Making the move into a new office is a big step for any business. Whether you’re a small business, a promising start up, or expanding into a whole new category, designing a new office is a big deal.
The workplace environment you design today will impact your employees’ happiness and productivity for years to come, not to mention your own. You have to find a way to balance a productive, inspiring environment with the fact that you have budget constraints.
Saving Money on Computer Desks.
One of the biggest expenses you’re going to face is computer desks. There’s now research that shows collaborative workspaces where everyone works at the same large table can actually hurt productivity and innovation. Despite being much maligned by popular culture, the cubicle provides the kind of privacy and consistency that many people need to work. Having your “own space” can ground you and let you focus on the work, rather than adjusting to a different environment every time you settle down. It’s the same reason freelancers who work out of coffee shops can always be found at the same place, angling for the same table every time. Creative work requires grounding.
While it’s great for productivity, buying a new computer desk for the office for every employee or workspace can also get expensive. In order to keep costs down, you can shop online. Any online retailer that offers free shipping on large orders will save you plenty of money and buy you a lot of room in your office furniture budget.
Giving everyone a space to be grounded and get to work is good for productivity, but you want to avoid the typical “sea of cubicles” feeling that can disengage employees. One new thought in office design is creating movement and flexibility in the workspace. It can go overboard when workers don’t even know where they’ll be sitting down in the morning, but providing space to get up, move around, and collaborate is important. An open, informal space where workers can go if they choose to discuss projects, problems, and solutions can be a great idea. Furnish it with a round table or couches and a coffee table. A place where employees can go to clear their heads will improve their overall happiness and productivity.
Ask Employees What They Want.
If you really want to keep your employees happy, ask them what they want from an office. You won’t get very far pushing design theories down their throats. Discuss your vision for your next office and see how they react. If there’s push back against your ideas, find out where they’re coming from. There may be a compromise to be had that can save you money and still provide the leading-edge office space you want for your business.
Designing an office is an exciting opportunity. Find a way to stay within your budget but get creative. Ask your employees what they’d like and imagine the kind of office you want to work in for years to come.