Workplace Design Tips For Small Businesses
If you think small businesses don’t need to consider workplace design like large companies do, think again! The truth is that workplace design affects companies of all sizes. Your office space is either helping or hurting your business, whether you have 10 or 300 employees. Small businesses have different needs, and therefore a different workplace design approach.
People underestimate how much impact your office design has on the first impression people get when they interact with your company. However, it’s literally the first thing they see when they walk in the door! The reception area is a peek into your company culture and vibe before anyone even gets a chance to speak. Are you hiring? Good workplace design is a huge factor in attracting and keeping talent. Studies show that the design of the interview room/area plays a role in a potential hire’s decision to accept a job.
What typically happens with small businesses is that their office design evolves over time with the addition of staff. As the company grows and changes, there is a tendency to add a desk here and there- wherever there is room. Carving out space in this manner doesn’t exactly scream “intentional.” What you’ll end up with is a hodgepodge of workspaces that not only looks sloppy, it affects workflow. Your workplace design shouldn’t be at the mercy of hiring.
Instead, when choosing a space for your company and existing employees, think about what will happen when you grow. When business increases, where will you need to add staff first? If you plan to add members to a certain department, allow for that growth upfront in square footage or desking. If growth involves more teamwork, collaboration, or meetings, think about having room for more open areas to gather. Is privacy desirable for extremely focused work? Think about investing in acoustic products or privacy panels before noise becomes an issue. If you’re unsure of what your future needs may be, consider furniture that is modular – easy to reconfigure and add to seamlessly. That way you’ll have a cohesive look and feel, but still, have the benefit of flexibility.
One way to use space wisely while also encouraging employee interaction is to centralize things like printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, and mail in a “hub.” This eliminates the need to purchase individual printers (and definitely saves money as you grow), but it also keeps employees active with a short walk to grab their mail or a copy. The “hub” can also include an employee lounge with breakroom additions like a coffee machine, refrigerator, and places to sit. These types of spaces, when well designed, give people a chance to socialize, collaborate, AND get some steps in for the latest FitBit challenge.
At ROSI, we have decades of experience helping small businesses create optimal workplace design for their office. If you think your office could use some help in layout, furnishings, maximizing space or efficiency, contact us today for a free consultation.