How To Create a Functional Workspace
You know when you walk into a space and immediately get an overwhelming feeling? The feeling might be positive or negative, but regardless it made you recognize something like, “oh, this place feels nice” or “I don’t feel comfortable here.” I think it goes without saying that business owners and managers are looking for the former reaction when employees and customers enter their place of business.
How is that achieved?
Creating a space that is both functional and comfortable takes quite a bit of planning and a lot of thoughtful decisions. As Acumen Connections, Inc. is in the process of moving into our new office, we have put the below theories to the test and can vouch for what really makes an impact.
First and foremost, establishing a logical layout for your business. Where are your employees going to be seated? Are some employees going to be in offices while others are in cubicles? How much space does everyone need to be able to work affectively while maximizing your square footage?
First, recognize how your business operates. Do you have multiple departments? One obvious start is to group departments together to cultivate inter-team collaboration. Next step, do those departments have a similar working environment with other departments in your organization? Think about putting those teams near each other.
For example, if you have a sales and/or customer support department(s) that are frequently on the phone working with customers and potential customers, they should be in proximity to one another as the noise level won’t distract each other from their work. Sitting a department that works quietly next to a department that is required to be making frequent phone calls will make both departments uncomfortable and unhappy.
As you start to put teams together in a logical fashion you will soon have a rough outline of where your employees will be seated.
Speaking of layouts, you can also instill your company values through your office layout. Are you apart of a culture that encourages team and cross-team collaboration? Creating spaces that are specifically designed for multiple employees to work together and brainstorm will cultivate this value and encourage your employees.
Maybe your business emphasizes personal development? Adding an area in your office with resources like professional books about personal growth or a specific topic can encourage employees to expand their horizons and push their personal limits.
The colors you choose (or don’t choose) in your office space can have a major impact on your space. Color theory is the idea that certain colors can evoke different emotions from those around them.
For instance, red and orange walls can evoke a sense of urgency or passion while blue and green walls can be soothing and calming. Finding a happy balance between bright, fun colors and a classic palette can create a contemporary workspace that evokes innovation and creativity.
This is also a great opportunity to involve artwork or other creatives in high traffic areas; such as, the breakroom, front entrances, or by the bathroom to further instill company values and branding.
Room to Grow
If you’ve recently undergone a business or office move, you know that it can be a difficult, time-consuming and expensive task. Finding the right space, making any updates to that space, and pauses in operations to move into the space can all be costly to your business. It’s in your and your business’ best interest to make a smart move.
This means anticipating and accommodating (as best as possible) future growth.
Has your staff been growing at a certain percentage each year? Are you forecasting future growth to remain the same? Take those simple calculations to understand how much your staff could change in the next 3-5 years. If this is a space you’re intending to stay in for the long haul, do yourself a favor and plan.
Planning could be as simple as choosing an office building that has space to add-on or finish remaining sections to add more workspaces. Working with a contractor or architect to understand what different “phases” of your office building would look like before you choose a space can help you long term.
Like we said above, spaces can evoke a reaction whether it’s intentional or not. Take control of this opportunity to make sure that all visitors to your business are welcomed with a positive feeling about your company.
The effects of this feeling will permeate throughout your entire staff. High employee retention is one of the most important metrics for company health and making the right choices when it comes to your office space can support those initiatives.
Following this guide can help you create a work environment that is thriving and successful in a space where employees and customers alike can be proud of.