You may be an accomplished office manager with many years’ business experience under your belt, but how much do you really know about the office design process?
For many management level employees responsible for overseeing the office design process, it becomes instantly apparent – to themselves and not necessarily to others – that they actually know very little about good office design and what it entails.
However, a good manager doesn’t dwell on the fact. They realise that they’d be in over their head should they decide to go it alone and they make the decision to work with an established office refurbishment company.
That doesn’t, however, mean they should leave everything in the capable hands of an interior design team. This is because the design team doesn’t, and will likely never, fully understand the dynamics of that office and how the teams there operate.
As a result, the manager still needs to be involved in the process of designing and/or refurbishing the office. And to play the crucially important role required of them, they must understand the basic concepts of good office design and the mistakes to avoid.
Most businesses in recent times have made the most of the opportunities that office refurbishments present to express their brand identify. This is an excellent idea, but it’s often the case that the expression of brand identity gets lost along the way. Often because they’ve gone overboard and the design theme has lost cohesion as a result.
A cohesive, consistent design theme is vital to properly expressing brand identity, but it’s also important because it keeps the workspace neat and orderly. Looking for ways to express brand identity? Use colours, patterns and even materials to express the identity of your business brand, but keep it cohesive and consistent.
The reception area of any workplace is important because the way it’s presented will dictate the impressions formed in the minds of visitors. However, it’s also important to recognise that the reception is one of the least purposeful areas of any workplace.
This, therefore, means that whilst it’s crucially important to ensure the reception area is aesthetically presented and successfully expresses the business’s brand identity, the cost of refurbishing the reception should not come at expense of other areas.
Reception areas need to make great first impressions but, generally speaking, they don’t need to be extravagant. This is particularly true for businesses that don’t receive a great deal of visitors. And for those that do, it’s crucially important to keep the size of the reception in line with the number of visitors they regularly receive.
For businesses with, say, more than 100 employees, it’s important to ensure that departments which frequently collaborate or interact aren’t separated by too much space. For example, employees in marketing and IT will generally need to work together on a regular basis, as would management and human resources.
Any commercial office refurbishment project that takes place must address this crucially important consideration during the design phase. Whilst a demarcated separation between departments is fine, and can be beneficial, each department must still be accessible to one another, especially those that interact and collaborate.
Collaboration at work has emerged as the best way to foster cooperation, cohesion, interpersonal connection, innovation and a solid company culture. Private spaces, on the other hand, are essential for fostering concentration, focus, and as is often required in the workplace, privacy. Because that’s so, most businesses recognise that they need a good balance between open, collaborative space and private space.
As an office manager, it’s up to you to decide upon the right mix of open and private space, not the office refurbishment company you decide to work with. And to achieve the perfect mix between open spaces that facilitate collaboration and private spaces for concentration and focus, you’ll need to consult with your employees.
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with sourcing office refurbishment companies in London before conferring with your employees about the project, it would, however, be a major faux pas to get the project underway without first consulting them.
As has been proven time and time again in office surveys around the globe, higher wages don’t necessarily equate to better workplace performance, nor do they equate to happier, satisfied employees who’ll stick around for the long term. There’s far more to workplace satisfaction than high wages and employee perks – employees nowadays overwhelmingly want to work in an attractive, comfortable environment.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, ‘Creating the Best Workplace on Earth’, establishing a workplace that delivers the full potential of its employees must:
With employee involvement and a top office refurbishment services, creating offices that empower employees to work to the best of their abilities is inherently achievable.
Generally speaking, most employees want to collaborate and share their ideas, and open workspaces are by far the best means of achieving this in the workplace.
This quote – “Think not about how much value to extract from workers but about how much value to instil in them.” – is one for all managers to sit up and take note of.
There’s a lot for management to take into account when working with a leading office refurbishment company in the UK, like Saracen Interiors. However, when managers have a good understanding of common office design mistakes, like those discussed here, they’re empowered to avoid making them when upgrading their place of work.