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Published on November 11th, 2013 | by KateSimmons

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Style Meets Productivity: How To Make The Best Office For You and Your Employees

Achieving the right tone when it comes to design in the office can be such a tricky thing. Your budget might not extend to rooftop gardens, or soundproofed rooms equipped with electric guitars and drums for employees who need to let off steam, but it is possible to achieve a distinctive look that makes your employees happy while still maintaining productivity.

A soothing, creative environment is necessary for maximizing output, and yet it needs to maintain a sense of style that compliments the type of work you do, since after all, you want clients to get the right feeling when they visit the office, and a ball pit filled with brightly colored balls might not give the best impression. So how do you go about wrangling with the ins and outs of office design, building an appropriately distinctive look that keeps your employees content, while still maintaining an efficient office?

The Office Template

Filling an office with standard business furniture obtained from the local branch of a major chain store runs the risk of making your office look like hundreds, if not thousands of others- like they all come from an office design template of some kind. This is the most budget conscious way of outfitting an office, but it lacks the distinctiveness that your office needs and deserves. Acquiring supplies such as lamps and conference tables from such places is fine, but there are ways of building a look without relying too heavily on what Ikea and Walmart think your office should look like.

Less is More

Style Meets Productivity: How To Make The Best Office For You and Your Employees

While minimalism is something that will always remain in style, it can be difficult to achieve in office form, without an instruction to employees to keep desks and surfaces clear of papers and objects not in current use- a move which is likely to irritate employees. Large desks make clutter seem less obvious, and so perhaps rows of long tables with boxes for papers and electrical outlets for computers is a way of spreading things out, maintaining a great look for the office while still giving people room to move and work. Allow each employee to have a designated area, since “hot desking” isn’t something that everyone benefits from.

Other “Look” Factors to Consider

Design of the office is a key component in the overall atmosphere of the workplace, and yet there are other factors to consider. Management can’t dictate how employees should behave at each and every moment of the working day, and yet they can set the tone about what is appropriate. If your employees have zero face-to-face contact with clients and customers, then corporate dress might not be necessary, although this doesn’t mean that ragged jeans should automatically be pulled out of the closet. You might also want to think about the number of personal items allowed at a desk, since nothing can break up the stark minimalism of an office like a collage of family photos. Not allowing any personal items is a step too far, but feel free to impose limits.

Learn from the Masters

The lists of the coolest offices in the world are regularly topped by companies with massive amounts of cash to play with, such as Google and Facebook, although up and comers like Airbnb are also starting to build a name for their office aesthetics. Consider taking tips from these success stories, whether it’s by building a specific employee culture, or borrowing design ideas, and the expert services of a consultancy such as Acrylicize can help you to do this without breaking the bank. And who knows, perhaps one day your office will be such a fun place to work that a movie will be made to celebrate this fact, as was the case with Google.

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About the Author

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger. If her article got you interested, feel free to follow or reach out to her via G+ or Twitter.


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