It may take a little more thought to set small office spaces up in a way that truly works for your business, but it is totally possible.
Many startups lease or buy small office spaces when they’re starting out because they are obviously much cheaper, and there is nothing wrong with this so long as you take the time to optimize the small office space you’re working in. Why? Because the environment in which your employees’ works will affect HOW they work. If they feel cramped and claustrophobic, they are likely to be less productive than their counterparts who work in spacious offices.
Luckily, it is possible to optimize small office space in such a way that it is as good for its purposes as larger areas. Here’s how…
The most important part of your office is arguably the place where your employees complete the bulk of their work, so it’s of vital importance that you optimize it well.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to get rid of any big, office furniture that you may be using. Replace bulky desks with slimline ergonomic models that take up less space while offering more comfort.
Since small spaces can get pretty dark, you’re also going to want to replace dark desks with lighter, brighter ones that will freshen up the space and make the most of any light that comes in.
Individual office desks are ideal, but if you’re really limited for space, our cluster desks are ideal because they provide just enough workspace and privacy for multiple people, while being easily able to fit into a corner or an otherwise unused centre space.
To make even more space, you might want to ditch things like filing cabinets completely, storing your important documents in the cloud instead. This will make a huge difference to the amount of light and space and may even enable you to add more of the important office furniture like desks or chairs into the workspace.
If you must have filing cabinets, choose slimline models that can easily slot into any nooks and crannies that you would not be able to choose for other purposes anyway.
Employees often need and desire more privacy than small office spaces can give them. One very effective ways of getting around this is by making the space more flexible via the use of dividers and folding walls that can be erected when needed and collapsed and easily stored away in a small space when they are not required.
Your waiting room or reception area, if you have one, is also very important. It is the first part of the office that visiting clients will see, after all. That’s why, when you’re thinking about how to optimize small office spaces, you need to take it into consideration too.
The Reception Desk
The reception desk is the most important piece of office furniture in this area. It is the focal point of the space and a practical place for the reception staff to work. If you’re short on space, choose a reception desk or counter which is circular, that way you can maximise the amount of space available for working on without taking up as much space. Of course, this only works if your reception area is not very narrow. For narrow spaces, a small square or rectangular reception island set as close to the wall as possible would work well.
For your reception staff, comfy ergonomic chairs are essential for their comfort and we have a great range of slimline ones, like this available.
In terms of chairs for visitors, you’re going to want to choose something comfy, but lightweight, which can easily be stacked and which can be placed close together, so that you can remove chairs when they are not needed, but make full use of the space available when necessary. Our Adapt chairs are ideal for this. Make use of nooks and alcoves to place chairs where you can, as this will leave more space for moving around.
The boardroom is the place where all of the important decisions are made and as such, it’s vital that, although it is a small office space, it doesn’t feel like one. Office furniture in the boardroom needs to be comfortable, luxurious even, and this can be more of a challenge to organise but it is not impossible.
Meeting and/or conference tables are arguably the most important piece of furniture in the boardroom. They are where talks are had and deals are done, so they need to be spacious enough to give everyone the room to think. When it comes to small office furniture, therefore, round tables are often best. They use less space overall while giving everyone adequate room to manoeuvre and it’s a lot easier to tuck chairs in and have them not impact the rest of the room.
Boardroom chairs need to be comfortable and supportive. If you’re dealing with small office spaces, they also need to take up as little room as possible. Chairs with swivel bases are often ideal since their legs take up far less space than traditional chairs. They also allow for a greater range of movement within a small space.
If you’re lucky enough to have a meeting room in a small office space, chances are it’s going to be quite small. One thing you can do to mitigate against this is to do away with desks and tables completely. Just pack in as many comfortable chairs as you can and everyone will have a seat.
A general idea that you can use in all areas of the office is to open out space as much as possible. Instead of having lots of cubicles and separate rooms, if you can use corridors and hallways into collaborative spaces and places where collapsible furniture can be placed at a pinch, it’ll be much easier to use your small office spaces advantageously.
Small office spaces really can be good office spaces!