Having the right office design for your unique business helps make your business run better. When your office is laid out efficiently, you’ll have a happy and motivated workforce. Still, there are many potential landmines to beware of as you design your optimal office space. We have listed our top 5 common mistakes in office design.
1 Cramped Layouts and Clearances
Companies move into new office space and suddenly realize that, despite looking great on paper, their office furniture won’t fit into the actual space. Usually, this is a result of the plan drawings presented by the realtor not aligning with the actual dimensions of your unique furniture and office equipment. When real-world accuracy of the dimensions is not considered when drawing out a new floor plan on paper, results can be catastrophic. Buyer’s remorse sets in, and then crisis management takes over. We design spaces which deal with all your clearance and dimension issues and create a real-world plan that gives you exactly the space you need.
2 Lack of Sound Deadening
Many offices today are open-concept designs, with hard surfaces like polished concrete floors and walls, exposed open ceilings and lots of glass. They look great, but the downside is increased noise levels. Voices bounce off the hard surfaces and soon everyone can hear every word of everyone else’s conversations. When noise overwhelms the workspace, productivity declines. Utilizing sound-deadening elements that help limit and absorb excessive noise. Adding fabric dividers between desks, suspending felt artwork from the ceiling, acoustical wall and floor coverings, and a drop ceiling helps to keep the noise levels down. Also, custom sound booth installations, known as phone booths, can offer staff a soundproof space for private conversations.
3 Poor Lighting
Often when people make modifications to their offices, they don’t think about their practical lighting requirements. Dim light makes it hard to see and strains the eyes. Florescent light can be overly harsh and can trigger migraines and other health issues. We engineer the lighting plan for the exact number of lumens you require in a space. We plan your computer monitor location and overhead lighting configuration to avoid shadows on your desk and to ensure the space is bright and inviting.
4 Inadequate Equipment & Storage Space
In many office environments, storage becomes a catch-all place to conceal clutter. Thinking critically about storage requirements and implementing esthetically appealing and practical storage solutions can provide time-saving functionality that boosts productivity and frees up space for other office uses. The same logic applies to office equipment. A large photocopier in a small room may work for making copies, but it leaves no room for supplies and no flat surfaces for collating documents. If someone has special job-related needs, it’s worthwhile to have a one-on-one private consultation to ensure the space works for them individually. But remember, while it’s great to have staff input for unique situations…it’s not practical to seek a company-wide consensus on every space being created.
5 Not Planning for Growth
When building out a new space, always consider your projected growth over the next 5 to 10 years. Are you acquiring enough space to suit the projected growth? How is the balance between private offices and open workspaces? What about meeting rooms? Do you have enough for onsite staff and for remote workers who may come in just to use a meeting room? While growth rates are hugely hard to predict, it’s better to err on the side of a little more than you need, than just what you think you need now.
At D.J. McGauley & Associates, we think about all the things you may not consider when designing your office.