Have you decided to take the big leap of faith and start your own business or even expand into new offices? A big, big congratulations from the team at Ideal, I am so excited for this part because you must remember, in today’s society opening up a new office has a strong focus on your office design. Not only can your choices of office furniture and decorations effect your brand reputation, it can also impact your future productivity, success and employee happiness. It is important to do the research regarding what colours, materials and positioning best suits your business. There is no standard layout because it is dependent on what space is available and what your brand represents, whether that is transparency, efficiency, innovation, collaboration…or even all of them. If you’re stuck in a rut and confused about all the options available, I recommend taking a break and looking at some inspiration from successful start-up companies all around the world and what they’ve done with their spaces.
- Squarespace – New York City
The company is based off a content management system launched in 2004, including a website builder, blogging platform and hosting service. It is now working with 503 employees and active in 190 countries.
The foundation for the space is loyal to minimalistic design. The walls are white and clean against the dark black wooden finish of the floor and shelving. There is heavy emphasis on glass offices and separations, conveying a certain transparency about the company. It is easy to take in whilst still being clearly stylish reflecting what the company itself aims to do for users. The décor adds a more homely feel in addition to the various and numerous plants around the space. The lighting and open spaces warm up the area, facilitating communication and comfort. The leather chairs add a classier feel, while the mesh back chairs are there for modern effect and ergonomic stability for employees. Overall it is a very simple and suitable design for the brand, creating a calming space for online work.
- Born05 – Utrecht
Founded in 2005, Born05 is a creative agency focused on advertising and public relations.
The office is quite large, consisting of several different floors and rooms. There is a reoccurring urban vibe mixed with a natural wooden atmosphere. There is a common bar/lunch area for discussion and relaxing encouraging regular break times for employees. This can improve productivity in the long run as employees are exercising their brains and bodies regularly. There are collaboration rooms with meeting tables and leather lounge chairs. There are also meeting rooms that are more closed off for more quiet workers.
- The Aviary – Auckland
This workspace was set up as an experimental collaboration between four design companies.
The space is designed to incorporate efficient collaboration work as well as individual. There are sliding doors to partially separate the meeting room from the more lively open plan area. There are colour blocks of space such as the big black box, which actually encloses a space to experience virtual reality. There are a number of plants around the space, including a built in tree that overhangs and doubles as lighting.
- Saturday Group – London
This business revolves around fashion and entertainment, specifically for marketing and advertising of the companies in these industries.
The office design incorporated the needs from all the companies within the group i.e. public relations, marketing, advertising, publicity and IP ownership. The different spaces were designed with minimal disruption and mindfulness to preventing interruption of any flow in the workspace. The white poured resin floors and desking systems were chosen for the least distraction and “clean palate” look. There are private offices, meeting rooms, and photo studios and clothes showrooms.
- Factory Five – Shanghai
Factory Five is a start-up bike store that offers unique designs with aluminium and steel frames specific to their store.
Located in Shanghai, this office space was the smallest of them all, in total 150m2. The office is mixed in with the retail side of the business and also incorporates a bar. The office sits above the full floor of workshopping designed for customers and employees to work at optimum level. The space embodies the vibe for the brand and allows room to display their best works. The custom made wooden boards and décor was all custom built with “raw functionality” in mind.
- Softheads – Barcelona
Softheads create handmade textile pieces of décor in a humorous parody of olden day hunting trophies.
The office design was to use each different room for different purposes. It was split into a workshop area, rest area, office area and the showroom. It was an office decision to not physically split off the areas but only by design so the entire space felt open and welcoming. The office has a homely and warm environment, emphasising the nature of the brand. There is also an office pet, further adding to the simple, comfortable vibe of the business.
- TransferGo – Lithuania
TransferGo is a digital remittance solution that allows international funds to be transferred locally.
The design has a repeating orange colour that makes the office pop and stand out from others. It is a reflection of the company logo and provides inspiration and attention from employees. There is a skyping and private call area for individual working. The sofas, drawings on the walls and overall atmosphere of the office are a warm, comfortable tone. This tends to encourage employees to work harder and stay longer in the office as they feel at home in the space.
Ultimately, the majority of the office design should be focused on how to facilitate the most productivity in a method that correctly portrays your brand or business. There should be a mix of both collaborative and individual spaces and especially break rooms where staff can take a well-deserved break. The office furniture should be comfortable and supportive for health and happiness.
Are there any offices you liked or helped design your office?