Office design goes beyond color and decoration, impacting everything from productivity to employee mood. In this lesson, you’ll learn more about some of the basic elements of office design. Office design makes up all the components and elements of a workspace that are both decorative and functional. This might include features such as color choices, layout, lighting elements and connectivity between employees.
Good office design should be comfortable as well as functional. Group employees together based on the functions they perform and near equipment they frequently use. It makes no sense to put an attorney’s office assistant on the opposite side of the building – that ensures inefficient practices and frustration. Similarly, asking a receptionist to travel to another floor in a building to access a frequently-used copier should be avoided if possible.
Be sure that each employee has adequate space in which to work. If an employee’s job calls for working with large blueprints or design files, they should have sufficient available space to spread those documents out. Comfortable chairs that support a proper ergonomic positioning can help reduce aches and pains. Ergonomics is the science of improving products and processes to help people avoid injury.
There is a lot of psychology and science behind the concept of color selection, but in many cases, choosing appropriate colors will depend on the line of work you perform or your own personal preferences. Certain colors, such as gray, white or tan, have been shown to make employees feel sad or depressed. Likewise, color selection can have an impact on your customers and how your business is perceived.
Designing a collaborative workplace requires understanding the company culture, the people that work there and then creating a space that reflects this. A one size fits all office design that can be applied across companies and sectors while possible is simply wrong and will not work.
Companies and people collaborate in different ways and the goal is to establish what would work best for the company in question before starting to design. For example, collaboration in a tech start-up will be different to collaboration in a large law firm.
Many companies now engage a workplace consultant in advance of an office move or refurbishment so they can study the company and its staff, allowing them to make recommendations which will impact workplace design. This is certainly worth considering if you have a project on the horizon.