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Chris Bell

Designing an office space your team will love



Are you a small business owner looking to personalise your new workspace? Perhaps you already have an office but it’s time for a change? We’ve pulled together eight tips that will help you make it productive and comfortable – a place where you and your employees will want to come to every day!

Lighting

If you’re lucky your space will have plenty of natural light for you to play with. Natural sunlight is an automatic mood enhancer, making us feel happier, more energised and productive so it’s a bonus if you can get it. If you do, then be sure to install some blinds or curtains to manage any excessive brightness or to avoid overheating in the hotter summer months. If any part of your space lacks daylight then make sure it’s well lit, avoiding dark, shadowy spots that could create negative energy. Do avoid harsh lights if you can though. A softer lighting scheme, more like you might have at home, or choosing lighting that mimics daylight are better options for a comfortable working environment.

Temperature

While you may never get it absolutely right for everyone, you can create a comfortable temperature that won’t lull people to sleep or have them wrapping up in scarves and hoodies in the height of summer. Consider an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, that can help you maintain a comfortable temperature all year round. You might find it improves your team’s productivity on days when the temperature might otherwise prove a distraction. If air con’s out of the equation, invest in some fans or under-the-desk heaters to allow staff to regulate the temperature around them.

Furniture

There are plenty of desk options on the market and how you set your space up will depend on your business to some extent. Consider standard and stand-up desks, or ones that can do both, to allow your employees the choice of what works best for them. Make sure you get some ergonomic chairs in for them too.

Break-out areas

Beyond desks, comfortable furniture such as sofas and armchairs can be very useful for those times when you want a break from your desk, whether for some quiet time, a place to read and think about your next move, or somewhere for lunch or a snack. These break-out areas can also be great for meetings with clients, impromptu team meetings, or morning briefing sessions. A microwave, small fridge, and some crockery and cutlery will go a long way towards making it a welcoming space that people want to make good use of.

Coffee machine

Coffee isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But for those who do need that fix a decent coffee machine can make a huge difference to their day. Whether you invest in a pod machine, such as Nespresso’s, or opt for a cafetière that gives people the option of turning their morning coffee into a team ritual, it could not only improve the mood around the office but is a nice touch for clients and visitors too. Just don’t forget to stock up on tea bags for the non-coffee drinkers!

Plants

Nothing says ‘we love our workspace’ more than a few well-chosen plants. Green up your office and give it a refreshing breath of oxygen with some greenery. It will also create a soothing effect and break up the harshness often found in a typical office environment.

Personalised desks

Giving staff the option of personalising their desk is a bigger draw than you may think. Whether you are offering a cubicle or a desk in open-plan office, the ability to create their own unique environment will allow them be more productive. Can you imagine spending eight hours a day at a sterile desk looking at a blank wall? No, neither can we! Photos, desk lamps, plants, and even a personalised mouse mat or screensaver can make a big difference.

Walls

Last, but not least, use your walls as a canvas. Put up some pictures or paintings, drape some textiles to create texture and add colour, use a pinboard for postcards of recent travels or dream destinations. You could use one part of the wall for a whiteboard of ideas or a blackboard of targets – anything that gives your space a bit of personality and warmth.

However you decorate and personalise your office space keep productivity and comfort at the forefront of your mind and you can’t go wrong.