There are all sorts of reasons why businesses move offices. Coming to the end of a tenancy agreement, upgrading to larger premises, moving to a more convenient location for staff and clients to get to all feature high on the list.
While most office moves are driven by necessity, ambition or convenience, they also offer a secondary benefit – an opportunity to completely rethink the design and layout of your work space.
Negotiating a lease on new premises is a chance to start afresh. If you are moving with business expansion in mind, you will need to think carefully about designing your new offices so there is room to grow your team without causing undue disruption,
Perhaps you took your old offices on an ‘as it comes’ basis, not paying too much attention to the design of the work environment as you focused on getting your new business off the ground. A move is your opportunity to really stamp your mark on the look and feel of your office space, bringing it into line with your brand values and work culture you want to inspire.
Why office design matters
It has now been well documented that the physical environment we work in has a direct impact on performance and job satisfaction. The simplified version of the argument is that being asked to work in dingy, cramped, stuffy offices that are either too hot or too cold brings the best out of no one and is likely to hamper a business achieving its objectives.
Office design is not simply a case of avoiding the negatives by providing for basic creature comforts, however, done right, numerous studies have linked the aesthetics and organisation of office space to increased productivity, which makes it odd that many employers still do not view office design as a good investment.
The right look and feel to an office – plenty of natural light, bright, warm colours in tones that don’t become too overbearing, a balance between segregated space for private working and communal sharing – can make people feel inspired and energised. Happiness at work is also linked to staff retention – the more content people are in their work environment, the less likely they are to be thinking about moving on.
Deciding on a new look
With a clean slate to work on, moving into a new office is the perfect opportunity to revamp your work environment to hopefully inspire a happy, creative, productive team. But designing a successful office space takes careful planning, and should be something you start considering when you are first pondering a move.
A good start is to canvas your staff on their opinions on what they would do to improve the current office, or even what they would have in their dream office. After all, they are the people who will have to work in the new premises, so their opinions count.
The next thing to consider is your own corporate identity. Your offices say a lot about your values and aspirations as a business, not just to employees but to clients, partners and prospects who might visit your premises.
If you want to position yourself as a forward-looking, innovative business, then you want an office design that reflects that – lots of varnished timber furnishings may jar with your brand image as a cutting edge IT firm.
Equally, if you want to come across first and foremost as professional and reliable, it may be best to avoid some of the more far-out ways companies choose to try to make the workplace ‘fun’, such as slides or fireman’s poles leading down from mezzanine floors.
Whatever your ambitions for a new office, our design and planning specialists can help you bring you dreams of an inspirational, vibrant new work space to life. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation.