It seems like a simple idea at first: to rent office space for your business. And there are definitely simple options available with various levels of commercial real estate services.
But every degree of simplicity that saves you time and trouble is going to cost a pretty penny! You’ll save a lot of money by designing your office yourself, and furnishing it yourself, but that can seem like a daunting task for even the most confident of entrepreneurs.
You can relax, however; because we’ve researched how to make your office design project go more smoothly and be a great fit for whatever type of business you’re operating! Check out these three office design tips for today’s successful businesses.
1. Think about how you want your employees to behave
It’s pretty amazing how the energy and function of a space will influence the way its inhabitants behave. For instance, if there’s a lot of windows and opportunity for natural light to come into the workplace, coupled with surfaces that reflect the sounds of the busy activities of workers, then the space will foster a high level of energy.
In that type of atmosphere, you’d expect employees to be more talkative, and work with more intensity. But to counteract that type of behavior, you’ll need some soundproof spaces for conference calls and quiet time for people who don’t function well in noisy areas.
2. Think about the function of your business
What functions are most important to your firm? If your office will have multiple rooms, what’s the function that’s most important to accomplish in each room?
If one room’s function, for instance, is to have 10 representatives providing customer service via phone, then you’ll want thick carpeting, tall cubicle walls, noise-cancelling headphones and microphones, and sound-deadening ceiling tiles. Nothing’s worse than hearing 100 people on the phone in the background of a service call, and great office design can help to achieve your intended objective of that team’s function: to make customers feel good about your product and your business.
3. Check your health care policies
A huge consideration is health care, and that should be no surprise to business owners in the current economic climate, in which premiums are rising and the most sought-after benefit is becoming prohibitively expensive and difficult.
So how does health care factor into office design? Good question!
Let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible on your health insurance coverage for employees, and a very good short-term disability policy. That’s exactly the type of health coverage that’s going to cost a lot of money (for the employee, but especially the employer) if you skimp on furniture that avoids injuries to the back and arms.
A recurring back injury will easily cost more than the deductible, and if it’s especially painful to the employee, he or she will likely utilize your short-term disability policy in seeking treatment for the condition.
On the one hand, that’s a great thing, and what insurance is for. But on the other, claims increase your rates, and the ongoing goal should be to do everything you can to help employees stay healthy!
Chairs and keyboards (and the padding around each) are perhaps the most important elements of healthy office designs in terms of furniture and accessories. Making sure the chair has ergonomic functions, and the keyboard reduces the pressure on arms and fingers, is a consideration of utmost importance when it comes to designing and operating a healthy workplace with great office design!