If you are looking to revamp your office or set up a new one, you have come to the right place, as we delve into what makes a 21st century office tick. Of course, the goal of designing an office should be functionality and productivity, with the right decor and top-rated office furniture and equipment.
We talked with an office fitout designer and he very kindly gave us a few good tips on the ultimate office design.
- Go for an open plan design – The perfect baseline would be four exterior walls, the rest can be full and half partition panels, which can be interconnected to create workstations and closed-off areas. An open-plan office promotes dialogue, which is what you want with your office staff and it is very easy to move the partitions around and create a new layout.
- Water dispenser – People need to stay hydrated and with one of the top-rated drinking fountains from a leading Australian supplier, your staff can enjoy cool pure water at any time. A large office would require a couple of water dispensers, one in the reception area and one close to the communal area.
- Analyse the work processes – Spend a day watching your staff in full flow, paying attention to the various areas of the office and who goes where. Certain people would be better placed near printers and cabinets, which can minimise movement within the office. There are professional interior designers who could come into your office space, do an assessment and place people and equipment in the best locations.
- Ergonomic chairs – Chair design has come a long way in the past decade and you want your staff to be comfortable as they overcome obstacles and keep the business on a firm course to success. The online supplier would have a great selection of ergonomic office chairs, all at affordable prices. Click here for further reading on office seating.
- Good ventilation – A stuffy office makes people feel tired, so make sure there is a good flow of air throughout the space. Extractor fans can be used if there is insufficient airflow while opening windows is another option.
- Wireless IT solutions – Talk to an IT engineer about wireless connectivity in the office and you can say goodbye to those ugly cable bundles. Bluetooth technology allows digital devices to talk to each other and with headsets, employees can communicate on the move. Ideally, your business data is stored on the cloud, so workstation PCs work faster, which boosts productivity. Staff can access and update files from any location, using any digital device; cyber-security protects your data and the fact that staff do not have to be in the office to access their data is a game-changer.
- Standing desks – Standing desks are becoming popular; perfect work laptop work and many designers and coders love working at standing height. Creative people like to walk around and their workstation is wherever they go; check out the reviews online and ask your staff, as they are the people who will be using them. Many companies are happy that employees work from home and visit the office a couple of days a week; a team of coders/developers can use standing desks when they come for a meeting.
- Involve your office employees – It makes total sense for the people who use the office space have a hand in the layout and design. Call a meeting and announce that the office revamp is on the agenda; invite suggestions and get a discussion going, which should reveal valuable information. Your employees will feel their opinion is valued and you are promoting inclusivity when you listen to their input, plus you’ll end up with a layout that is designed around the people who use the space.
- Decor – Some offices look pleasant with artificial flowers; a few exotic green plants can add tone and texture to a reception area. How about a few wall prints? Internally, you could post a few motivation slogans in elegant frames. Some prefer a minimalist office space, one that promotes a casual ambience; Google Images can show you some unique office environments and with a concept in mind, talk to an office fitout team and they can take your budget and create the perfect work environment.
- Digitalise everything – A paperless office is a tidy one and by scanning all documents, you can store everything on the cloud. A quality scanner is all you need and this means you can minimise filing cabinets; you will need one to store paper originals and going paperless negates the need for a printer. A secretary can instantly bring up any file that they need via their workstation screen.
- Choosing a fitout contractor – Once you have a concept and a budget in place, approach a Sydney-based office fitout contractor and let their design team get to work. The entire process from initial discussion to project completion should be a smooth and stress-free experience; we recommend reading the client reviews when looking at contractors to get a clear idea of what to expect. Ask to see their portfolio of previous projects and if you have time, ask several contractors to quote for the project.
- Biometric security – We now have the technology to do away with traditional locks; fingerprint scanners are quick and convenient and every office should be a secure facility. Talk to a security company and see what they can offer to promote easy access to authorised personnel.
As mentioned above, involving your employees in the renovation process brings many benefits and with a firm concept and a budget, your new office will soon become reality and all the staff will warmly appreciate the fact that you factored their ideas into the layout.
Furniture leasing is one option when refitting an office; Google can help you find such a business; there are benefits to leasing rather than buying, especially with regard to taxation. It is definitely worth investigating.