6 Basics of Good Office Design
Creating a good office design does not have to be a painful process. It also does not mean you have to hire an interior designer or shell out tons of money to create a beautiful place. If you are a DIY type of person than you could use this article as a guide to get a plan together, source your own office furniture and install everything. If you are anything like me than you would rather outsource that and pay someone like us to design your ideal office space, provide all of the furniture and install it. The route you choose is up to you! But without further ado, here are 6 basics of Good Office Design:
1. Start with Your Goals of the Office Design
Before even getting into the nuts and bolts of how to put together a beautiful office space, it is important to first clarify your goals of the space. Getting clarity on what you are trying to accomplish will help ensure that you minimize wasted time and money, so a useful practice is to list your goals in order of importance.
For example, the goals of your office space could be:
- Improve current team’s wellness and productivity
- Create a space that clients love to go to
- Maximize the amount of team members we can fit into the office
- Maximize the amount of team members we can fit into the office
- Create an environment that helps us attract the best talent
- Spend the least amount possible to accomplish goals 1 and 2
Or someone with a home office may have:
- Create a beautiful space I want to be in every day
- Have an office that enhances my health and well-being
Each of these sets of goals is good and Direction Desk has worked with each of these types of clients. Your space is one component that can help you reach your goals, so it is wise to be strategic about it.
2. Natural Lighting
If your space has windows, then try take advantage of that by putting desks near them. Organize the desks so that the sun is not directly in anyone’s eyes. Natural lighting has been shown to play a large role in the Health and Well-being of the people in the office. People can expect better energy, sleep and sense of well-being if they get adequate amounts of natural light.
Most companies or individuals have to work with what they have and that may mean low amounts of natural light in your office. There are solutions in artificial lighting that can have similar benefits to large amounts of natural light. Just try and follow these few key tips:
- Combing a color temperature of 5000K or more. A CRI between 80 and 90 simulates natural sunlight and is best used in spaces that you want to feel invigorating.
- Use a color temperature of about 2500k for areas that you want to feel warm and cozy. This is great for areas you expect to be social and relaxing.
- Space Lighting can help modify the space’s lighting by the feel you are going for at certain times of day. Y lighting allows you to choose the color temperature you want for most of their lighting products.
- Do not place desks directly under ceiling lights.
Check out Top Bulb to purchase actual bulbs based on the color temperature you want. These bulbs can be used in the ceiling, some lamps, etc. Getting the lighting right is a subtle but key component of your office’s design and feel.
3. Movement Based Design
Humans are not meant to sit in one spot for 8-10 hours every day! Incorporating movement into you or your team’s workday has benefits well beyond just keeping up with the times. That phrase sitting is the new smoking rings very true. Traditional office space with one desk to sit and work at all day is killing our mental and physical well-being. That said incorporate movement into your office by doing the following.
- Use an adjustable standing desk and switch between sitting and standing throughout the day
- Create a separate place away from your desk to do brainstorming, collaborate, etc. If you work from home that may mean you create a brainstorm area a few feet from your desk. The key is to have at least 2 different locations where you or your team can do work during the day.
Steve Jobs said “Design is not just how it looks and feels. Design is how it works.” This couldn’t be truer with office design. Good office design should look and feel great and also make you look and feel great!
4. Bring the Outdoors Indoors
There is an area of design called Biophilic Design. It is essentially the process of bringing the outdoors in through the use of nature in the space, views of nature from the space, and elements that resemble nature. Buildings with this type of design have been shown to make real, tangible improvements in occupants’ general sense of well-being.
One can begin to reap the benefits of biophilic design by following a few key steps:
- Incorporate natural materials and colors into the space. Paint with earth-tones, use real-wood desktops, add pictures of nature into the space. The use of lighter earth-tones will also have an added bonus of reflecting more natural light, so it’s a win-win!
- Non-rythmic Sensory Stimuli is a very interesting design tool that can offer huge improvements into the look and feel of your space. This is a part of biophilic design because in nature there is always some movement happening out of the corner of our eye (a squirrel running up a tree, a stream flowing, or a campfire flickering). One easy way to introduce this into our office space is with indoor water features. You can get beautiful ones for less than $500. Offices have gotten very creative with this by implementing kinetic facades into the office space.
- Bring in the Plants!! Plants are a great, easy way to add positive energy and life to an area. There is not much to say here other than go buy some plants. They are imperative to good office design.
With many office’s electing for the open office space design, acoustics are becoming more and more important. A little background noise is good, especially if it’s an indoor water feature making the noise. But in order for you or your team to be most effective, they should be able to comfortably talk on the phone without hearing distracting noises in the background.
The best way to find this happy medium is through Sound Absorption. Sound absorption allows you to create an open office space that also has the privacy and quietness needed to be productive. There are tons of products that can help the acoustics of your office space:
- Panels that attach to your standing desk to create a little privacy at each workstation
- Modular screens and panels that can section off areas and add a little separation to the design
- Acoustic Tiles that can enhance the look of a wall while also helping to absorb more sound
All of these products can be found on Versare’s website. Having an office space that is quiet enough to concentrate but not hidden from the rest of the world is a something you must get right if you want to design a good office space.
6. Make the Space Uniquely Yours
Add little knick knacks to your office that speak to what you and your team do or stand for. Ikonick is a great brand that sells inspirational canvas art that can be a great addition to any office. The basics of good office design always include making the space uniquely yours. What do you and your team value? What inspires you?
This can be a great tool to not only increase your own satisfaction with the place but also give your guests more insight into yourself or company.
Those are our 6 Basics of Good Office Design. One could dive way deeper into designing their office or just use these basics to truly create an office they will love. Again, 6 basics of good office design are:
- Start with your goals for the office space
- Get lots of natural light or mimic natural light
- Design movement into your workspace
- Bring the outdoors indoors through plants, colors and natural materials
- Control the acoustics of your workspace with sound absorption
- Add some canvas art, photo or office accessory that speaks to you and makes the space uniquely yours