Your office is one of the most important parts of your business’s culture. Though some business owners and office managers underestimate the importance of a workspace’s look and feel, this can make a huge difference when it comes to whether or not your business succeeds. A well-designed office can do all sorts of wonderful things for a company, from boosting productivity to increasing interest from prospective employees or clients. On the other hand, a poorly designed office can harm a business’s prospects. Here are just a few of the ways you can tell if your office space is bringing your company down:
It reflects the wrong image, or no image at all
One of the most important things a company can do is to have a consistent brand. This mainly applies to marketing materials like business cards and websites but it also extends to your office space. If your company markets itself as a fun, laid-back business, your office space should reflect that. Alternatively, if your company’s marketing materials are all serious and formal, but your office is full of bright colors and bean-bag chairs, you’ll send a mixed message as well. Make sure your office’s design lines up with your overall brand.
It inhibits productivity
There are all kinds of philosophies about what type of office layout is best for fostering productivity, but there are some aspects that will always drain your employees. For example, if you haven’t taken care to ensure your lighting is bright enough, workers can find themselves feeling drowsy all day long. If it’s too bright, you can cause headaches. Whether it’s a loud elevator door or a poor heating and cooling system, little in-office distractions can slow your workers down and cost your company money.
Read about office designs that support the needs of introverts.
Even if your office is formal, it should be inviting. The last thing you want to do is bring in prospective employees for an interview and have them disinterested the second they walk through the door. All kinds of small details can ruin an interviewee’s first impression. If the chairs are visibly uncomfortable, for example, it could signal that your company doesn’t make employee comfort a priority. If there’s no obvious lunch space, potential employees might think there’s no room for getting to know co-workers in the office.
It’s not ergonomic
Ergonomically designed chairs and desks go a long way toward improving productivity and reducing the cost of work-related strain and injury. When this element isn’t considered while picking desks or office chairs, it has a big impact in the long run. Poorly supported workers who are seated all day are likely to develop back or neck issues, as well as nerve problems such as carpal tunnel. Investing in ergonomic furniture will have a huge return in the long run, as workers will cost less and make more while seated comfortably.
Read about the basic principles of ergonomic chairs.
It doesn’t offer a privacy-collaboration balance
An office should have a good mix of private and public spaces. Open office spaces are a great way to facilitate conversation and collaboration, but they must go hand in hand with more private rooms. If there’s no place for people to go to hold meetings or have creative discussions, they’ll be forced to do so within ear or eye shot of everyone else. Not only will this inhibit progress, but it will also serve as a huge distraction to those working on their own.