Nobody wants to work in a tired or dull office, surely. Even the most traditional or budget-conscious business will want to present a professional working environment for staff. And if a firm doesn’t realise the unequivocal link between office design and layout, and morale and productivity, they need to sit up and pay attention, fast!
Other companies, on the other hand, have long acknowledged the importance of carefully considered office interiors, from the colour on the walls, to the selection of office furniture, and even the provision of breakout facilities.
So what exactly makes an inspiring office?
A visit to BoredPanda.com is sure to give you some food for thought, as they’ve compiled a list of 12 of the coolest offices in the world. Unsurprisingly Google, Facebook and Lego are on there! And our Leeds-based team of office furniture, interior fit out and refurbishment specialists loved the rustic industrial feel within Urban Outfitters, not to mention their attempts to bring the outside in. As for Inventionland Design Factory’s space – well, it’s utterly bonkers and equally as brilliant.
But let’s face it – we don’t all have the space, or bank balance, for our own lagoon-stricken pirate ship or fully-stocked gaming arcade. But that doesn’t mean we can’t transform our offices into an environment that boosts employee morale, creativity and retention. In fact, the right fit out and furniture could actually go so far as to attract new recruits to the business too.
So, here are just some ideas to get your cogs moving…
Can you create a communal space for staff? Simple refreshment areas provide a space to take time out, away from employees’ desks, but more fun and relaxed breakout areas will perhaps act as an added work-based perk. Think about soft seating, beanbags, games consoles, wall art, cinema screens, gym equipment, a library and so on. And if you’re lucky enough to have outside space – why restrict your idea to indoors..?
Liberate the light – glass is a great way to let in natural light so consider skylights, glazed partitions or external walls made entirely from the clear stuff, for an ultra-modern look with clean lines.
Uncover natural features – if you’re lucky enough to work in a space with some history, see if there are elements of the building’s heritage you can bring out or reflect in the space. From old beams and original floorboards to industrial piping and restored brickwork, you’ll create a sense of culture and character that cannot be copied.
There’s more to flooring than basic carpet tiles – think about replica grass, rustic boards, a sports court, LED lit panels…the list goes on…
Your office furniture doesn’t have to just be black and grey with the odd touch of wood. Embrace colour, different fabrics, and varying styles, to reflect the ethos of your brand. But remember that funky stools and scooped chairs may be great for breakout areas, but ergonomic design is essential for desk-based seating.
Material reuse is becoming increasingly common, especially in a world aspiring to achieve a circular economy. So look for old objects that you can refurbish and upcycle, from park benches to bicycles and apple crates to metal drums.
Not every office has room for a jungle, but injecting a touch of nature into a space will help clear the air of toxins, whilst softening the interiors. Think about interior planting, living walls, logos made from preserved moss and, in December, as big a Christmas tree as you can accommodate.
Budget for bespoke. Of course, if you select your office furniture from a pre-defined list of existing products, the overall solution will be more cost effective. But it’s worth pricing up the price to manufacture something entirely bespoke – that’s what we often do for clients, who don’t just want to be kitted out with generic office furniture products. You’d probably be surprised how affordable this option is.
There really is no end to the scope for your office space, even if you only have a few hundred or a couple of thousand pounds to spend. And if you’re struggling with the ideas yourself, all you need to know is your desired objective – we can do the creative bit.
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought. If so, contact us on 0333 323 1949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a start, or pop into our Leeds showroom for a coffee and a biscuit, so we can start planning.