When the time comes to redesign their office space, many business owners make the mistake of focusing on cosmetic details and not looking at the big picture. And the big picture is this: there is probably dysfunctional space in your office that you currently can’t use to its full potential. As Maryland office remodeling professionals, we’ve helped many business owners identify this “dead space” and reconfigure their office to improve productivity and save money in the long run. Here are some of the examples of unusable or redundant spaces we often find in both modern and dated offices.
Most office spaces feature a general working area that often contains cubicles or desks, a kitchen and/or a break room, a conference room and a bunch of smaller rooms that can be used as individual offices. The chances are good this is what your current office space looks like. Meanwhile, there’s often more tiny offices than you could use. Unless several clients at a time come for meetings with your staff, partitioning your employees into secluded rooms is unnecessary and impractical.
If you rented your current office with the thought of the future company growth and employee influx, you’ve probably realized by now that those tiny offices actually take away from your usable space. You need more room for people to work closer together—not more individual offices. This is especially true for law firms that traditionally have an individual-office type of layout. However, even law firms are increasingly switching to open office concepts in order to save money and maximize the use of the available space.
The corner office is traditionally a prerogative of top-level executives. Coincidentally, people who are in a position to reside in the coveted corner office are usually very busy traveling for business or conducting meetings. They barely get to use their corner office—what a waste of a beautiful space!
If your office space has a corner office or another well-lit room that opens up to a gorgeous view, consider making it available to everyone in the company. Turn it into a conference room where you hold weekly meetings or an “ideation room” where employees can gather to brainstorm, get inspired and come up with ideas that will help your business grow. Your employees will appreciate the gesture and you will be able to create a more equal and fair work environment.
File Storage Rooms
Most of the communications these days are digital, and so is the file storage. There is a certain kind of signed paperwork you might need to keep in paper format for tax purposes, but the rest can be successfully moved to the cloud. This makes massive record storage rooms a waste of space for most modern offices. The same goes for reference book libraries, since the majority of the information can be found much faster online. If your current or future office space has any of these rooms, consider re-configuring the layout to use this valuable real estate in a way that actually works for you and your employees.
Bonus: Add a Functional Break Room
So you have freed all this space, what do you do with it now? Here is one idea: add a break room! A break room can be much more than a space to house a water cooler and mindlessly watch a rerun of an old TV show. A functional break room brings employees together and encourages conversations.
- Make it big enough to fit several groups of people at once.
- Add a high-tech gourmet coffee machine to save employees time running to Starbucks.
- Offer comfortable seating and tables that can double as a work surface.
You will notice that by having a nice break room, your employees will feel less tempted to go out for a cup of coffee or eat lunch at their desks. And by spending more time in the office and with each other, they will get further immersed in the company culture and will be able to brainstorm and share opinions in an informal environment.
Need help implementing all of these changes? Contact Northstar Commercial Construction for a consultation and talk to one of our office design/build experts.