Most of us spend more time at the workplace, than at home. It becomes more challenging to design office spaces, owing to the need for a favourable balance between beauty and aesthetics, which keeps the employees motivated and feel warm and welcomed, and functionality.
Not only does the workplace need to look inviting, but it should also create an environment conducive to productivity. Additionally, it is necessary for the interiors to resonate with the image that the organisation is trying to convey. Since the workplace influences more people, it takes more planning and thought to build or renovate an office space.
So, how do we find the right fit?
Things To Be Considered Before Doing Up Your Office Space:
Before taking the plunge, devote some time to evaluate the following factors.
1) Time Taken:
Depending upon the nature of the organisation, the style of interior design along with the associated time and cost would vary. Before going ahead with the project, consider how much time you are willing to devote for getting the interiors done.
2) Be open to a ‘flexible budget’:
Office interiors are more complicated than the interiors of your home, owing to the fact that a greater number of people need to be accommodated in a workspace. Not just that - All these people must find the workplace comfortable enough to work effectively.
Additionally, it is also necessary to evaluate the requirements of the workspace - For instance, are more workstations required, or should there be more emphasis on storage? There could be a lot of changes during the actual process, so it is ideal to be open to a flexible budget.
It becomes simpler when you hire an interior designer, since he/she evaluates the space, understands your requirements, and gives you a quotation based on this information.
3) Strike a balance between appearance, comfort and functionality:
For an office space to be effective, it needs to strike the right balance between a pleasing appearance, comfort and functionality. Excessive emphasis on style often leads to employees being overwhelmed, not to mention the wrong choice of lights and colours!
It is ideal to hire the services of an expert, in order to achieve the best results.
4) A future-oriented plan:
Renovations are expensive - and when it comes to the workspace, the time you spend in doing up the interiors now, is also worth its value in gold. You certainly don’t want to put in this sort of time/effort and finance in doing it again anytime soon!
Also, ensure the things you get done are flexible enough for any future alterations you may want, in terms of reshuffling the seating arrangements or expanding the staff capacity to a certain extent. These changes should be accommodated without much burden on the pockets!
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Tips For Designing The Perfect Workplace
Once you are sure about the above fundamental aspects, you can go ahead with the project. Follow the tips below to design a workplace that is effective in terms of appearance, design and functionality.... Also, just a heads up, a nifty little visual guide awaits you at the end, which you can download to your mobile for future references as well!
1. Reception Desk and Lobby:
In any office, the reception desk serves as the face of the organisation. This is the first point of contact for customers as well as existing and future employees. It is necessary to make sure that the reception area creates a favourable impression on anybody who walks into the office premises.
Use light and airy colours for the walls, especially if the area is small. Use colour schemes that complement the colours in your company logo. Add framed photographs of the company’s achievements, thoughts of the company leadership, or some pleasant sceneries. Emphasise on the use of natural light, as far as possible. In case of artificial lights, avoid using fluorescent lights. Spotlights work best to provide the right balance. Keeping indoor, easy-to-maintain plants in the lobby creates a relaxed atmosphere.
2. Office Layout:
Most contemporary companies choose the open plan in case of an office layout. Separate, closed cubicles consume a lot of space and also create barriers between employees, thereby cutting off communication.
Adaptable Desk systems are in vogue owing to the flexibility they offer, as well as the provision for technology integration. Smaller meeting rooms with pleasant colour schemes work well without being intimidating. Allot a corner or two for ideation and creative thinking. Harness as much natural light as possible. ‘Bringing the outdoors in’ is another trend catching up with companies - using a combination of wooden decor and earthy colours to create the outdoorsy effect within the office premises.
Additional facilities like a game room, communal eating areas, areas meant for relaxation, etc. create an atmosphere conducive to productivity. Allot a wall or two dedicated to notes on company culture and achievements.
Choose furniture that complements the layout and provides comfort. Most offices choose storage specific furniture for cleaner, neater office floors. Also, the ergonomics need to be kept in mind - you don’t want your employees complaining of body-aches for sure. Custom made furniture is often a preferred option, as it suits you needs, has maximum space utilisation and is value for money.
Excessively glossy furniture should be avoided, since it can often lead to the incidence of reflected glare (light that bounces off glossy furniture or walls, causing strain on the eyes).
Light matters a lot in the workplace. Choose cost-effective lighting that is neither too dim, nor too bright. Both cause strain on the eyes, especially when trying to focus on the computer or the mobile screen.
Overhead lighting can often be too dim, or cause shadow. It should be used with other types of lighting, like corrective and ambient lighting. Corrective lighting is placed behind monitor screens to reduce the strain on a person’s eyes. Ambient lighting is low intensity lighting that has more to do with the environment of the workplace.
Task lights are small lights that can be plugged into any outlet to provide extra light whenever the employee needs it.
Try to harness as much natural light as possible. In case of workstations too close to the window, use tints on the windows to avoid the glare on computer screens. Repair flickering lights without delay.
5. Colour Schemes:
In order to choose the right colour for a workspace, evaluate the nature of work and the kind of environment needed. However much we may argue, colours do have a psychological impact on us. Include blue in the colour scheme, if most projects in the workplace need teamwork. It instills a sense of trust among employees, and also helps to keep the atmosphere calm.
Green boosts creativity, and creates a harmonious environment. It also helps to reduce anxiety.
Yellow and orange are best suited for workplaces that demand high energy and enthusiasm from their employees.
White, when combined with natural light, encourages creativity, and also makes the space appear more spacious. It also increases focus.
The colours mentioned above should not be used alone. It is ideal to team a strong colour with a neutral colour like grey, to create the right impact. Colour schemes and lighting should be chosen together, since both go hand-in-hand. The type of paint used should not be too glossy.
Dos and Don’ts Of Office Interiors
#1 Don’t use excessively bright lights in the office:
Avoid lighting that is too dim or too bright. Choose a combination of ambient lights, overhead lights, and task lights if needed.
#2 Avoid dark colours in the lobby:
Choose light colours in the lobby and reception area. This creates an illusion of space, and also makes the atmosphere less overwhelming.
#3 Choose flexible office layouts:
Think long-term. Focus more on functional benefits, than beauty and style. Choose a layout that can be easily altered, with minimal strain on the pockets.
#4 Invest in smart, storage-friendly furniture:
Choose storage-friendly furniture, to avoid clutter on the office floor and desks. Custom-made furniture is the way to go.
Choosing the right interior designer will help you get the perfect interior design style for your office space. Ask Hipcouch!
And, here's the handy downloadable visual guide on Office Inter Design Tips for India