The look of your office is a very important aspect of your business when you consider how it affects clients’ impressions of you, and employee productivity. Cubicles, fluorescent lighting, and staunch professionalism are quickly becoming things of the past. They’re being replaced by open floor plans, open communication, and a free-flow of ideas that allow your company to flourish without boundaries.
Does it sound like you’re in need of an office remodel? Here are some top to bottom tips that will bring you up-to-date.
The type of lighting you use in your office can affect the entire personality of the place. Harsh fluorescent lighting washes everything out and makes the space feel clinical. However, relying on lamps or other dim forms of lighting isn’t ideal for a workspace where you want everyone to be able to be alert and productive. Natural light is the best solution whenever possible, so pull the blinds and let in the sun as much as possible. This will also provide a view of the outside world for employees as they go about their day.
You’re still going to need some overhead lighting for the evenings, and if your office has limited window space, but that doesn’t mean that fluorescent lighting is your only option. Canister lighting, either recessed or free-hanging, provides ample light, and gives a nice dimension to the space. The spotlight-like pattern adds depth, while the yellow, or soft white hue of the lights is complementary rather than harsh.
The biggest change you can make to your office for the least amount of money is to update the color scheme. Something bright and bold can suggest that your business is open to innovation and new ideas. Painting the walls is a quick job that has a big impact. If you’re working with a smaller space, consider painting only one accent wall in a bright color, and use a neutral for the other walls. The rest of your space can be updated as well using coordinating and complimenting accessories.
Traditional office layouts of the past utilized closed off spaces like individual offices and cubicles to provide privacy. This layout is quickly becoming replaced with a more open concept, where the office looks more like one big great room with tidy desks placed around the area. This promotes communication between employees, and opens up the space to light, fresh air, and ideas. Employees feel more like part of a team the more they interact, and that’s a good thing. Even the boss can be seen getting in on the action, as being out in the open with the employees increases productivity and inter-staff relations. You probably need to keep a conference room or two framed in for important meetings, along with the kitchen and bathrooms.
When remodeling the office, choose furniture that is both tasteful and comfortable. Even if everything looks great, no one is going to want to put in a full day’s work if their back hurts two hours into it. While you’re choosing comfortable desk chairs for your employees, take the chance to outfit your customer waiting area as well. Ditch the row of chairs, and trade them out for a sofa and a love seat. This will create an inviting environment for those who are having to be put on hold for a minute. Let comfort lead in the employee breakroom, too, you won’t regret it!
Updating the flooring in your office will make the entire space look cleaner and put together. You can have new carpet installed, but it will have to be cleaned a couple times a year, and maybe more often in high traffic areas. Laminate flooring, or some other lower maintenance option will save you both valuable time and money in the long run.
One flooring option that has been gaining a lot of popularity in office spaces is finished concrete. Leaving the slab exposed, and having a high-end finish applied is cost-effective, durable, and beautiful. Decorative concrete finishes come in any color, and can be made to resemble ceramic tile or natural stone, if you choose.
Providing your office staff with a way to blow off steam every once in a while helps them stay focused and creative. Contemporary offices are choosing to make room for recreational activities like ping-pong tables, foosball, and dart boards. Allowing your staff to have a little fun together makes them more cohesive as a team, and a little friendly competition can be great for boosting numbers in other areas.
Another feature that many offices are installing is geared more toward the health conscious employee. Having an employee gym onsite is a great bargaining chip when attracting new employees, and it helps to keep the stress levels down around the office. Fit employees will also be taking less time off work for illness, and spending more time talking about how much they love their job while putting in time on the treadmill.
Speaking of health conscious employees, a fully functional kitchen is another great asset for any contemporary office space. The traditional fridge and sink just doesn’t cut it for those trying to eat healthy in a limited amount of time. A microwave stove and range, even if small in size, give employees a lot more healthy eating options, keeping them fully satisfied throughout the work day.
A full kitchen can also come in handy when entertaining clients or throwing a company party. Save yourself some on the catering bill by providing the main course, and even the horderves yourself. Even if you don’t want to do the cooking, many catering outfits will give you a discount on your bill if you have a kitchen where they can stage serving and keep things warm.
Updating your entire office at once may not be plausible for you, but focusing on a couple of the areas listed above at once can make a big difference in the atmosphere and productivity of your office. Some of the changes can be done quickly and inexpensively, allowing you to make a big impact within your budget. Your employees and clients will thank you.