Keywords – How can I improve office design
Given the amount of time employees and entrepreneurs spend in an office, an office is simply more than just a place of work.
At the most basic level, an office is a representation of your business, as well as a place of fulfilling potentials. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the office design and keep it up to date.
However, what if we tell you that you can improve the design of your office while keeping added office bits up to date? This is exactly the goal here.
Here are 5 multi-purpose ideas to keep your office design up-to-date.
Our first suggestion involves an office trend that is simple yet effective – segmenting your office into activity based areas.
More specifically, activity based areas can be designated for meetings, intense / focused works, breakouts, and even alternatives to desk work. Currently, the topic of activity-based areas is so popular that it has become a whole field of study within employment studies, and designated as activity-based working (ABW).
The beauty of ABW is that you do not need to have a massive office space to apply the idea. For example, in our first office, we shared a big desk with the rest of the team for usual work during regular hours. In addition, we used the office sofa for focused / intense work, while using the space next to the window as a breakout option. Later in the day, the shared desk also played the part of the social zone, hosting everything from drinks to poker parties.
All of this happened in a single room serviced office.
You may be thinking, so why does this work?
There are two simple angles to activity based work areas.
Firstly, humans are creatures of habit. Therefore, when an area has been designated for a specific purpose and through the application of the said purpose multiple times, the required behaviour becomes a habit. This means that, for instance, even when the energy is down because of, for instance, the time of the day, your team will start focusing the moment you move to the focus zone. It is simply a human trigger that activates the habit, based on past behaviour.
Secondly, the moment you have designated an area for a specific purpose, the people using the area will start giving it a desired shape. For example, in the focus area, you may add a pencil stand or you may bring in a standing desk as an added option. On an individual level, such additions are mostly minimalistic. However, each of these changes will change the interior of your office.
From here on, your job is to apply the right touches based on a specific area, rather than making changes at the level of the whole office. The beauty of this idea is that, not only you will not have to splash out to achieve ABWs, but you will also be able to keep matters fresh in each area.
Another way of looking at all this is: you will be upgrading the interior of your office without much fuss.
Art is good for business.
The above statement has multiple positive angles.
To begin, an appreciation for art in a society indicates an overall wellbeing and abundance of resources. Specifically, from a negative angle, art is not valued in a society that is struggling to meet the day to day needs, e.g. nourishment and employment. Hence, the assertion that ‘art is good for business’.
Secondly, an appreciation for art, combining the drawing towards beauty with a sense of intrigue, is deeply ingrained in human behaviour. Such behaviours seem to heighten for the more prosperous, which, we are assuming, might be your target audience. (This is especially true for B2Bs).
And thirdly, as you may have guessed, bringing art displays into your business is an excellent way to improve your interior. However, the good news is, you do not need to splurge on the idea.
There is an interesting way around.
You may not know this but buying art from an arts council is not the only way to support the artists.
By all means, when you are in a position to do so, you definitely should. In fact, in 2018, in the US only, businesses supporting arts councils crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time. If nothing else, this number, £1.03 billion to be precise, shows the overall prosperity of the market, even in the midst of mostly negative news around us.
More specific to your case, when trying to save some money while improving the interior, you need to adapt a different approach. Put simply, you need to connect with the local arts councils.
By connecting with the local arts council, we mean offering your space as a display. However, there are certain restrictions to this plan.
In order for the space to be effective for the local arts council, you need to demonstrate that you will be able to draw at least some attraction for the council. Initially, you can demonstrate this through the kind of people that visit your office. For instance, for a B2B business, well-off potential clients visiting your offices may do the trick.
Just keep in mind that you may have to do some extra networking initially. However, in the long run, you can have a nice rotation of artwork, keeping your interior up-to-date.
This idea is so simple, yet elegant, that we are truly proud of it.
Building on the idea presented earlier, an office is more than a space of work. Specifically, given the amount of time people spend in their offices, they start bringing their life there.
One such piece of life is following what’s trending at a given time.
For instance, currently, healthy snacks are quite popular. Previously, we have seen office plants, display fruits, and even unique blends of coffees brought into offices. And, the application of popular items of the time to office interiors is absolutely simple.
Instead of waiting for your team to bring in the new items, take charge as a business and make the popular items a part of your display.
We are specifying the integration of popular items as displays because, in most cases, offices do not utilise the complete potential of the idea. Apart from office plants and fruit displays, most trendy items get stacked up in sidelined shelves.
Instead, we are suggesting you to bring that popular item; bring that box of healthy snacks; and place it in the middle of your workspace. (Not literally, but you get the idea).
As you can imagine, by following this plan, the trendy item is not just a trendy item anymore. In fact, it becomes a part of your interior.
By doing so, you are not only showing that you are keeping up with time, but also adding a new dimension to your office interior.
We have reached a more obvious suggestion. However, we will add a twist to this idea too.
Hanging team photos is beneficial for more than one reason, in line with the ideas outlined in this blog yet. But, instead of two benefits of each point presented so far, hanging team photos goes a step further.
To begin, displaying team photos is a great way to highlight the positive impact of each employee in an office. There is just something extra about printing photos and framing them, instead of keeping them digitally. Simply, there is extra love and effort that goes into framing the picture.
So, by hanging the photos of your team members, you are definitely gaining some staff motivation points. But, this is not it.
If you are waiting for our twist, here it goes:
We cannot take full credit for this idea.
If we are completely honest, this idea actually comes from the London hq of Innocent Smoothies. While being on a tour at the facilities, we were shown walls of framed images. However, these framed images were not of the current team members, but of past members.
What’s more, instead of just being framed images of ex-employees, the management at Innocent Smoothies had actually highlighted what they had gone on to do afterwards. Specifically, Innocent Smoothies was displaying the further successes of their ex-employees, most of whom had gone on to start their own successful businesses.
Not only does this practice add another dimension to the office, but it also displays the maturity of the business in the first place. Just because someone is not working for your company anymore doesn’t mean that they become enemies number one. In fact, you should demonstrate that you have contributed to the success of not only the present crop of team members, but even the ones who have left to instigate newer ventures.
And, as you can imagine, the practice of displaying images as tributes adds another dimension to your office interior, improving it too. Keep the images up to date and you will be adding continuously to the evolution of your office, without hurting your pocket any extra bit.
This is a tricky one.
You may be thinking that new tech is expensive. But, tech won’t be expensive when upgraded smartly.
For every other tech item, you are able to draw monthly plans of payment. From phones to tablets, and from TVs to other forms of digital displays, such options are available on quite competitive rates. So, within a year or two, you are able to pay-off every piece of tech before moving on to better options when available.
In some cases, you may even get an offer to upgrade in the middle of an existing contract. Doing so can be even more beneficial in terms of keeping your tech constantly up to date.
(If you are still not convinced, you still have the accounting route. Talk to your accountant for further details).
In addition, by upgrading your tech, you are also enabling your team to use the most advanced options available. Doing so will definitely add to the productivity levels within your organisation.
And, maintaining the theme of this blog, tech is not just a piece of display or work. For most offices, tech is a part of your complete interior. So, by updating your tech, you end up improving your interior too.
While coming up with the idea for this blog, we contemplated over how can we make this piece different from the available options.
Put simply, we are aware that there are multiple reads available on how to improve your office interior. However, in most cases, the ideas presented in such blogs are overly practical and specific to merely the interior.
At Sorev, we understand that multipurposeness is quite important for a business. Specifically, if you are able to solve multiple problems, or at least improve more than one thing with a single solution, you will always prefer that solution.
Doing so, applying a multi-purpose solution, becomes more than just solving a problem. You have just brought creativity into the mix.
Interestingly, this is the idea behind Sorev too.
We are not just about connecting serviced offices with interested business tenants. Instead, we are striving to bring a mentality that business is more than just the process of making sales. Therefore, we have brought the angles of integrating events and featuring businesses and their experiences on our platform.
To learn more, get in touch with us today.