Every office design project is unique, and each one is based on a complex set of factors, variables, details, preferences, materials, resources, and so on. However, just as there are some established principles and best practices to adopt, there are some mistakes and pitfalls to avoid. Here are four of the most common:
Focusing on Total Square Footage vs. Usable Square Footage
Many businesses make the costly error of looking at the overall square footage of their space, dividing it by the number of employees, and arriving at a number that seems ample for everyday work tasks, meetings, etc. However, after the office design project finishes, they quickly discover that there is a categorical difference between total square footage and usable square footage. For example, stock rooms, lunch rooms and restrooms are obviously important (especially the latter!), but as far as work activity goes, they do not represent usable space. Therefore, they should not be part of the equation when determining if there is indeed enough area for employees to do their jobs comfortably, competently, productively and safely.
Failing to Pay Attention to Lighting
What’s in an office light? According to business network Buffer COO Leo Widrich, natural light keeps employees more alert. Additionally, research by psychologist Jennifer Vietch, published in the American Psychological Association, found a strong positive correlation between better lighting and improved work performance.
Not Looking Ahead
Many businesses put off an office redesign for several months or even years — often unintentionally — as other priorities or problems come up. Therefore, it is very easy to fall into the trap of planning for a workforce composition and dynamic that existed in the past and may still exist now, but is invariably going to change in the future. While there is no crystal ball or way to gaze into the future, there are smart and strategic ways to “future proof” an office design, so that change or growth down the road will require only a tweak or adjustment to the environment and not necessarily an overhaul or a re-invention.
Taking the DIY Office Design Route
There are many things that businesses can take care of themselves to save money, time or both. However, office design is not one of them! On the contrary, an office design project that runs off the rails can make a nightmarish home improvement project seem like a proverbial walk in the park. In addition to excessive costs and endless delays, businesses risk frustrating or even losing employees and customers as well as severely damaging their reputation.
To ensure that you avoid these and other office design pitfalls, contact the Key Interiors team today. We’ll invest quality time to understand your needs and goals, carefully and thoroughly explain various options based on your strategy and budget, and help you make smart decisions that safely drive your business ahead. Your initial consultation with us is free.
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