At some point in every business, there comes the dreaded question of do we move or renovate? While renovations cost money and time, an updated office can result in increased worker productivity and morale, as well as brand awareness which drive through to your bottom line. In an American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) survey, 90% of top management indicated that updated design had positive effects on worker productivity.
From the moment, your clients or potential clients walk through your door; they are making assessments about you and your business. Likewise your employees and potential employees are determining what it would be like to work for you. How you care for your office space will be a direct reflection of how you care for your clients and employees.
Too many people not enough desks
Your business has grown. What could be better than having more new people working for you? But now where will you put all of them? You are struck by the lack of space and need to rethink the layout. Before you push one more desk into the corner or search for a new office space, consider consulting with a design professional. Designers who specialize in office space planning often have creative solutions to your space management problems. They are well aware of the psychological effects of space on clients and employees and can help you make decisions about the balance of comfort, privacy and flexibility.
For example, do all of your employees have to work at the same time or even from the office? If no, the designer can convert the areas of assigned cubicles into hoteling spaces or touchdown spaces where employees come to work on an as needed basis.
Your furnishings, lighting and technology are outdated
If you haven’t purchased new desks and chairs in the last decade, you are missing out on some of the latest and greatest developments in ergonomics, not to mention your clients will wonder if you are cutting edge enough for them. Workplace injury costs can include lost wages, medical bills, insurance administrative costs, and the cost to other employees who have to pick up the slack. Investing in new furnishings is well worth the time and money spent. Today’s office furnishings accommodate the many different work styles of your employees. Desks can be raised for standing work and lowered for sitting at a computer. Many designers and other creatives prefer to draw standing. At the very least, adjustable and ergonomic office chairs are the norm. Follow the 90-90-90 rule: hips, elbows and knees are each positioned at a 90 degree angle. Feet should be flat on the floor. If they don’t reach, foot rests are effective.
Check the lighting in each office. Is there enough natural light? Lighting has a huge impact on productivity. According to a study in the Scientific Journal, “the prime factor which affects the productivity of employees is lighting in the office”. If necessary, add task lighting, preferably full spectrum light. Finally, are your computer systems up to date? Even a switch to flat screen monitors has a huge impact on the space and feel of an office and having two flat screens can improve productivity.
Your walls, floors, ceiling are showing signs of wear and tear
Sooner or later, every office cries out for new flooring and a fresh coat of paint. With shoe and boot clad clients and employees, carpeting is the first surface in your office to look well worn. Check out those high traffic patterns and consider installing super durable surfaces in those areas. There is high end vinyl flooring that looks just like wood and even feels like it, but is much easier to clean. New carpeting is a great way to bring in updated color to your office space while speaking your brand to your clients. Painting the walls a new color is a quick and one of the least expensive ways to update a space. Depending on the color, the wall color can help improve productivity. Keep the colors of your industry and your brand in mine as you make your choices. An office designer can help you with the right colors. Make sure to have the ceilings painted when you update the walls as freshening one surface will make an old one look drab in comparison.
These are just a few of the most important items to consider as you move forward with your office renovation. Early in your plans, be sure to involve a qualified office designer. He or she can help save you money and time and ease the process so you can get back to focusing on what matters – running your business.