Photo by jnyemb (Flickr)
By Nathan Strum
For most people, an office represents someplace they would rather not be. But with a little ingenuity and some design creativity, you can turn your office space, no matter what size it may be, into a place that encourages productivity and maximizes the effective use of space. Take a look at the floor plan of your corporate office or the layout of your home office and find ways that you can make going to work a little more inviting.
Go Up And Not Out
Spreading out and taking up a lot of office space can make your work area feel cramped and confining. If you want to make the most of your office space, then consider vertical designs as opposed to horizontal ones. For example, instead of buying more floor-based shelving units or cabinets for storage, consider installing some shelves on the walls and expand your storage space up instead of out. With the clutter out of the way, you won’t feel as confined and, for lack of a better word, trapped.
Utilize Natural Light
As a practical business professional, I will tell you that utilizing natural light during the day and turning off the overhead office lights saves a lot of money on your energy bills. But as a business consultant discussing maximizing the effectiveness of office space, let me say that natural light is a great way to brighten everyone’s spirits as well as their work areas. Opening up the blinds to let the light in and allow everyone to take a peek outside once in a while can be a great way to inspire productivity.
Create More Common Areas
Instead of only holding meetings in big rooms with doors on them, consider creating some smaller common areas where groups can work together without bothering everyone else. Instead of cluttering that unused cubicle with files and office furniture, put a table in there and turn it into a meeting area. By strategically utilizing extra space as common areas, you are encouraging people to get together more often and generate great ideas.
Cut Out the Paper
I have been in the business arena for a long time, and I can tell you that hard-copy paperwork is not going anywhere anytime soon. But I can tell you that there are many more options for utilizing space-saving digital filing instead of space-wasting file cabinets. Analyze the paperwork that your company generates and start thinking about ways that you can use digital filing to reduce the amount of space your filing cabinets and boxes of files take up. After a while, you will be able to free up enough extra office space to possibly sublet a portion of your office and use your space to generate an income.
Use Smarter Organization
If the two people who work in payroll are constantly discussing issues and exchanging paperwork back and forth, then why do they have two separate desks placed on either side of the office? If you organize your office in a more logical manner, then you will save space and encourage better working relationships.
Working in any office can become tiresome after a while, which is why a good office layout is so important. Analyze your office space and find some creative ways to get more out of your layout.