It doesn’t matter if you are in the process of refurbishing an existing office or offices or moving to entirely new office premises – the planning and equipment you use can make a profound difference to the success of your business. This is important for businesses of all sizes, in particular the smaller business which has the potential to experience rapid growth and change over a short period of time. Whether you are kitting out the spare room to set up a home office or furnishing space for a growing team of employees a number of things need to be taken into account.
Some of the things need to be taken into account for health and safety reasons, some may have legislation backing them up and others are a matter of common sense. All have the potential however to contribute towards a productive, efficient and functional working environment for anybody who occupies the workspace. Remember that a happy work force is a productive work force and any company is only as good as the people who work there.
The working environment can make a big difference to the efficiency and profitability of any type of company. In the interests of the well being of your workers you must make sure that the office is equipped with the appropriate furniture helping to promote correct, healthy usage and incorporate a few elements to make the ambiance more pleasing like plants and natural lighting. Ergonomic office furniture is becoming very popular these days with unusual colors and designs taking center stage in the modern office. This can create an interesting working environment which is beneficial for the health of the workers.
Of course it doesn’t necessarily mean that there should be an abundance of dead space in your office, it’s all about creating adaptable space which are good for your present work needs and flexible enough to meet your needs in the future. It can often be a good idea to seek out professional help in the design of your offices or work space, many companies do find that it was money well spent. Interior design firms who specialize in offices and work space can help you to create the ultimate work environment and give you the opportunity to focus on the core of your business operations. It can also help to prevent unnecessary costs in the future if some cost saving benefits is installed at the beginning of the project. Professional office designers and architects will have the necessary experience to know the most cost effective ways of equipping your offices to cope with the rapidly advancing technology vital for a modern business to succeed.
If you decide against seeking advice from the professionals you must be sure to take into account the various rules and regulations which must be adhered to in any work place. An office at home is subject to the same health and safety regulations for example as any larger corporate environment. You must carry out the same risk assessments and make sure that your furniture is appropriate for the task in hand as well as have the correct training in the usage of all equipment. Any manager who is tempted to cut corners and costs when installing office equipment should be wary of the threat of litigation from injured employees – that’s always a big motivator. Investment at the beginning of the project can help to prevent having to pay-out large costs in the future, large pay-outs which could seriously threaten the survival of a small business.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little when you are designing your work space. Productivity has been shown to drop if workers spend the whole work day in one static position so try to keep things interesting for your workers in order to create maximum efficiency. Even if you don’t have the space for an informal meeting room or break-out area there is often the scope to provide some sort of area which differs from the traditional desk and chair.
The addition of a comfortable sofa could provide an area where workers can read documents or sit and chat with colleagues with whom they have seldom opportunity to interact with in the normal office environment. This can help to promote communication between your workers as an alternative to the faceless emails which are constantly sent back and forth. Some departments like sales and marketing depend upon their ability to communicate effectively between them and this could facilitate them to do so no end.
The creation of a new working environment and work place also provides the perfect opportunity to introduce new corporate policies as far as social responsibilities are concerned. It is incredibly important that all companies implement sustainable practices in the work place instead of continuing to work with outdated processes which are harmful to the environment. This can help with cost saving as well as sustainability. Of course every office should be active when it comes to recycling but other practices should be taken into account and can become common place.
One example of this is deciding whether an email really needs to be printed out – why can’t you just read it on screen and act upon it without the needless use of paper and ink. This one small matter can make a big difference and be easily implemented in a smaller business. In some larger corporations it can take a considerable amount of time to make even the smallest of changes but smaller businesses don’t have that disadvantage.
Whilst there are very many obstacles to overcome when you are setting up a new office or work place it is very important to bear in mind that help is available and can often provide cost saving solutions which may not be obvious in the beginning to anyone who is inexperienced in creating a productive working environment. This really is the first step towards providing your company with the best opportunity to grow – a growing business needs a solid foundation from which it can thrive.
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