5 terrifying office interior mistakes

27 October 2016. Feature.

Halloween is always the scariest time of year and is filled with spooky and terrifying things ranging from frightening fancy dress to haunted houses and horror movies. At this time of year, we explore the most frightening things you can find in an office and share some of the most terrifying office interior mistakes.

These are all things that should send a shiver down your spine if you are working in an office as they can truly make the workplace a scary place to be. These five office interior mistakes are some of the most common issues in the workplace and we share our insight on how to overcome these design mistakes to prevent your office becoming a house of horrors.

Cramped office space

If you are limited on space or have a steadily growing headcount in your office, space planning is needed to ensure that staff can work comfortably without being impeded by their surroundings. The optimum recommended allowance of space per person is 100 sq ft, so that would mean that you need at least 1,000 sq ft per 10 people in the office. There are lots of ways to maximise small spaces through workplace consultancy and reworking your office layout. For example, monitoring occupancy levels and introducing hot desks will ensure you are not wasting desk space and changing to agile working will optimise your office space for a variety of uses. This change also helps to create a more integrated workspace, promoting communication between staff. Just because your staff are crammed in and close together doesn’t mean they are going to find it easier to communicate, in fact it probably means the opposite!

No natural light

Natural light is something that often gets overlooked, but a lack of daylight in the office is linked to having a negative impact on the mood, productivity and energy of staff. Windowless offices can create an unhappy and uncomfortable environment for staff, which means that people aren’t working at their optimum levels and may impact on their wellbeing. More importantly, natural light is free! To promote natural light throughout the office, use glass partitions instead of solid ones to ensure that light is spread throughout the office space. This also reduces the need to use bright, artificial lighting inside the office.

Dark and dingy tea points

Staff are expected to work long, demanding hours so it is important to have a bright, open tea point that is well stocked and uncluttered. A small worktop tea point that forces staff to eat at their desks is a true office horror. Staff should have access to refreshing drinks during the day and also have a place to make breakfast and lunch so that they can factor their busy routines into their working lives. An open tea point provides companies with a central hub for the office to interact with each other and communicate with people they do work alongside during the day, allowing them to relax away from their desks 

Cold, unbranded offices

Your office should be a showcase of everything that is exciting about your brand, and not a bland white space with no character. Your office should proudly display your most successful achievements and give a taste of the personality of your company. If your office fails to display your work, your brand colours and associated logos, then there is no internal excitement being created around your business and you’re missing a chance to reinforce your culture. Your staff should be your biggest fans, so fill the office with a vibrant, positive energy that you would want your clients to see in your business. It is an excellent way to get your own staff behind the company’s mission, as your brand is what makes you special and so it needs to be present in every aspect of your space.

Ignoring future growth

Some businesses who grow and expand haven’t planned ahead and will try and ‘cram in’ as many people in as possible (see cramped office space above!) This means companies then have to relocate their offices to support their long-term goals. However, businesses often overlook what they really need in terms of space, which can end up being a costly process when they then have to move to a bigger office in a few years’ time. One idea is taking more space than you need at present and subletting any extra space. This solution means that when you want to expand and grow your occupancy, you already have the space at your disposal, while the extra space earns rent in the meantime. Ignoring future plans for growth leads to unwanted expense and potentially unnecessary upheaval of staff, which is a time-consuming and expensive process that businesses should be looking to avoid at all costs. A key part of planning future growth, and delivering a successful new office, is proper workplace consultation across the whole business to ensure you create the right office space at the very beginning.

All of these individual ideas and trends are some of the common mistakes that businesses should be looking to avoid because they all contribute to the larger theme of creating a comfortable and enjoyable working culture. If you recognise any of these office horrors, then maybe it’s time to contact us to learn more about how to create an inspiring place to work and avoid these terrifying office design mistakes.

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