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How to maximise your small office

Most office managers are concerned with getting the most out of their teams, whether that's through incentives or engagement programmes. Of course, one of the most effective ways to increase productivity in the workplace is by making the best use of the space itself, so that things run as smoothly as possible.

But with more people starting their own businesses and rent prices shooting up, sometimes those spaces are smaller than you might have hoped. Luckily, there's no need to relocate when it comes to improving your work environment; here are some useful tips for how to get the most from your office space, no matter how small -

De-clutter
While this may sound obvious, it's surprising how quickly clutter can build up in busy offices. A cluttered workspace will slow you down both physically and mentally, so it's a good idea to make sure there's a place for everything which will encourage employees to keep spaces clear.

Minimise paper
Along with de-cluttering goes trying to 'eliminate paper' - which will minimise the amount of storage you require. Today's advanced computers and tablets are able to store all the information an office could need and besides, most of us prefer to receive communications by e-mail rather than post.

Wall storage
Wall space often gets overlooked in office areas - but that's a fatal error, in our opinion. Taking advantage of vertical space means you can store things on shelves rather than on desktops or in cabinets which frees up valuable floor space. There is a huge array of attractive storage solutions available so everything can be stored away.

In staff areas, consider adding wall hooks for hanging coats and jackets including wall ledges for staff to rest their coffee cups on and have a chat, if there isn't enough room for tables and chairs. If you are renting your space, desks with built-in shelves above them avoids having to drill holes in the walls.

The 'big desk' dream is dead
OK, so when you decided to set up a business you may have envisaged yourself sat at a big important desk, with all manner of books and gadgets adorning it. But it's 2014, and that style of working and managing is long gone. Everything is getting smaller nowadays, and most things are now stored on our computers; so we're afraid to say that workstations should reflect this - even your own.

Light
Never underestimate the transformative power of light when it comes to making a space seem bigger. Overhead lighting - such as a track with LED spots, or recessed LED lighting - will brighten the space; whereas up-lights will create unwanted shadows.

Try to increase access to natural light wherever possible. It's known to increase energy and productivity and studies have shown that workers exposed to natural light stayed on-task for 15% longer than those who were deprived of it. If windows are limited in your office, consider investing in a light therapy lamp for staff to use on their breaks.

At Saracen, we are experts in designing and implementing inspirational office solutions - whether you're considering a refurbishment or starting from scratch. For more information on any of the areas mentioned please get in touch with our small works team on 0870 743 0927.


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