Whether you work from home, run your own business, rent out office space or work for a company, chances are you will be spending a hefty percentage of your time at your office desk. In fact, with a 40-hour working week becoming the full-time standard throughout the UK is it essential that you choose your office desk and other furniture wisely.
In terms of which office furniture you need, you need to narrow down your essential must-have items, your ‘need’ items, and then utilise them in a way that makes the most of your available space.
While the design aspect of the modern office isn’t always considered an essential requirement, for those looking to create a brand for their efforts, it can go a long way towards positioning your business in the marketplace.
1. The Essentials
It goes without saying that you will need an office desk to work from. Not only will this dedicated space allow you to separate your work and home life easily, but it will also ensure you don’t end up with aches and pains from sitting oddly with a laptop on your knee.
Your desk should be big enough to allow you to work comfortably, as well as be a place for your computer, telephone and possibly a printer (if your office space is limited).
The everyday stationary essentials will need to be kept to hand, and some kind of filing system – whether this is folders or in and out filing trays – is important, too, so office storage is also vital. Under desk and tall filing cabinets, bookcases and lockable storage are all items anyone looking to be productive and organised should have in their office.
A sturdy, flexible chair is another indispensable item for your shopping list. As previously mentioned, you will be spending a lot of time working so it pays dividends to ensure you are comfortable doing so.
Lighting is another important consideration to factor into your needs. Ensure you have enough natural light, overhead lighting and a movable lamp to ensure you don’t strain your eyes while at work.
2. The Need to Have Staples
Now you have the office essentials in place; you need to really kit out your home office with supplies. While going paperless for many parts of your life – such as personal bills and statements – the same does not apply to the business world. Having a paper trail is an important part of business, so be prepared to order in bulk!
First and foremost, you need a desktop computer or a high powered laptop. Tablets are very handy for working on the go – especially when you have a lunch meeting you need to prepare for, too. Other staples include a phone, preferably a landline; a router; a good internet connection; a printer and your stationary stock. Pens, notebooks, highlighters, staplers, scissors, post in notes, folders and files are a bare minimum and don’t forget the bin!
Then you’re going to need supplies. Ink and toner, printer paper, envelopes, postage, pins, white board and markers, sellotape, blue tac – this list is obviously going to be tailored specifically to the needs of your business.
Digitally speaking, many businesses rely on software packages and apps to manage their time effectively. Whether you simply require a calendar and e-mail facility or need to make use of Gantt charts or time management scheduling software, there is an abundance of different packages out there to test and utilise.
3. Creating Atmosphere
When it comes to creating an office environment that is both engaging and motivating, it is important to get the right balance. Getting your branding right to breed positivity, motivation and loyalty amongst your staff are all essential internal KPI’s, but so is ensuring your staff are not distracted and ensuring they make productive use of their time in the office.
Where possible, organise desks and seating areas with flexibility, collaboration and creativity in mind. Obviously, you need to account for the industry you’re in. For example, accountants will need quiet time to focus on the sums whereas marketing professionals will need to bounce ideas around throughout the day.
Looking into colour schemes and the psychology behind them can be time-consuming but in short; motivational and calming colours like green and yellow are ideal for stimulating staff, whereas red and orange are likely to cause tension.
Add some homely pieces of furniture – sofas, cushions, bean bags and even rugs – to break up the office monotony and formal nature of desk cubicles. As well as allowing your employees to feel more relaxed, it will feel much more attractive and positive in atmosphere.
Keep your office looking de-cluttered and keep wires to a minimum to reduce stress levels. Encourage employees to keep their work spaces clean and tidy for maximum productivity.
Office design is a very important part of making your business a success in today’s world as employees need to feel connected to those around them and throughout your business. By utilising these deign trends; you will be increasing productivity and engagement without the need to invest in expensive team building events and more.
With the right space, office furniture and design in your workplace, you, too, can capitalise on their many benefits and focus on making your business the success it deserves to be. Choose wisely and live the dream.