When on holiday, would you ever decide to go for a hotel with dull grey rooms and fluorescent lighting? Of course not. Yet many small-business owners tend to forget the simple things in terms of design. So how do the most collaborative and smart small companies design their offices to support their culture and stimulate creativity? Below is a list of ways in which your office can implement some of the best design elements used by small businesses that nail it.
Let your employees manage the space
Allowing employees to bring personal items – decorative plants, photographs, or even their cat – will cost you nothing, and carry instant benefits. Not only will these objects serve to brighten up an otherwise dreary office, but by giving your team the freedom to be themselves at work, you create a space in which you can really build a community. People are more innovative and creative in spaces where they can act natural. A comfortable environment inspires people to take risks.
Find the urban planner in you and think about the space in terms of zones. Your office can incorporate zones in the same way a well-designed city or restaurant does. If someone feels like talking, they would have the option to go to, say, the kitchen area where people would come together to talk. There will also be allocated areas suitable and comfortable for employees in need of some privacy. This creates a better space, and also results in better collaboration since people are given a choice.
Green and games
There was a small business in the United States that interviewed potential employees at a Ping-Pong table. It worked well because people were placed in a situation that detached them from generic talk. Adding natural material, light and plants is another easy change from which your office can benefit greatly. Studies have shown that natural light promotes good health and boosts creativity.
Allow people to choose their means of creating
Grant your team the freedom to have personalized desks, coffee mugs, and creative processes. Some people prefer working on computers, others with crayons, and some may like to get up and visualize ideas by writing on the wall.
Don’t rush into it
If your business is still operating in its startup years, it will be difficult to design your ideal office. During these years, you may want to consider co-working spaces or shared offices instead. In South Africa, Cube Workspace offers an extensive range of fully serviced, customized office space solutions – one of which may be perfect for you.
Things to consider when figuring out what the best office solution would be for your company include stability (for instance, whether you see where your business will be in a year or three), how much it means for your company to have its own culture and identity, and confidentiality.