Designing a Functional, Professional Office
If you’ve opened a new business, or been tasked with transforming the office space of your employer, your design choices need to be made carefully. A professional office needs to give off the right impression to all who enter; it also needs to be functional. The good news is this:
You can have a professional office that is stylish instead of sterile. Here’s how:
Many new business owners aren’t aware that there are legalities involved in designing your office space. Professional offices must comply with restrictions set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may also be restricted by federal or local zoning laws. Be sure to conduct an ample amount of research into these regulations before you paint a single wall; making necessary corrections after-the-fact can be expensive.
2. Know the Function
Are you designing a conference room that will strictly be used to entertain clients and hold staff meetings? Or are you designing an office space that will be utilized by multiple employees? If you’re designing an open space, you may want to opt for office tables instead of desks. If you don’t have walls, but want them, you can create single offices with partitions. Knowing how you will be using the space can help you design a floor plan that is useful to everyone who will be using the office.
3. Paint and Decor
The first thing that you’ll do, undoubtedly, is paint the walls that you have. Spend some time researching the psychology of colors before you choose a shade. Though red may be your favorite color, it is often too stimulating for an office environment. On the other hand, sea green may be too soothing. Keep in mind that you won’t design an office in a law firm the same way that you would design an office in a bakery. Keep the tone of your profession alive in your office space.
Your employees will need light to work by, but your customers may be put off by rows of fluorescent bulbs overhead. Choose your lighting carefully. If your office is too dim, it can quickly turn depressing. If your office is too bright, it can be too cold. Any natural light that you have should be maximized, and overhead lighting provides maximum efficiency. Allow your employees to place small lamps on their desks if they need a bit of extra light.
5. Add Life
You’ll need to have a good feel for your employees, your customers and the tone that you want to set before you add life to your office. Typically, every office can do with a plant or two. Plants can remove toxins from the air, increase the oxygen in the room, and even reduce noise. Some people take things a step further and add aquariums, an office pet like a cat, or even allow their employees to bring their well-behaved dogs to work. Studies have shown that a bit of life in the office can make employees more productive; take this into consideration when designing your space.
A professional office is slightly different than your home office. While you can encourage your employees to add small, personal touches to their space, your overall design should reflect the tone of your profession.