9 Office Space Design Ideas for Small Businesses

9 Office Space Design Ideas for Small Businesses

It’s nice to have our very own spaces. Whether it’s your private office space in Houston , bedroom, an apartment, or a home, nothing says, “Welcome to adulthood,” quite like having a personal place to arrange, outfit, and enjoy. Now it’s time to think about office space design and how you want to build out your workspace.

So, how do you embark on the massive task of not only making it “your own” but also a place where other employees feel productive, creative, and at ease? With some forethought, research, and inspiration, you can turn your unassuming office space into a strikingly modern office in no time. Here, we’ve gathered nine office space design ideas for small businesses to help you get started!

9 Office Space Design Ideas Infographic

1. Purge Unnecessary “Stuff”

If you’re moving to a new Houston executive suite, you’ll be able to make the ultimate fresh start if you do this before any boxes get packed. But if not, you can still do a mighty sweep through and declutter your current office space. Keep only the equipment and furniture that gets used; keep only the décor that brings you joy; keep only the documents necessary for your business. Recycle, donate, sell, or toss everything else. This single act will transform the look and feel of your office, and give you a clean foundation for your office redesign.

2. Strategize

strategize office space design

Take time to plan out goals and what you want your office to do for you!

The very trait that may have helped you succeed in business — the ability to fearlessly leap without looking — could derail your office space design for small businesses. Take time to research design ideas online, envision the final result, and have a plan before you begin to ensure that your efforts result in a cohesive, professional workplace.

 

3. Think in Zones

Just as restaurants have zones to help mitigate crowds, noise, walking distance for wait staff, and the like, so too should an office space have zones. Take note of how your office currently flows, areas of high and low activity, and ways to improve these areas or better transition them. If everyone currently gathers near the elevators to shoot the breeze, could the space be redesigned to encourage gathering in the kitchen area? Or, if the copy machine sits at one end of the office but gets used by everyone, could it be moved to a more central location? Well-planned layout can increase productivity and those highly prized “serendipitous interactions.”

4. Utilize Your Office Space… All of it

You pay for your office space by the square foot, right? While there’s nothing wrong with some “white space” in your layout, too much wasted space is money down the drain. If you have a forgotten corner or other empty area, brainstorm ways to better utilize this space. A standing desk, a pair of quiet exercise bikes, a coffee bar, a fish tank, or a mini-library can all bolster morale and add personality to the office — without taking up much room.

5. Reconsider the Status Quo

Just because something has always been done in the past, doesn’t mean you must do it! Having one desk per team member, in this day of mobile technology and telecommuting, may be overkill for your particular company. Likewise, rows of file cabinets may be unnecessary if your office strives to be paperless. Your space need not conform to standards of the day — use it in a way that serves your company and employees the best!

6. Include Your Brand

When someone walks into your office, they should feel right away, “Oh, this is Brand X.” Think about ways to incorporate elements of your brand into the office space design. You may choose to paint one or more walls your company’s “signature” color; etch a company logo, motto, or ideology into a glass entryway door; or invest in a branded carpet in the lobby or entry. A brainstorming session or Internet search will yield a number of creative ideas.

7. Let Nature In

let nature into office design

Plants can really liven up an office environment!

Live plants, daylight, and other natural elements need to be part of any healthy office environment. We know too much about the benefits of biophilic design — including higher creativity and productivity levels as well as increased personal wellbeing — to skimp on this in any 21st-century office.

 

8. Don’t Fear Color

Gray desks. Black or white computer screens. Neutral carpet. White walls. BORING! (And also quite depressing and distracting, as it turns out.) Make your office space a vibrant, welcoming place by incorporating pops of color throughout. Whether you paint the walls, use colorful furniture, flowering plants, or eye-catching artwork — or all of the above — consider color your secret weapon. Color can be used strategically to increase productivity, stimulate creativity, increase heart rate, and produce calmness.

9. Take a Minimalist Approach

minimalist office design

Less is more with minimalist office design!

When designing an office space, the simplest and best rule is to keep one foot in the land of minimalism. There’s a reason why “staged” homes look the best to buyers and magazine readers:  the crisp, uncluttered look appeals to the eye and lets us envision ourselves in the space. The same can be said of the workplace. Go ahead and add color, furniture, plants, artwork, and structural elements, but make sure everything is done with purpose. When you err on the side of minimalism, you give yourself room to add more later — which is much easier and less wasteful than undoing excess. Sometimes less is more when it comes to office design concepts.

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Additional Office Space Design Ideas for Small Businesses

 

add unique artwork office design

Our projected artwork at 7676 Hillmont Workstyle space in Houston. We constantly rotate what is displayed here to keep things fresh!

Add Unique Artwork

Colorful, contemporary artwork adds both beauty and inspiration to the work environment. Although investing in permanent artwork is a valid option, you can also consider showcasing artists’ work on a rotating basis. Inviting a local artist to hang his or her art on your office walls and hosting a reception will market both the artist and your business to the local community. The positive feelings and broad exposure are a win-win for everyone involved.

Create Flexible, Conversational Spaces

Creating flexible spaces within your office is a smart way to encourage impromptu meetings, collaborations and social interaction. Seating arrangements for pairs, small groups and larger meetings allows employees to be productive in any location around the office. Wireless technology means there is no reason for employees to remain within a dedicated office space, and they can carry their work with them to communicate actively and clearly with co-workers and management.

Glass Dividers and Natural Light

The days of the fabric-covered cubicle panels are over, and a new era of collaborative workspaces is gaining in popularity. Although an open-concept office space is a dynamic way to work, you may have some need to create enclosed spaces for meetings and executive offices. Adding glass panel dividers is a simple and elegant way to create a meeting room or office without sacrificing natural light. Portable panels can add additional flexibility to address your changing needs. Our office campus in the Energy Corridor has a beautiful glass wall opens up tenants to a natural lake and park.

energy corridor office space 2016

Nature flows naturally throughout our office in the energy corridor (Photo Location: 13501 Katy Freeway, Houston Location)

Brighten Drab Furniture

Office furniture is notoriously drab, with predominant colors of black, gray or tan. Brightening existing furniture to match the look of colorful walls and interesting artwork is as simple as incorporating unique, colorful throw pillows. Even the most cave-like space can benefit from a pop of color, and a pillow is a simple, inexpensive way to add vibrancy your office space design. Choose pillows that make a statement without being overly frilly or ornate; contemporary styles, unusual textures and bright colors are the best options.

Create a Central Gathering Area with Your Office Space Design

Encouraging employees to work collaboratively is also about social connection. With central gathering spaces for company-wide meetings, parties and other events, a festive mood can contribute to communication and productivity. The ability to convert a central space into an open area for gatherings means you won’t need to cram dozens of employees into a tiny conference room for announcements and meetings. Portable furniture and a plan for quick conversion make this a simple task prior to group events.

Add Comfort Items for Pets

Many offices are pet-friendly, and employees can bring their pets to work with them. In many situations, pets are confined to the corner of an office with little social interaction during the day. Adding gates or a dedicated space for pets means that they can socialize within a larger space or interact with each other, if appropriate. Pet beds, water bowls and treats can help make your office a comfortable place for pets to spend the day.

Incorporate these fun ideas into your office space design to create a more vibrant and inspirational environment!