By now it’s clear: the way we work has changed for good. We know that people can work from anywhere and flexible working is here to stay, so now is the time to make sure your workspace is a place where people want to be.
Our interior design team has transformed over 50 offices and, as part of our recent brand refresh, we updated our own office space to reflect our company culture. The redesigned space includes flexible desking, social areas, and quiet corners to suit the needs of our diverse workforce.
If you’re looking to upgrade your office space this year, here are the things you need to consider:
The first thing to do is look at how you use space. Speak to staff and understand what they need and what they don’t use. Many people use less space than they think, so smaller desks may free up space for breakout or flexible areas. If you have limited space, then this assessment is crucial.
As well as asking about practical needs, this is a chance to speak to your team about the company culture. In our own office, a redesign has encouraged a more communicative, collaborative culture that reflects the ethos of our teams.
We don’t all work in the same way, and it’s important to support neurodiversity in your workforce so everyone is comfortable. Different tasks also require different environments. Make sure you have breakout areas for meetings and social interactions, but it’s equally important to have quiet spaces for calls and uninterrupted thinking.
The joy of being back in the office is having people to speak to and collaborate with on projects. In our Gloucester office, we transitioned from modular desks to bench desks. This allows staff to face one another, encouraging interaction in a more open atmosphere.
Make sure your social spaces are central to the office, promoting a culture of communication. Areas with soft furnishings and different types of lighting can help to create a relaxed environment and encourage staff to step away from their desks. These areas are also good for informal meetings; after all, some of our best ideas occur over a morning coffee.
The future of the workplace is hybrid, so your office-based workers will need areas to collaborate with remote workers. Consider providing a range of spaces with the appropriate technology to support this collaboration, whether that's one-on-one chats or team-to-team meetings. Our staff work between the Gloucester office, Newport office and their homes, so we refurbished meeting rooms and incorporated pods to encourage collaboration between workers.
A redesigned office doesn’t mean that everything needs to be brand new, so don’t be afraid to reuse furniture or use recycled materials. If you do dispose of old furniture and equipment, then there are plenty of charities who will pass it on to organisations in need or dispose of it in a carbon-neutral manner. You can conserve energy by maximising natural light and using LED bulbs.
When designing our office, we focused on biophilia, the human instinct to connect with nature. This influenced our colour palette as well as the incorporation of many plants. Not only do they improve air quality, but they promote wellbeing and create a relaxed environment.
The colours you choose play a major part in the overall feel of the space. When you consider a redesign, you should think about the atmosphere you’re aiming for, and we can show you the colours and materials that will work for you.
It’s important to include design features that staff feel connected to, whether it’s related to the line of work you are in, nature or future aspirations. You can incorporate logos and brand colours in your design but don’t feel constrained by them; bright colours can work brilliantly on your website, but you may wish to use them sparingly in a large office space.
If you’ve been inspired to upgrade your workspace and would like to discuss your ideas, you can contact our interior design team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03333 405 500.