7 small office design ideas to maximise your space

Caitlin Goble, Project Designer Agile working, Design, Technology and innovation

Designing a small office setup can be a challenging task. Whether you're sharing a coworking space or operating an emerging business, making the most of your workspace is crucial for productivity at work and success. With limited square footage, it's important to maximise every inch of space while creating a functional and comfortable environment.

In this blog, we've compiled seven small office design ideas to help you make the most of your space. From multi-functional furniture to incorporating greenery, these tips will help you create a subserving and inspiring workspace, whatever space you’re working with. So, let's dive in and explore these office interior design ideas that will help you maximise your small office environment.

1. Invest in multi-functional furniture

Furniture will naturally take up a lot of floor space within your office, so it’s important to choose exactly what kind of office furniture you’ll get the most use out of, will be most versatile and will be comfortable enough to use for mid-long periods throughout the day.

Opting for multi-functional and flexible furniture makes equipping your workspace that much easier. Convertible sit-stand desks, storage stools and other similar items can save you a lot of space when implemented properly, and gives employees an enhanced power to choose. A malleable environment allows teams to adjust to suit their working needs.

2. Maximise natural light

Natural light may be sparse in smaller spaces, which often come with limited daylight or smaller windows. We value natural light in the office because it helps us to focus, provides a more welcoming environment and is more pleasant than working in an environment with only artificial lighting.

There are plenty of ways you can increase natural light levels. Using adjustable blinds that still let in daylight whilst shielding monitors from glare can brighten up working areas and keep employees feeling happy and motivated. The use of glass instead of partition walls encourages light to spread widely. We’ve implemented this in many of our clients’ spaces, like Brandpie and BBS Capital, as well as our own HQ in Wimbledon.

3. Create an illusion of space

Having a smaller office doesn’t mean it has to feel that way. By creating the illusion that there’s more space, you open up your workplace and give your people additional breathing room.

Did you know that lighter, softer colours can make your space look bigger, brighter and airier – and provide a calm and inviting atmosphere for your employees and guests? A new lick of paint can make a big difference to the perceived size of a room. It’s a great way to boost workplace creativity using colour.

Additionally, the use of mirrors in smaller areas is known to create the illusion of space. We created an interactive space for MG Empower, featuring a large infinity mirror which helped to open up the area.

tea point agile working area

4. Use space-saving technology

Using technology in the workplace can help you save time, but smaller businesses can use these technologies to save space, too. Is your business still working with physical paperwork? If so, you may want to consider modernising your business processes by switching to digital platforms.

It’s often easier for smaller businesses to start their journey to cloud hosting, moving non-essential data and documents first and scaling as you grow. You’ll have less paperwork stacked up around you, a more organised, controlled filing system and peace of mind that you can find what you need exactly where you left it. There are other physical technologies you can consider to increase your workspace too, like implementing wireless technology to declutter desk areas.

5. Take advantage of vertical space

Predominantly, you’ll want to evaluate how your floor space is used, but it’s worth looking at the space above you, too. Vertical space is valuable in a smaller environment and has several benefits to office space planning. Using wall-mounted storage and shelves to lift away cupboards and boxes from the floor frees up yet more space for what’s important, and hanging plants from the ceilings and shelves instead of in plants on the floor makes for memorable, contemporary décor as well as space efficiency.

We helped Jacada Travel create a workplace that was highly centred around biophilic design using vertical space. By suspending plants from the ceiling and on shelving units at different levels, we saved valuable floor space and produced an office like no other.

As office design and build experts, our own workplace is a great example of how to make use of vertical space. On every floor, there are elevated units and integrated cupboards for employees to make use of, as well as benches and other seating that double as storage drawers.

hanging plant pots suspended form the ceiling

6. Consider hybrid working

Are you outgrowing your space? Maybe you don’t have a lease event coming up for a while, but know that you need to be able to accommodate a growing team in the meantime? A great way to really stretch your space and make it work harder for you is to employ a hybrid working policy.

By equipping your business to be able to work part-time from the office and part-time at home – however you want to split the two – you’re teaching your team to be more agile, reactive and self-reliant, whilst also making time in the office with your team more efficient, valuable and appreciated.

7. Incorporate space planning

Office space planning is the most essential part of designing a small workspace. It considers working habits, culture and social capacity, wellbeing and efficiency and helps you to make an informed decision on what your space should look like, what furniture it should have and how you intend for it to be used.

Whilst you might have 40 people based in the office, a hybrid model may only require 28 static desks at one time, freeing up space for useful touch points, break out and social spaces and private areas for meetings.

We designed a SKA Gold accredited space with a planet-first approach for Helaba that reduced desk space by 50%. This gave their workforce more open space to collaborate, socialise and work, balancing a residential atmosphere with available desk space to create a fully fluid workspace. As a result, they saw huge improvements in their day-to-day performance and increased productivity.

helaba bank collaboration space and booths
helaba reception space with a bali feel
helaba booth seating space

Let’s transform your workspace together

Whilst designing for a small office space can be tricky, exercising these recommendations can help you to gain clarity on exactly how much space you have, how much you need and how much you could currently be using more effectively.

The team at Peldon Rose team are skilled experts who have a collective experience with all kinds of spaces for a variety of brands with complex needs. Our dedicated Workplace Strategy team will help you make sense of what you need by conducting a wealth of analysis on business operations and future aims. If you’re looking for someone to help you make sense of your workspace or transform your office, get in touch with the team below.

Detail shot of brown terazzo worktop with brown leather seating

Start your workplace transformation today.

Your workplace holds enormous potential to improve your business performance. Get in touch today, and we will unlock that potential together.