Small Business Brief


Office Oasis: 7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Office Building Layout

Bruce Lee once said, “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

That is to say, to be productive you must continue to produce tangible results. When you produce more results, you move closer to your goals. This is the reason companies are focusing energy on improving employee productivity.

One method they’ve found is improving the office building layout. Windowless cubicles have been replaced with open, airy spaces. Greenery and bright colors now stand in place of concrete walls and stale carpets.

The 7 tips below will help you design a space that inspires creativeness and promotes productivity.

1. Natural Light and Openness

Unless the world is taken over by terminator bots you’ll need to have some natural light. Architectural designs have been moving toward making workspaces with open floor plans. This is because humans gain an improved sense of wellbeing when exposed to natural light.

Many report feeling more alert and less drowsy. How can anyone work when they can barely keep their eyes open?

If you have control over the design of your building, make sure to incorporate large windows. East facing, if you’re in the western hemisphere, if possible. 

Small space or tight budget?

Switch out light bulbs to improve light quality. Also, well-placed mirrors will reflect the light and brighten the space.

2. Flexibility and Comfort

Modern workspaces account for flexibility and changes in inspiration and creativity. This means they incorporate standing and traditional desks. They use a combination of closed office spaces and open.

There are even common work areas where people can lounge on couches.

This is the model of many startups and places with a younger workforce. Common areas with long tables and artistic designs inspire creativity.

Don’t leave out color. Color therapy is an inexpensive method for keeping your employees inspired. Color can improve moods and help them stay focused. Wall paint or accent furniture are the easiest ways to use color in your office.

Temporary buildings like these metal building Florida ventures are great for customization. Use them to design an inspirational space your employees will love coming to.

3. Branding Design

What is the mission or goal of your business? Make it visible to your employees. Simple, typographical signs displayed throughout your office are a constant reminder of what you’re about.

Use the colors and psychology behind your brand to inspire your design. If you’re about innovation, use innovative industry-driven layouts. If you’re a rustic ‘make-it’ shop, incorporate natural or unfinished surfaces.

These elements will help reinforce brand goals and encourage employees to buy-in.

4. Use Greenery

Greenery in the office uses the same principles as incorporating natural light. Until jobs are replaced with emotionally intelligent robots, humans can’t work in a box.

Not for extended periods anyway.

Add live plants to your office to give a more spacious feel and keep people from feeling boxed in. Use the elements of feng shui to start improving the energy in your office.

Feng shui literally means ‘wind water’. These are the two elements of the earth that flow. So feng shui is a practice that is meant to increase the energetic flow in a space. The five elements of feng shui are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

You can incorporate these elements in the literal or figurative sense. Add plants and stones for wood and earth. Use water features or simply the color blue for water. Depending on the culture, red and orange for fire represent excitement and energy.

5. Food Stations and a Fit Office

If you’ve been on the internet in recent years you’ve probably heard the adage “sitting is the new smoking”. Studies show that sitting for 8 hours a day had similar effects as obesity and smoking. Luckily, all one must do to counter this, is exercise for 60-75mins a day.

Healthy people can be more present at work physically and mentally. If a gym is not in the budget, consider creating an office space layout that makes room for stretching.

Encourage more healthy eating by providing nutritious snacks in the break room. A well-designed breakroom boosts morale and a sense of community. It’s no secret that every culture has celebrations around food. Providing a little encouragement in the food department will pay off in employee productiveness.

6. Functionality

With all the things mentioned above, don’t forget that work actually has to take place. Focus should be a constant thought in your office space design.

The best decision may not be to remove all spatial boundaries. This study found that removing barriers lead to a drop in face-to-face interactions. The employees opted to chat over email even though their coworkers were more visible.

That leads us to technology. Many companies find that productivity breaks down as communication breaks down. As your business grows, custom software can help maintain employee interaction.

Privacy screens can also help to maintain employee focus and an open feel.

Space utilization will be key to keeping the office functional and organized. Proper storage will keep the office clean and feeling uninhibited. Use paperless methods where ever possible to decrease desk and filing clutter.

7. Ask Your Employees

Ask your employees what would make for the best layout. If you’ve got ten employees, chances are they’ll have different needs. Getting people involved in how the business functions will help to foster a bound.

You don’t want to risk spending thousands on a new layout, just to find it decreases productivity. Take a poll of what inspires your employees. From there come up with a few design choices and let them choose. This way, you know that they are getting what will help improve their at-work wellbeing.

You might find that a complete overhaul isn’t necessary. Maybe you only need a new coffee machine and some plants. Take some time to evaluate your needs and make the best choice for the office.

Nail Your Office Building Layout

Your office building layout doesn’t have to be complex to inspire results. Simple elements like lighting and color increase a person’s sense of wellbeing. When people feel better they do better work.

Keep your office functional with flexible work areas and ample storage. Start by asking your team for their input to create a space that pays.

Productivity is the buzzword of the decade. Discover more ways to improve it here.