Small offices don’t have to be short on style or function. Some of the best designs happen in bite-size pieces. Knowing how to use space to your advantage can help save money and encourage creativity without compromising.
If your office seems square-footage challenged, here are 4 ways to help you make the most of what you’ve got:
Determine How Many Desks You Really Need
Do all of your workers really need a dedicated desk that’s his or hers alone? The days of a separate office for every worker evolved into a more open plan, and that’s evolving yet again. With portable laptops, work can go anywhere. This is as true inside an office as it is for telecommuters who might only make an office appearance occasionally.
Notice how many desks are always used (or rarely used), and also think about where workers tend to gather for collaboration. You may find that you need much fewer desks than you imagined.
With fewer desks comes the need for alternate work spaces. Some workers will need solitude from time to time, and collaborative work also needs a place to thrive. With a few sofas or groups of chairs scattered through the office, you can accommodate everyone’s needs.
Don’t Worry So Much About Space
The old estimate required approximately 250 square feet of space per worker. These days, a better estimate is about 150 square feet, according to Entrepreneur magazine. The reasons are smaller computers, and much less hard-copy storage needs. Almost everything is digital, so filing cabinets and binders are much less prevalent.
Another concern about tight working quarters is the lack of privacy or freedom to speak freely. But an interesting thing happens when you group workers together instead of spacing them far apart. Conversation creates a hum through the office, and that provides a natural audial screen.
Make Windows Count for Everyone
Forget about strictly partitioned walls, and open up the office to natural light. Small spaces seem more confining when each work station has a tall divider. The only people lucky enough enjoy a window are those along the exterior wall.
When you open up the office with lower cubicles or open-workstations, everyone benefits from natural light. And if you really do need partitions, think about glass. Workers get the privacy they need, but still share the benefits of sunlight. Natural light is also shown to reduce eye fatigue, as compared to artificial light.
Keep the Work Space Flexible
Planning for “what if” can mean you’ll spend more and use more space than you need to. Choosing furniture that’s portable lets you change your floor plan, or at least part of it, any time you like.
As an example, you probably don’t need a conference room every day, and maybe not even every week. If you’re short on room, furniture with wheels lets you move tables together and bring in chairs to create temporary meeting spaces, and then reclaim the area for other work once the meeting is over.
Space isn’t as important as how you use it. A small office can be more efficient, and more fun to work in, than a large one if it’s planned the right way. We can help you design the best use for the square footage you have, and offer furniture solutions that make it fit together perfectly.