Many companies lament the fact that they have too little space in which to comfortably fit the number of employees on their payroll but for those that have the opposite problem – a vast area for a relatively small number of employees – there are just as many potential design issues that need to be addressed.
If your company falls into the latter category, take a look at the following tips before starting a major refurbishment project to make your office space more functional and efficient.
- Make acoustics a priority when planning how to use the space at your disposal. Open offices have been very popular over the last couple of decades, mainly because people believe they encourage communication between workers at different levels on the corporate ladder and therefore make it easier for employees to function as a well-oiled machine. However, opinion is beginning to change on the matter and many company managers now believe that dividing a large space into smaller offices results in better acoustics that makes for a calmer working environment. The noise levels in open plan areas can become a real problem, especially for employees that find it difficult to focus on the task at hand unless they have a peaceful area in which to do so.
- Include a number of breakout areas, where refreshments can be enjoyed, in your office layout. When working with large spaces it is important to make sure that no employee is ever too far away from bathrooms, rest areas and any other facilities that they may wish to use during the working day. If you neglect to include enough bathrooms and breakout areas in your design, those employees who are positioned furthest from the facilities in question may believe themselves to be less important than their colleagues and could become resentful of this perceived favouritism over time.
- Hire a design team with experience of designing and sourcing lighting installations for large spaces. One of the biggest problems that companies who occupy a vast space often encounter is dark, gloomy corners that never seem to get enough light to make them useful to employees. Instead of hiding photocopiers and fax machines in gloomy parts of your office, enlist the help of a group of specialists such as the saracenoffice office refurbishment team, who have been working with large commercial spaces for many years. By ensuring that every corner of your building is well lit, you will be able to make maximum use of the space for which you have paid and provide a more pleasant environment for your employees.
- Address heating and cooling issues at the very beginning. Although it seems obvious to most people that any commercial space will need to be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, the details of implementing efficient HVAC technology into the overall design are often overlooked until the last minute. The earlier you incorporate air conditioning and heating systems into a large office design, the easier it will be to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on the aesthetics of your interior design and that you will be able to maintain an even temperature across the entire space no matter what conditions outside are like.
- Exterior spaces are just as important and should not be forgotten. There is little point in having a huge, beautifully designed corporate headquarters with offices that have been laid out to maximise employee efficiency if those employees have to spend half an hour every morning trying to find a convenient parking space. Although the interior design of your corporate home could make a very big difference to staff performance and how clients perceive your business, neither will be very impressed if they have to park half a mile away and walk to your offices. You should also ensure that any gardens and other outdoor areas are well maintained, as they will be the first thing that visitors notice when they arrive.
Developing an effective and attractive space can feel like an overwhelming task, especially if you are starting from scratch but fortunately there are many experts who are more than willing to help for a reasonable fee.