Last month we touched on interior design and decorating tips for home offices. While a portion of our clientele indeed consists of business owners who work remotely from their offices in the Greater Vancouver area, we also cater to commercial spaces. Therefore, this week we have decided to shift our focus to office spaces in the corporate environment. Whether your company’s office takes up more than two floors in a skyscraper-lined metropolis, or you’ve set up a small shop in a trendy industrial sector (common to tech offices in modern times) these tried and true tips for designing work-spaces for both productivity and visual appeal apply all the same.
5 Interior Design & Decorating Tips for Commercial Office Spaces
1. Keep the Work Environment Light…with Natural Light
Anyone that has ever worked in a basement level workspace (or has seen the Tom Hanks 80’s classic “Joe vs the Volcano”) knows that an office environment without natural light can weigh heavy on staff psyche. While most offices today do have the window space available to draw in this light, not everyone takes advantage of it. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light improves workplace productivity, so even from a “bottom line” standpoint it makes sense. Open up the space surrounding the windows so that it is allowed to shine through. However, when it comes to using natural light for design and “feel”, it’s not just about more. Manipulating the light that enters an office is essential to capturing the right tone. To accomplish this, consider having custom motorized blinds installed, set to adjust for the seasonal movement of the sun.
2. Create Space, or the Illusion of it, in Smaller Offices
You may be working with limited square footage. While the space is a little tight for your liking you can create the perception of a wide open expanse. Manipulating natural light will help do the trick, but there are other methods to add to the mix, including the following:
- Paint with lighter tones
- Strategically placed mirrors
- Limit office furnishings to the essentials
- Use office furnishings with built-in storage
- Furnish with glass or lucite desks/tables
- Install recessed lighting (especially for rooms with no windows)
Learn more about how to create the perception of space with interior design.
3. Integrate Color Conducive to Productivity and Good Spirits
There are many studies on the impact of color on workplace productivity. This article summarizes the general findings quite well, stating that blues and greens create a soothing environment, that orange and yellows can promote appetites and agitation (respectively), that reds can stimulate brain wave activity yet lead to anxiousness, and neutral colors (brown, beige, grey, etc.) can be calming yet depressing if darkened too much. Because color can have such an impact on productivity it essential that if you intend on integrating a strong color palate into your office space that you consult with a professional interior designer first.
4. Establish Break-Out Areas
Break-out spaces are a major trend in interior design for offices. In essence, a break-out space is an area designated for employees to visit when they need to step away from their desk. The area may be used to take a coffee break or to take a breather from an especially intense bout of work. However, many offices are using break-out spaces as a zone where staff can gather together for engaging brainstorming sessions. The design and decorating of this area should be significantly different from the normal workspace, so that it conveys a feeling of freedom, where creativity flows at its best. The colors, accents, and furnishings should speak to this.
5. Brand It!
Make a strong impression on current/prospective clients and suppliers while instilling a sense of corporate pride within your staff by branding your literal office space. Look to the tech environment, which has sparked this trend more than any, for inspiration. The offices of Google, Facebook, Vancouver’s own HootSuite, and every other cutting edge firm in-between has creatively integrated their company logos into various nooks and crannies of their work areas. Your company may not have received a valuation into the billions (yet), but you certainly can adopt that same level of pride with branded interior design. Integrate your corporate logo color scheme into office accents and consider “watermarking” office hallway walls and reception areas with unique takes on your brand identifiers.
If any of the ideas above have inspired you to improve both the productivity and aesthetics of your company’s office through interior design methodology, and you operate within the Greater Vancouver area, we encourage you to contact Old World Interiors today.