Over the years we’ve been asked time and again what makes the perfect office space. It’s a tough question because there are just so many factors to consider, so we always say “how long have you got”!
For starters the perfect office space isn’t just about finding an ideal spot to locate your business. If you take a look around at your present office space we bet you can list several things you would want to change when you relocate.
One of the biggest issues facing businesses trying to create a positive working environment is often a lack of space, which in turn, can seriously affect productivity.
So here are our top ten things to put on your hit list when you move to your new serviced office space or flexible workspace solution.
1. Boxes, Boxes, Boxes
Storage is probably the biggest problem facing most offices today. As businesses grow and teams get bigger, the dilemma of where to put everything grows too. There are a number of simple solutions. Create an archive space in the office so that all files are kept in one location and as a result will be easier to find and save time in the long term.
Invest in storage systems that allow team members to keep desks and floor areas clutter free. Here are a few examples:
Adopt a clear workspace policy around the office. Often these days hot desks and “no fixed desk” policies often help to stop the accumulation of personal clutter but there are negatives as well as the visibly obvious positives with this type of office policy. Not least the feeling that a team member has no fixed location.
It could be possible to utilise desk storage solutions that help keep clutter to a minimum. Here are some examples that could help in your office.
3. Health and Safety
We all know that there are clear rules that dictate how we should maintain our workspaces to ensure evacuation routes are kept clear and fire hazards are minimised. Clear walk ways are essential to keep you on the right side of the law and will go some way to helping the flow around the space, especially if your office is larger than 20 people.
4. Spaghetti Junction
We don’t mean the infamous road junction in Birmingham. We’re talking about the horrible mess lurking beneath every desk. Cable and wire management is often overlooked but take it from us that this one causes more problems than most other issues.
How many times has someone unplugged the person next door causing their PC to turn off and lose their work? More often than most people will admit. So cable management is a must but will only happen if it starts off correctly and is managed daily. It should also stop people running extension cables from other extension cables, which is often a cause for fire issues.
We don’t mean the actual location of your office. Although that is one of the biggest single factors influencing the choice of office space, we actually mean the location of your people. That’s right! People are your single biggest asset. It has cost you a great deal of money and time to recruit and train them so make sure they are located in a suitable place in the office that supports their productivity. For example it makes sense to have your sales and marketing teams close to each other but you would not necessarily put your HR team next to sales in an open plan environment. Think about who best compliments each other and how productivity can be maximised and not hindered.
A tidy, well ordered office can often be a very boring place. You’ve ticked all the boxes in terms of clutter and storage and everyone’s desk is tidy. Now add a bit of colour. Lots of businesses use colour to denote areas of the office for specific departments of the business like sales, marketing and IT for example.
Here are some clever uses of colour that has been used to create different moods around the office.
One of the most important things you should consider is how your visitors are welcomed. Visitors, future employees, customers and clients will all make assumptions about your company based on their welcome when they arrive at your office. Lots of businesses make it everyone’s responsibility to make visitors welcome when they arrive which says a lot about the culture and spirit of the business. But make sure your visitors have somewhere comfortable to sit. A smart reception area doesn’t need to be that big, but a couple of stylish sofas or chairs can go along way to make sure your welcome is remembered for all the right reasons.
Here are some clever examples of reception areas that many serviced office users have to welcome their visitors.
7. Eating at Your Desk
Although many people are happy to eat at their desks it’s always a good idea to provide somewhere for your team to get away from their screens and relax. A good break-out space that’s not just a few chairs and tables in the corner will allow team members to interact and will help make them more productive when they get back to their desks.
There are many really well thought through examples of break-out spaces that help boost productivity in the workplace.
9. Back Ache
One of the biggest problems faced by businesses is absence. It cost the UK economy over £100bn last year according to the Department of Work and Pensions so it makes sense to ensure problems at work are minimised.
Investing in good chairs is always a great idea to minimise long-term back problems and also goes some way to ensure you comply with legislation which outlines how someone should sit and work at a desk for a prolonged period. This also covers things like posture and screen height and light levels to minimise eye strain.
So get all these things right and your team members are less likely to experience problems which effect their ability to come to work.
10. A Good Cup of Coffee
Great places to work have put a lot of thought in to the facilities they provide. One of the most popular office perks is a good cup of coffee. And we don’t just mean a jar of Nescafe Gold. Barista style services have popped up across hundreds of larger spaces and good quality “frothy coffee” machines are now widely used to such an extreme it’s almost become an expected fixture in any office kitchen or break-out space. It will also save your employees a small fortune from fewer visits to Starbuck’s or Costa.
Companies like FreshGround now offer a wide selection of coffee machines for use in serviced office spaces at a very realistic charge. They offer all the benefits of much larger machines at a fraction of the cost and provide coffee shop quality beverages.
So what makes the perfect office? It’s fair to say there are many things that can help to create a really positive and productive office environment. Most people like Hester Lacey in her article for Forbes will tell you that company culture comes before office design. And she is quite correct, but positive cultures need to be complimented with processes that help to create a really inspiring office space that people will love and want to come to work in.
We hope we have given you food for thought. If you would like to talk to us about creating an inspiring serviced office space get in touch and we can take you through some really exciting options all over the UK. Good luck!