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Office Space Design – Why Office Design Matters

As a manager or owner, you are concerned about whether or not the office space design reflects the company values. One aspect is the message your employees are receiving about their contribution and the value of their work. Another aspect is the aesthetics of your office as the most visual representation of your message and brand to your customer. It is important that you are sending the right message to both.

Office space design is composed of several components, the look, the function, the hierarchy of the company, and monetary constraints. Within office design, there is the physical space that houses the company, the furniture, the artwork, the lighting, the finishes, the layout, and the traffic flow. The mental space of the office is a bit trickier to manage. The quality of that furniture represents can affect the hierarchy within your company. For example, if your executives are sitting in corner offices with high quality wood desks and ergonomic chairs, and the rest of the staff is sitting in broken furniture from your local box office supply store, you are sending a message about who you find valuable. This type of scenario can cause several issues beyond the immediate pecking order and unrest among staff. Employees who sit in ill fitting or broken furniture may have cause for a workman’s comp claim, causing lost money while the employee is gone as well as the claim charges.

The elements in a space that effect people are color, textures, and materials. Color is a large part of any space, and it helps to remember that color has a physiological affect on the human being. Different textures and materials can reflect nature, art, science, or technology. This can set the mood or environment in which people can be more or less productive, or more or less willing to buy.

Office design intersects with green design when the visible properties in the space send a certain message about what the choice of those materials mean. Responsible to the environment, responsible to the share holders, responsible, period. If a space has a great deal of reused materials, which have been re-purposed in a creative and imaginative way, then that conveys the message that the company cares about the environment, and will find a way to respect it. The inference is that the company can be trusted with the environment and therefore can be trusted with your business.

Furniture in office design must address several issues, ergonomics, aesthetics, budget and durability. When evaluating furniture for your space, the largest issue is purely a matter of health. Does the furniture support the person using it? Does it really matter if you got a chair for $99 at the local box office supply store when it causes the person using it back pain which may result in a workman’s comp claim or worse, surgery?

So while moving into an office can be simple, there are still many aspects which have to be considered to provide an attractive and well functioning office space.

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