When Establishing Your Office Space, Stop and Consider the Work That Will Be Done First

One of the most common mistakes you can  make in your business when starting out is underestimating the power of atmosphere. The philosophy that “any space will do” and that any sort of work environment is sufficient is just asking for trouble. Without going into the whole feng shui thing, there's certainly some truth to that fact that the way an indoor environment is set up can either be vital or detrimental to the on goings therein. When it comes to work, this is not only the truth, but a truth that any business owner must be wholly aware of.

Chances are your team members will never come to you with complaints about how inefficient an office floor plan is, or how bogged down they get from being in a room with no natural lighting. That's because A) most people aren't aware of how much such environmental factors can influence their job performance, and B) most people that are employed these days are thankful for that and aren't about to complain about where their desk sits relative to their co-workers. They're just happy they have a desk.

So it's your job to figure out the most efficient formula for office space use.

  • For starters, you must establish in your head exactly what kind of work will be happening in the office. It's the only way you'll be able to create a worthy inventory of necessary furniture. Are your workers going to be exclusively on computers? Then standard rectangle desks will suffice, but the chairs must be a worthwhile investment. If instead they're going to be doing more hands on activities, such as building models or putting together mechanics, then go with a work bench series and stick with high chairs or stools that discourage slouching and encourage focus.

But there's more to it than just making sure the furnishings you choose are practical.

  • You must make sure they're aligned properly. Not in accordance with an ancient method of spatial organizing, but by practicality. If workers are expected to operate as a team, then their desks need to face each other and be close enough for open communication. If instead workers are encouraged to work independently, then their work stations need to be relatively removed from one another and facing directions that lead to minimal distractions.

With that said, never subject your workers to a depressing work environment. Not everyone can have a corner office or be facing the window over the park, but if the only way an office space will work is if a few workers stare at a wall all day under poor lighting, skip it. The loss in productivity and potential risk for turnaround is just too high no matter the bargain.

Organizing office space isn't easy but it isn't something that takes a lot of time to master. You just have to keep your priorities straight and think ahead. It's not always about the best rate, biggest amount of space, and cheapest furnishings. It's about ensuring that your company will remain predictably productive as you begin to grow.