professionals in helping you design an office your whole team will love.
Chat with us today to find out more.