Designing the Right Office for Your Business

Your office forms the heart of your business and what you do, and needs to support the daily demands from your industry. The sector that your company falls under will largely determine your working environment and office layout, and then your company’s unique personality will inform the space. We discuss insights into office design trends in the different sectors.

UNICEF reception area

Financial & Legal

Office design has evolved from the boxes and cubicles that characterised financial and legal firms in previous years. Open plan spaces have taken over, breaking down the proverbial walls that can divide different departments and create a hierarchy.

With the influx of agile working, shared desk spaces are now becoming more accessible to larger numbers. Desk booking systems are frequently used to allow variation to the working day, giving employees to choice to sit and work in different areas. Furthermore, this encourages cross-pollination between different departments and can improve company cultures with greater socialising.

Due to client-centred nature of the business, it is important for financial and legal firms to have a space that represents their business and make a powerful first impression. Having a striking and memorable client-facing area is imperative to attracting new business. Reception areas, meeting rooms and waiting spaces must be impactful and a reflection of the professionalism of your company. Unique signage and branding can be an advantage in making the visitor experience unique to your company.

Charles Taylor teapoint

Technology

As a tech company, you are aware that you must invest in the latest, cutting-edge software and hardware. However, the arrangement of your office also has the potential to drastically improve performance.

Unsurprisingly, agile working is a recurring theme within almost all industries. Tech companies will benefit from agile work areas to encourage collaboration, however there may be a greater need for independent work than other practices. The combination of private booths, pods or benches with shared computers helps employees to manage their time independently and quietly. Creating the perfect blend of bustling office with breakout areas and teapoints, alongside private spaces will lead to maximum productivity.

Many tech companies are prioritising their employee experience, happiness and wellbeing due to high competition for the industry’s best talent. Including up-to-date, quirky breakouts and relaxation areas helps to attract and retain employees. By making room in your office design for a ping pong or pool table with a large teapoint, you increase your chances of winning over the Millennial and Generation Z population that is entering the workplace.

OpenTable tech hub

Creative & Coworking

The requirements for the plan and layout of creative and coworking offices often share similarities, both industries need to express their individuality and branding through their space. The only significant difference is that coworking spaces must have the capacity to adapt and accommodate varying business types. Work areas need to maintain a certain level of flexibility to facilitate different working styles.

WeWork Paddington relaxation area

Oktra’s Design Director, Nic Pryke, explains how the architecture and design of a space can bring out the best in employees, “the office needs to allow individuals to create their own work style and promotes a sense of freedom. For example, spaces that satisfy an extrovert, who gains energy from interaction, or an introvert who retreats from people to focus. This requires a mix of different spaces providing acoustic privacy, visual privacy and different sort of furniture, ranging from softer domestic type spaces to the workstation.”

All these industries should focus on engaging and inspiring employees through multi-sensory office design, which humanises the workplace experience. Including the perfect combination of natural light, colour and biophilia in both relaxation and work areas will stimulate employees’ minds and support your company culture.

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