How Office Design and Refurbishment Can Make the Most of Your Small Office Space

When it comes to office space it’s important to make the most of every square inch of space in the most efficient and effective way while bearing in mind both business and staff needs. It’s vital that your office space enables your staff to do their job, promotes productivity, health and wellbeing and generates the best ROI for your business.

If the space, you have to work with is small it makes it harder to achieve. However, this article looks at ways that office design and office refurbishment can help you to make the most of your workspace while achieving the objectives above.

Plan Your Office Layout

Clearly your office layout will play an integral role in ensuring your office space works well for your business. You’ll need to define your business needs and take into consideration your workplace processes. From this you’ll be able to put together a list of the office furniture you’ll need.

It’s vital that your office space doesn’t end up being overcrowded and cluttered as this can have the effect of making the space feel small and claustrophobic. So when it comes to the placement of desks and chairs, storage and equipment keep in mind that clear space between desks and other furniture will help to give your office a more spacious look and feel.

Keeping your office space open plan, rather than partitioning it off into individual office areas can help to give the impression of spaciousness. When you can view a whole room without your view being blocked by walls or partitions it enables your eye to see the whole area and makes the space seem larger. If you do need to separate areas or sections of your office space and designate them for different functions, instead of partitioning you could use coloured walls or different carpeting to mark departments or team areas. Where partitioning is absolutely necessary use glass partitioning to allow the light to flow through the office space.

You’ll also need to comply with Regulation 10 of the Workplace, (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 which states that “every room where persons work shall have sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare.”

If you can utilise CAD drawing software to plan and visualise your office layout or simply hand draw the placement of your office furniture, it will allow you to “visualise” what your office space will look like before you commit to any changes and before any work is carried out.

Emphasis On Essential

When it comes to listing your needs in terms of office furniture and equipment keep it simple. When you carry out an audit of what office furniture you need you may be surprised by just how much of your current furniture and equipment is surplus to requirements.

Place an emphasis on essential items and functionality. List only the office furniture that you will definitely need and build from there if you find you have additional space available to you. Consider what will be required for individual, collaborative spaces and break out areas. This is also a good time to review your storage needs and consider whether you can move to cloud storage.

The emphasis on essential office design method works well for smaller office spaces as it helps to create a workspace that will help it to remain uncrowded and uncluttered and therefore appear more spacious.

Encourage A Clutter Free Culture

Having taken the time and effort to create an environment that’s uncluttered the last thing you need is for your office space to become messy and untidy which will end up creating a sense of overcrowding. It’s therefore important to encourage employees to maintain a clutter free workspace by keeping their work areas tidy.

To do this supply your staff with appropriate storage solutions like desk organisers, personal filing storage as well as communal recycling bins. Store away anything that isn’t immediately needed and only take it out when it’s required. Make sure that any wires are secured out of the way, preferably hidden e.g., under the floor or in discrete trunking. Alternatively consider wireless solutions wherever and whenever possible which will not only leave your office space looking look tidier and using less space but will improve workplace safety. Moving to a paperless system will also help to keep down clutter and free up storage space.

Build In Flexibility

When you have limited office space selecting the right office furniture is important. Flexibility is key. If you can invest in furniture that’s multifunctional or modular it can provide you with the flexibility to perform multiple tasks and you’ll be able to change its configuration to meet different needs as and when required.

Multifunctional furniture e.g., desks with built in storage or filing compartments can help to save space. Filing cabinets that can also be used as seating or seating with storage and sit/stand desks are also a great way to free up floor space. Sit/stand desks are also a great way to encourage a healthy workplace environment.

Modular furniture can be easily rearranged to accommodate a variety of different needs within an office including individual desks, collaborative workspaces, meeting areas or social spaces. If that furniture is also foldable and stackable it can be stored away until it’s needed freeing up office floor space. If you need meeting space but don’t have enough space to have a dedicated meeting room meeting pods or acoustic sofa pods may be an ideal solution, as they are small enough to fit into a smaller office but large and private enough to provide the perfect meeting space.

Movable partitions can also make space more flexible by opening up or closing off space as and when required.

Create Collaborative Spaces

While individual workstations are important having collaborative workspaces can provide the flexibility to perform a variety of needed functions e.g., by providing space for meeting, to get people together to brainstorm, for informal discussions, as communal break out areas and social spaces.

When you are looking to make the most of your office space collaborative workspaces can enable business to adapt to meet the needs of the business and staff while making the most efficient and effective use of the space available.

Keep It Light

Light can have a significant impact on the overall perceived size of an office space. If used correctly light can make a space, feel larger than it actually is. It’s vital to utilise natural light wherever possible. When you are planning your office layout make sure that windows are used to their full potential to get light into the workspace and that you remove any barriers that are blocking windows or other natural light sources. Where natural light isn’t available use energy efficient table lamps, ceiling and wall lights or recessed lighting to bring light into any dark areas and to create a welcoming environment.

Make use of glass partitioning and glass doors when dividing out the office space so that light can still flow throughout the office space. Use light reflective surfaces like glass and mirrors to help create the “illusion” of space. Glass and other effective surfaces allow natural light to flow across the office space which in turn can help make a room look more spacious.

Dark colour schemes should be avoided as this will make the space feel smaller. Instead use light or neutral colours. Lighter colours allow natural light to be reflected, rather than absorbed, which helps to give an office space the feeling of being open and airy. Add a splash of colour to add depth and break up the monotony of having the same colour throughout. Artwork can also help to enhance a small workspace by adding further depth and a splash of colour.

Make Storage A Priority

Effective storage in small offices is crucial in order to ensure that floor space doesn’t become overcrowded.

Where storage is required vertical storage solutions such as built in bookcases can help to free up valuable floor space. Using full height bookcases will fully utilise wall space that would otherwise go unused. Build in easy access e.g., through folding stairs/ladders so that the storage space is easily accessible. Wall mounted shelves and cabinets can also provide a great space saving solutions ensuring you have more than enough storage space for your files and books while keeping floor space free.

Store equipment or files in “hidden storage” e.g., a storage cabinet with a door and pull-out shelving is a great way of storing printers, copiers and files so that they don’t each take up floor space. If you have the budget, you could also consider bespoke storage built to provide storage in those spaces that can’t be used for anything else e.g., alcoves, areas under stairs or where a desk or chair wouldn’t fit. By building storage into these areas, you are turning underutilised space into much needed storage space.

Go Digital

If you let it storage can take up a great deal of office space. If your office is small, then the need for storage space can be an impediment to minimising the amount of floor space taken up and to keeping your small office space looking spacious. It’s therefore important to try to reduce the amount of storage you require.

The most obvious way to reduce the amount of physical storage you need is to start to decrease the amount of paper you use by going digital. Start by moving non-essential documents and data and gradually move all paper work to the cloud. By moving your paper files to cloud based storage you can reduce the need for physical office space.

By digitising documents, making purchases and paying online, using electronic signatures to sign documents and implementing electronic calendars you can dramatically cut back on your paper use and free up office space.

Hire A Professional Office Design and Refurbishment Company

When it comes to designing an office space it is a huge undertaking given everything that needs to be taken into account and the amount of time that needs to be dedicated to it. Many businesses just don’t have the time or inclination to design their own office space. In these circumstances a professional office design and refurbishment company is the perfect solution when it comes to planning and carrying out your next office design and refurbishment.

A professional office designer will bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge in carrying out office fit outs and refurbishments. Based on their expertise they will be able to advise as to what will work best for your business and office space. By utilising this expertise, they are well equipped to translate your ideas into the right office design for your company. They will look at your brand, colours, your processes, spacing and layout needs, existing space and will use appropriate tools to provide an optimal design that will meet your needs, is practical and aesthetically pleasing and most importantly, will make the best use of the available office space.

You will be able to take advantage of your office design company’s list of suppliers and know that building materials will be delivered in a timely fashion to meet project deadlines. You’ll also gain access to the knowledge of what products will be long lasting and will work for your refurbishment.

Your office design and refurbishment company will understand the legal considerations that need to be considered and will ensure compliance with the latest planning, building and health and safety regulations requirements. They will also be able to provide an accurate quote for all work to be done and may also be able to help with financing your project through office refurbishment leasing which can offer significant tax savings as the repayments are 100% tax allowable.

JBH Refurbishments, Experts In Office Design and Refurbishment

JBH Refurbishments have over 30+ years’ experience in office design  and office refurbishment and fit outs. We can advise on all aspects of your Kent or London office refurbishment. We understand what’s required to design an office space and carry out a refurbishment to the highest standards. We can provide the right expertise for your project. Contact us via our contact form or by calling us on 0333 207 0339 today for a free on-site consultation.

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