Note: this article was written pre-pandemic and may not reflect current or temporary mandates on proper workspace spacing.
Designing an Office: Things to Get Right from the Beginning
You have made a business plan, covered all legal obligations and finally found a suitable office space – all that it takes for you to kickstart your new business is to design the office that will boost productivity and provide comfort for you and your prospective employees. Some dream of a green workspace, some a tech-heaven, but let’s assume you are new to this and might want to take a look at our list of 5 essentials to help create an optimal working environment.
Provide Enough Space
Cramming desks close to each other to save space won’t even be aesthetically pleasing, let alone practical for work. Regardless of whether you are going for closed cubicles or an open space arrangement, your employees need space to be able to concentrate and perform, as well as to move about without distracting anyone.
As a business owner, you would have to take every variable into account, including the possibility of an emergency, which means that space has to be maneuverable. Luckily, you can hire professionals to help you make a floor plan or you can use software solutions to plan your layout, some of which also have room booking and other useful features.
Make it more tech-friendly
Employees don’t sit around quietly at their desks - they move around to consult with colleagues, to brainstorm, and to talk with customers and clients. Since employees are those who give life to your money-making business, it’s essential you provide them with highly functional office spaces
Tripping over various laptop, tablet and phone charging cords is one major headache that deserves consideration. Adding sleek solutions like Docking Drawer’s in-drawer charging outlets to office desks and furniture can help to create a better organized and functional work space, while helping to keep devices charged while neatly tucked away and organized inside dedicated charging drawers.
Supply adequate lighting
Eye soreness and headaches are just some of the effects that can result from bad lighting. Keeping in mind that lighting installations are complex systems, it is wise to plan them accordingly before the employees start working because any major alteration could require you to temporarily move employees or create less than ideal working conditions while changing out complicated lighting systems. It is vital that each employee gets an adequate amount of overhead lighting and (ideally) for it to be a human-centric lighting style that mimics natural daylight qualities. In any case, it’s best to consult specialists who will be able to assess your needs and provide maximum eye-comfort and mental agility, like this reputable Serbian company that produces high quality LED lighting or another, depending on where you live and work. A proper lighting system can also prevent drowsiness and make your employees more efficient.
Choose ergonomic solutions
As you are probably aware, a typical employee spends somewhere between 6 and 10 hours sitting at their desk. Part of being a responsible employer is to tend to the physical and mental health of your employees and their comfort is one of the ways to help them nurture general wellness.
Acquiring ergonomic furniture from the start, such as office chairs, supportive keyboards, and standing desks is a good manner in which to make sure your employees don’t develop pain in their back or hands. By providing such elements, you will help to ensure both their physical and mental comfort of your employees which can result in a higher degree of productivity from the get-go. Also, employees who are satisfied with their working conditions are less inclined to leave which means you will be creating a strong bond with your employees from the beginning.
Tend to the HVAC
Personal preferences aside, a functional HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) system is a prerequisite for the proper functioning of every individual in your office space. When it comes to heating, since there are differences in what women and men perceive as thermal comfort, it is necessary to respect temperature standards and maybe even to avoid being excessively strict when it comes to the dress code, apart from when you have clients visiting.
Chances are that simply opening windows in the summertime won’t be enough to help create a pleasant working atmosphere, so both ventilation and air conditioning are essential. Depending on your location, you may need to consider traffic noise and other outside distractions, which may not be conducive to an open air environment, so be sure to to have a professional take a look at any existing HVAC systems and to schedule regular maintenance checks.
If you want to avoid having to make major changes soon after you’ve moved into your new office or got that new business off the ground, you’ll want to put some serious considerations into items like these from the beginning. Remember, providing optimal working conditions means that you are setting standards for high productivity!