Buying space for your business isn’t a one time transaction. You have to constantly update, develop, and evolve your premises to suit the operation you’ve put together. As time goes on, and you add more employees, more services, and make more products, you’re going to need a whole lot more equipment and space!
This means you’ll need to customize your workspace to truly suit your business’ needs. Naturally this will involve a lot of changes over the years, but you can set up right from the beginning using design tips like these. The more you consider now, the better the budget you’ll build, and the longer your initial efforts will last.
The materials you’re going to use need to be sourced ethically, have a low transport footprint, be of high quality (making them last around 25 to 50 years longer), and look good at the same time.
Well, in a dream world you’d be able to accomplish all of these things in one go! However, in the real world, you may need to discount a couple of these elements to ensure you get the right materials for your needs and budget. You may not want to, but you’ve only got a limited amount of cash (and material availability) to really work with.
So, do some research into the companies you want to work with and see what the next best thing is. A good sourcing organization will make it clear where they get their materials from, and will work on a quote by quote basis regarding how much they’re going to cost.
Use a Cubicle Layout for Privacy
Setting up cubicle walls is good for initiating a sense of privacy within the workplace. When you have separate cubicle spaces for your employees to work in, you give them a space each to their own.
While this may seem like an issue for the social aspect within your office, it doesn’t have to interrupt natural workplace relationships, as long as you have other social areas for your employees to spend time in. This is easy to create with common areas, a break room, and proper facility toilets. However, a cubicle setup does ensure better productivity. Without the feeling of eyes on you, work tends to go a lot faster.
You also encourage your employees to be themselves; cubicles allow people to put up their own photos, desktop knick knacks, and other novelty items. If these items can be contained to one space, and are unlikely to be knocked or moved around, employees will feel safer bringing them into work. Control over the space is amazing for encouraging a sense of workplace loyalty too!
Soundproof Meeting Rooms
Just one meeting room is fine if you have a small operation, but two or more is good for medium sized enterprises. Ensure that these spaces are soundproof; anything that goes on within them should be contained to attendees only, even if the contents of the meeting isn’t all that private.
It sets a precedent for privacy in the workplace, which is only further encouraged by the cubicle setup we mentioned before. And soundproofing also means the rooms can be used as quiet spaces for people who need some time to themselves.
If your employees have laptops or tablets they can use away from their usual desks, they can take them into a soundproof room and use the space to maintain their mental health while still getting the job done. As a business owner, this is the best attitude to promote.
Reinforce the Floor
Making your floor stronger is the best thing to do when you’re working with heavy equipment, such as construction equipment or heavy case printers, like a 3D printing unit. You can invest in access mats to help support the load, ensuring the natural floor beams live to see another day.
This also works if you have outdoor real estate; passing a pipeline or conveyor belt across your property needn’t be difficult with primed flooring beneath it. If you regularly need to transport materials, preparing the ground is essential for optimized performance and a decreased need for long term maintenance.
As such, it’s a good idea to invest in equipment like this to prepare your business for the future. You never know what equipment you might need to bring in one day, as a result of expanding your product line or the complementary services you provide.
Install Skylights for Increased Light
Skylights in the workplace ensure a constant stream of natural light and spectacle. From a mental wellbeing viewpoint, this goes a long way to keeping your team’s collective mood at a high.
Not only does it let in some natural light and scenes, it also means you have less to spend on airflow quality. If you can open a skylight, you can let in fresh air from a central location. Plus, glass isn’t unusual in an office setting, so if this is the workspace you’re going for, it won’t be hard to get a skylight or two installed!
You can also use a skylight to incorporate a modern design into your workspace. After all, using glass and other transparent materials can bring in a greener image, and is more easily decorated regarding items like hanging plants or hanging glass decorations that fit your brand colors.
Think About the Human Body
How ergonomic do you need the space to be? For example, how long will people be standing around, if they’re working at counters or doing quality assurance on conveyor belts? Similarly, if people are going to be sitting for long periods of time (usually more than 2 hours at a time), can you support their back and shoulders?
This is where ergonomically made furniture comes in. You shouldn’t just invest in second hand office furniture from wherever you can find it. This is where you don’t skimp on the budget, no matter how small it may be!
After all, if someone is comfortable enough to work for 8+ hours, they’re going to get a lot done! That means tasks will likely be completed ahead of deadlines, and may even net you a few bonuses here and there.
Incorporate a Social Area
Finally, it’s best to think about a communal area that everyone can use, regardless of how many people are on break at one time.
A social area doesn’t have to be a table and a few chairs, with a microwave and a fridge nearby. This is the most common setup, as ‘break rooms’ allow an employee to take control over their time, diet, and overall health. However, you can build a social area with more cohesion, and even add a sense of fun!
To do this, think about ways to make the space great, rather than standard. A vending machine, for example, is a good addition to any social area. You should also consider popular activities for relaxing and unwinding.
Building a business from the ground up is more than metaphorical development. It’s about figuring out the best use of your budget and the space it can buy you. So, if you have a plain building to work with, customizing it to suit your needs won’t be impossible.
Don’t just decorate and buy some furniture – you need a plan that also includes elements like those above. Remember, any kind of commercial real estate is going to be highly customizable, so don’t let physical limitations prevent you from putting together the workspace of your dreams!
This is a contributed post
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