Take a look around the average office space and the overall feel is dull, lifeless and uninspiring. Walls are painted in a neutral cream or off-white hue, the windows are dressed with tired looking blinds or shutters. The furniture is functional and ordinary. The flooring is bland and dated. Sound familiar?
If this is how you feel about your office space then chances are, your colleagues and staff feel the same way and as for your clients, they’ll not be particularly impressed either!
It doesn’t take a huge investment to give an office a new lease of life and when you do, the impact can be hugely positive for a broad spectrum of people who use and share the space regularly. So here’s a few ideas and tips on how you can spruce up your office space on a budget and give those dull walls and uninspired rooms a bit of inspiration.
When you run a business, its very easy to be blind to the things that really matter. If you have a reception area or main entranceway, this is the very first room any prospective customer will see when they visit you. Is it inviting? Is is warm and professional looking or is it tired, disjointed and dated?
By giving your reception areas a new fresh coat of paint, updated floorings and some professional and modern furnishings, already you can make a big difference to the overall impression of your business.
If budgets restrict the amount you can do and you simply can’t afford new floor coverings, then hire a professional floor cleaning company to give your carpets a deep clean to bring them back to life. You’ll be surprised at the difference it’ll make.
Anyone can afford paint but if you cannot afford to get the decorators in, why not enlist the help of a few of the team members to get together for a day or two and see if they’ll help chip in? Not only will it make for a great looking room, it’s also a superb team building exercise. Then once the painting is done, you can always thank them by taking them for a round of drinks afterwards and praise them for the great job they did!
Don’t be afraid to add a splash of colour here or there. Okay, so we’re not suggesting you paint your office interior like a rainbow but if you work in a creative business that needs to inspire original thinking such as design, marketing, photography or an online publication, then choose a wall or two to add some colour that matches your company branding.
Research shows that colour heavily influences mood and productivity, so if your team is stuck in the doldrums, chances are your wall colours are dull too.
One of the biggest culprits of poor office design and low staff morale is the constant build up of clutter, paperwork and files. Is this your office?
Time to put a stop to this madness and find out what needs to be kept and what can be discarded. If your office lacks storage solutions, then you should consider an investment in appropriate storage to hide away all those unsightly files, papers and stationery items that make for a chaotic and uninhabitable environment. There’s no excuse for it!
Spend the time necessary to get rid of the excess clutter and you’ll already notice a huge difference in the useable space and airiness of your office.
Sometimes an office can look dull or become dysfunctional simply because the layout is so poor.
First off, understand what furniture you have and how and who will be best placed to use it. Then decide if the current placement could be better utilised if you group desks together by department or perhaps give people more space to breath.
Do the desks create barriers in the room, making getting around harder? Are the appropriate team members in close proximity or are they literally working on top of each other?
Is the furniture old, dated or damaged and needs replacing?
The fact is, you need to be as objective about this process as possible and get the opinions of others to understand what works in your office and what doesn’t. If you’re not a creative person or cannot visualise how your office could look, then perhaps delegate the office arrangement to others in your team and allow them the creativity to propose a new office layout. It’s a great way to empower your team and give them that much needed boost by entrusting them to do something that may appear basic but is actually a very satisfying and rewarding process.
In essence, any furniture rearrangement needs to accommodate function, useable space, ease of access and make the desk approachable.
Natural lighting as well as good quality artificial lighting plays a huge part in how your office is illuminated and your team responds. If your windows are blocked by furnishings or tall cabinets or prevent natural light from entering the room due to excessive window dressings, then consider changing that.
In the battle of natural vs artificial light, nature always wins. So if your office does benefit from large windows that allow light to flood in, why prevent it? Natural sunlight enhances mood, productivity and makes your office space look brighter and warmer. And no one frankly wants to work in a dark and dingy space.
If however, natural light is not an option, make sure your office lighting is bright but not glaring, and is of a high enough quality to ensure eyestrain is minimised and the space looks as naturally lit as possible. This small yet simple change will make one of the biggest differences to your office’s overall look and feel.