Planning a new workspace might look like a lesser task than everything else that goes into moving into a new office. Just set everything up like it was before, right? Maybe you really did have a great workspace, but there’s always room for improvement. Maybe your company is moving to a new location, or maybe you just want to change things up. Either way, consider these 10 actions to avoid when designing your new workspace.
1. Don’t Go Solo.
It can be tempting to take on the task yourself, but different perspectives are important. Let go of some of the responsibility. Your employees probably have some great ideas! They know what works best for them and for the customers they interact with, so trust their input.
2. Don’t Be Too Cheap.
Every company is on a budget, which is fantastic and necessary. Maybe you think the workspace is the perfect place to cut costs. The problem comes in when inadequate conditions affects your employees’ productivity and your customers’ perception of your company. Low quality furniture looks shabby to customers. Cutting out decorations slows employee productivity because there is no positive visual stimulation to motivate and inspire them.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative.
You want to be professional, but it’s also necessary to be hospitable and inspiring. Your workspace design accomplishes this. The last thing you want to convey to customers is that your company is boring, dull, and mundane. Consider adding artwork, decorations, and plants. Be inspiring and bold with your color choices.
4. Don’t Devalue Small Things.
Pay attention to little details, such as lighting and workstation pieces. These decisions can be as minuscule as choosing individual desk lamps. It might seem like a waste of time, but it all matters. Don’t buy the first item that pops up in your search for these small things. Instead, do your research, and pick out the best option to fit your budget.
5. Don’t Be Juvenile.
Innovation and fun ideas are great, but don’t make your workspace look like a preschool classroom. You definitely want a joyful space, but joyful does not equal juvenile. Juvenile spaces make employees feel devalued, and they make customers uncomfortable. Some companies are adding bean bag chairs and child-like abstract art. A better option would be comfortable desk chairs and abstract art with a more professional color palette.
6. Avoid Extremes.
Think about the above points about being creative but not juvenile. It’s all about balance. Maybe you want an open space to be trendy, but it’s good to have at least some division. After all, employees need quiet spaces from time to time.
7. Don’t Fit In.
It’s tempting to do what every other company is doing. It works for them, so it will work for me, right? Not necessarily. Be unique! This is what draws customers in. If you look exactly like a competing company, customers won’t remember you. They’ll remember the company that stands out, so be that company!
8. Don’t Dismiss Reality.
There are always restrictions that the overall office space has. Maybe your new office is smaller than your old office, or maybe it’s an unusual shape. Maybe it doesn’t have great air flow, or maybe there’s no space for windows. If you ignore these restrictions or simply don’t notice them at first, you could waste valuable time having to redesign. Pay attention to these boundaries, but make the most of them. For example, if you’re in an internal office with no windows, add artwork that conveys natural lighting.
9. Don’t Be Overly Extravagant.
Maybe you have grandiose plans for making your company stand out. This is the other extreme from taking the cheap way out. If your plans are too extravagant, you might find out down the road that you’ll have to adjust your overall budget. Yes, the workspace is important, but it’s not the most important part of a company. A new workspace design probably shouldn’t be your #1 expense. If it becomes a top expense, you might need to reevaluate.
10. Don’t Ignore Feedback.
This ties into the concept of including your employees from the first point. Take your encouragement a step above simply considering their ideas. Allow them to critique your ideas. There might be a flaw that you aren’t aware of. Encouraging feedback can shed light on these flaws and avoid any costly mistakes in the long run.
Make sure your workspace conveys your company’s values. Your workspace should lean more towards creativity or more towards professionalism depending on who you are. Think about your mission and about how you want customers to view your company. Most of all, do what you feel is right in order to improve your workspace.
Connect with the industry’s most experienced team to learn more about planning a new workspace!