Space limits a lot of companies. A company’s office might be enough for them to work efficiently day-to-day, but if they have to work in a small space, they might need to get creative with their design. There are many reasons a company might find themselves working out of a space that is less than ideal for their type of work. Maybe they’re working with a tight budget, maybe there were few options to choose from, or they might just be outgrowing the space they’re in. This can cause operation problems. Some might think the only way to fix this would be to move into a new office. Before that happens, companies should think about how they can maximize office space.
Moving into a new office might help fix the problem of working in cramped spaces, but it isn’t necessarily the right choice. Modern furniture and flexible office space have proved that offices can maximize space, improve productivity, and create a more efficient space for workers.
The Furniture That Makes It Possible
For a while, there have been emerging designs in office furniture. This can be a simple partition or well-designed modular furniture for individual or collaborative needs. Some of these pieces even use technology to help reduce noise pollution. Maximizing space isn’t necessarily about being able to cram as many employees into one space as possible. It’s more about creating an office environment where any number of employees can thrive.
You can’t maximize productivity and efficiency by solely using trendy furniture. Aesthetics play a major role in the mood, morale, and overall feel of an environment, but it’s the functionality of the furniture that can increase efficiency. Without modern office furniture and storage solutions, aesthetics and functionality are both achievable.
Creating a Flexible Office Space
Flex spaces have become a major talking point when building or redesigning an office. Flexible office spaces are areas that serve more than one purpose. WeWork showcases the benefits and importance of giving employees flexible office space to work in. These work areas include spaces that are easily reconfigured to transition from individual spaces to collaborative areas, or storage solutions that can be transformed into a functional workstation. Flexible office spaces accommodate employees in different ways. Flex spaces are the perfect solution for a hybrid workspace.
When we think of modular office furniture, we might think of desks that can be easily moved to create larger work surfaces or lounge seating that can be rearranged to create additional seating areas. However, modular furniture can include storage solutions and partitions. Depending on the space and scope of work, some offices might benefit from all of these solutions.
Understanding What Employees Need
Maximizing office space isn’t a one size fits all project. Some companies might not have the need for collaborative workspaces. Other offices might work solely in a collaborative space. Regardless of how employees work and what they need to do their job, there’s a way to provide them with the tools they need without sacrificing office space. This begins with efficiency. Maximized office space includes purposeful and intentional spaces. Indeed Career Guide talks about the importance of designing an office and all the factors that play a part in it.
Understanding what employees need begins with understanding the work they perform. Are they highly collaborative? Do they need private or secluded areas? Or is it a mix of both? When maximizing office space, you can create an environment that does it all. Give employees the exact tools they need to do their job and they will be able to get the most out of the space they work in.
Consider Creating Shared Workspaces
The idea behind creating a shared workspace is that multiple workers can make use of the same space. Offices with hybrid scheduling are the perfect candidate for shared spaces. This includes individual areas that are reserved as needed or open areas where employees work among each other. These can include highly collaborative office spaces or secluded areas. While shared spaces are often used in coworking areas – meaning workers from different companies or backgrounds – these same concepts can be applied to more traditional companies.
One trend that has become popular – and for some companies highly effective – is hot desking and hoteling. While both of these space-saving methods are slightly different, the concepts are pretty similar. Hot desking and hoteling both involve allocating one desk for multiple employees. This can be a very effective and practical method for creating shared workspaces.
Maximizing office space can start with something as easy as rolling storage solutions under desks or rearranging larger pieces of furniture to create large temporary work areas.
Hot desking or hoteling seemingly comes with its fair share of logistical and scheduling issues, but scheduling software can help employees see when workspaces are available. The way they are reserved is the main difference between hot desking and hoteling. With the hot desking method, employees can use the desk whenever available. With hoteling, employees must reserve the desk or workspace in ahead of time. This space-saving practice is the perfect shared workspace for employees who occasionally or rarely have a need for an individual workspace. Creating a shared workspace decreases the square footage required by each employee. If this is a good fit for your company, it’s the perfect way to get more with less.
Open office layouts aren’t only efficient, they also have been proven to foster creativity and increase social interaction between employees. Open office spaces aren’t a solution for every company, however. The way employees work determines if it’s a good fit for the company.
A Forbes article talks about the benefits of open floor plans and why they might be the right choice for a company. Much like the first method on this list, it begins with understanding how the employees will respond. Do employees want increased social interactions? Do they need highly collaborative spaces? Are they all working collectively for a common goal?
Easy-to-move furniture makes it simple for employees to get what they need out of space.
Spreading out and building an open office layout can lead to many different distractions. Especially if employees need private areas from time to time. Although this might be the case, there are solutions to these problems. Employees can step away from these open spaces. Office phone booths provide employees with a way to instantly step away and work in a quiet, non-distracting environment. These phone booths can accommodate individuals or small groups in the event employees need to break away into private groups.
In smaller offices, there might not always be space available to put a large piece of furniture. Acoustic furniture with sound-absorbing technology helps reduce the noise and how well it moves throughout an open area. Furniture, wall-mounted panels, and even partitions use this technology. This gives employees the opportunity to create their own semi-private in an open office layout.
Help Employees Become Mobile
Stationary furniture is becoming a thing of the past. Large bulky cubicles, storage solutions that seem to take up an entire wall, and conference tables that take up an entire boardroom used to be the norm. This greatly reduced the versatility of an office. The cubicles only occupied one space. Storage solutions were virtually impossible to move. Conference tables only served one purpose in one space.
Maximizing office space can start with something as easy as rolling storage solutions under desks or rearranging larger pieces of furniture to create large temporary work areas. Oversized bulky cubicles prevented employees from being able to adapt their office to their needs. That has changed. As office furniture has evolved, its mobility has evolved too. Professionals are now able to move furniture as needed. Modular furniture has made it possible for workers to easily move their desks, storage solutions, and partitions as they need.
Easy-to-move furniture makes it simple for employees to get what they need out of space. Being able to adapt existing furniture to their needs, employees are able to make temporary or semi-permanent changes without costing the company money and time. Mobile and easy-to-move furniture gives employees the option to create the workspace they want and need.
Should You Maximize Office Space?
One of the most important measures of a successful employee is their efficiency and productivity. There’s no reason efficiency and productivity shouldn’t be an important measure of office space. Whether you need more space, the office feels cramped, or employees are unhappy with the layout, maximizing office space is a priority. With the options and task-specific furniture, it has never been easier to maximize your office space.
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