Office Furniture Guide
10 Steps to the Perfect Office
Creating the perfect office environment is essential to inspiring your workforce and encouraging productive days. With careful consideration of office furniture, art and design you can generate the ideal office; somewhere you and your staff can be proud of. You can also increase the productivity of your office by supplying all the tools your staff need to carry out their job efficiently. Whether it is desk tidy or a picture for the bathroom, every aspect can represent your company’s ethos and keep your staff motivated.
Reflecting your business
The first step is to consider what style of office reflects your firm, for example a creative agency may want to offer a different appearance to a law firm. Some firms may want a bright and vibrant environment whereas others may want a calming and traditionally professional surrounding. Your choice of office furniture can reflect the ethos of your company, allowing you to express your firm’s attitude to work and business. The choices of magazines you have in reception, the music you choose or choose not to play all say something about how you run your business. By creating the right atmosphere you can show clients and staff alike your attitude to work and what your firm is capable of.
Creating a stylish space is one thing, but you must remember that your office is first and foremost a work place, somewhere where you staff can concentrate and be given space to think. Your office furniture should offer your team support and comfort to ensure they have the opportunity to stay focused all day. Making sure your furniture is ergonomic is essential. Ergonomic chairs and keyboards aid comfort and reduce the risk of back, wrist, arm or muscle pain which can be related to office work. A comfortable work station can also reduce stress levels amongst your staff, making for a calmer team. By allowing your staff these concessions you can allow them to work in comfort, keep them healthy and reduce stress levels.
Space to Think
One important factor to consider when choosing office furniture is, ‘What design or combination gives your team enough space to comfortably work in?’ With desks, chairs, storage and computers, space can become limited. Nobody likes to feel squashed in when they are working, so by giving your staff space to move also gives them the space to think. Also, taking regular breaks throughout the day plays an important part in maintaining concentration and productivity. By allowing space for an area away from desks you can offer your staff a coffee break or dining area, somewhere where they can take a break from their computer screens and recharge during coffee and lunch breaks.
Thinking Outside the Box
There are more than just cubicles when it comes to work stations; an open plan office with bench desks can give the impression of space and freedom of thought. When considering desks, think of the type of work your firm produces. Is it work that needs to be discussed amongst your staff or work that requires concentration? If work needs to be discussed and compared amongst a team, then an open plan office allows this to be done easily. However, work that requires concentration and consideration, such as private or legal matters, singular workstations can work very well. With careful thought and consideration your office can be a very harmonious place, somewhere where your staff enjoy going every day.
Divide and Conquer
Chances are your office may have a variety of departments; some of which will require open discussion and others quiet concentration. When laying out your office, consider who will need to chat and who will be quieter. Grouping teams together will limit the need to shout to people far away or talk over people who are working quietly. This will in turn allow groups to work more efficiently together, reducing the chance of excessive noise and, consequently, staff arguments. By separating the two groups you will be rewarded with a more melodious work place and a happier, more productive team.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Something that is often forgotten when organising a new office is offering staff enough opportunities for storage. Under-desk stacks of drawers are an excellent way of offering individual storage for staff, whereas bookcases and filing cabinets offer larger communal storage. Filing and storing documents and papers not only allows your office to look tidier, and adheres to Health and Safety regulations, it also makes admin an easier task. Storing papers, files, books or records in an inappropriate way can also put your team in danger of tripping over mislaid items, so storing them in designated cabinets or shelves can leave walkways clear from hazards. When papers and records are in a mess it makes general productivity a lot slower. Offering enough storage for the work you have, plus the work you anticipate in the future, can therefore keep your office running smoothly.
The Test of Time
When deciding on office furniture and layout consider what will still be suitable in years to come. Picking durable furniture in both style and build can ensure that you get the most for your money. When designing your office consider what will still be stylish in a few years, classic designs with a small injection of personality allow you to offer staff and clients a mix of classic and contemporary decor. Redecorating your entire office every year can be expensive and time consuming, disrupting work and workers. Choosing a classic design with your firms own twist can allow your firm to look independent and stylish for many years to come. Also, by allowing room for new technology such as granting staff larger desks you can ensure that you are ready to accept any new developments in the technological world. Desks should fit screens, telephones, keyboards and mice whilst still allowing plenty of space to work and store personal and work items. When your staff have room to move they have room to work.
Every business has the opportunity to grow and develop, this means expanding your workforce and the increasing the range of services you offer. When choosing your office furniture make sure it has the ability to alter as your business does. Furniture that is fixed to the floor or requires specific removal men to move it limits the opportunity to expand and embrace new staff members or departments. Furniture that can be assembled in different ways, such as desks that can be completely separated or added together to create a row will offer you much more choice in the future. Nobody can predict the future, but being prepared for every eventuality can make life a lot simpler.
The small things make a big different to the look and feel of your office. Practical aspects such as desk tidies, cable tidies, monitor stand and multi plugs can all keep your office in order and tidy. This can ensure that desks remain tidy, papers are stored away appropriately, and cables are kept safely and securely out of people’s way. Things like comfortable sofas in reception, complete with pillows can be welcoming. Also plants, pictures to hang and display cabinets can all add aesthetic touches that make your office feel more relaxed. Plants can soften the edges of an office and the art chosen for the walls can reflect your business. Display cabinets can give you the chance to show off awards or achievements, showing each client that visits just what your business can do.
Voice of the People
Your staff will be spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in the office, why not ask them what they would like? What pictures would they like to hang? What type of keyboard is best for them? By giving your staff a say in their surrounding decor it can make your workforce feel more like a team. It also allows them to create a workspace they feel proud of and in turn, making them proud of the company.