How To Design Your Office Space Effectively

The way that we work and use our office spaces is changing largely as a result of the global pandemic and the realisation that we don’t always need to be at the office to do our best work. Having said that, the  average adult spends almost a third of their time at work, so getting your office design right is key to getting the most from your employees and your budget. Creating an office environment that is conducive to creative ideas, employee productivity, and well-being as well as creating a flexible space is key if you want your business to thrive.

The rise of hybrid working, flexible working hours, and remote working is leading many businesses to look carefully at their office space to make sure it is working effectively in the new age of workplace flexibility. Rising maintenance and service costs are also contributing to the need for many businesses to review their office space requirements and make the best use of what they have.  So, we’ve put together some tips to get your creative juices flowing and come up with some ideas to help you design your office effectively.

effective use of office space

Office Design Ideas

Many different features contribute to an effective office design. These include:

  • lighting and acoustic design
  • furniture and dividers
  • the use of colours and finishes

Lighting & Acoustic Design

A large part of a successful office design is getting the right lighting scheme and a good acoustic balance for the tasks that staff are expected to undertake. 

Human bodies respond better to natural light and making the most of the natural light available can help to improve mood, productivity, and focus. . Make the most of your existing windows, but make sure that the workstations around them are usable in all types of weather by providing window blinds or other shading where required.

Window manifestation or films on part of the glass offer a practical alternative to blinds, allowing as much natural light in as possible while keeping the glare from the sun away from screens.

If there isn’t much natural light, go for lights that use softer wavelengths. Technologies that change the lighting from cooler greens and blues to warmer yellows and reds as the day progresses, mimicking what happens outside can be an effective way of creating more natural lighting.

To minimise team discomfort and distraction due to mechanical noises or to the sounds of other people chatting, making calls or even eating, consider whether acoustic solutions would help. 

There are now a vast choice of acoustic solutions available, ranging from PET felt baffles and hanging dividers, wall panels and desktop screens to acoustic booths and meeting pods.

Office Dividers

If you are opting for an open-plan space, think about how workstations can be separated. Using things that can be moved such as mobile bookshelves, wire cube storage displays, hanging PET felt acoustic screens, mobile glass or clear perspex dividers, and plants work better than solid structures as they provide more flexibility.

Another effective way to divide the space is an office partition system such as glass walls, office dividers and acoustic panel partitions, particularly if you’re looking to create quiet spaces for detailed or confidential work. These are more permanent options that still provide an open feel to your office design and give a spacious feel to your space.

When you’re dividing up your space, particularly if you’re looking for a flexible option, it’s important to make sure that cables are safe. Wireless products are the best option, but for those that still need plugging in, look at ways of safely incorporating wires within the dividers, in the floor, or along the back or underside of the furniture.

Office Furniture

To make sure your modern office design meets the changing needs of your team, a variety of desk and seat options will create maximum flexibility with your office furniture layouts. Standing and height-adjustable desks, ergonomic chairs, couches, stools, and communal tables are just some of the ways you can cater to the different ways people work.

Having different options means that your teams can work in the way that suits them best. Gone are the days when people didn’t move from their desks and sat all day in an uncomfortable position.Providing flexible options will improve your team’s well-being which in turn, increases focus, job satisfaction and productivity when they’re comfortable. This needs to be factored into the design process when looking at a proposed floor plan to help create a well-designed office space for your employees.

Use of colour and textured finishes

Creating an effective office layout isn’t the only consideration when you’re looking at different office designs. The use of colour is key too. You don’t need to be a designer to know that drab uninspiring colours are unlikely to help your team create their best work. 

Go back to your team’s dynamics and how the space is used. Again, having a variety of options is likely to give everyone what they need and helps to divide an open-plan office into different zones or areas.

Use vibrant colours and bold designs in areas where you want lots of energy and creativity. That doesn’t just mean painting the walls or having photos on a reception desk. Look at adding pops of colour in wall art or chairs and other areas of the design.

Calming colours and subtle textured finishes are best in areas where more concentration is needed or for a relaxation area. It’s also a good plan to develop a colour scheme that complements your company logo and corporate branding.

Our Suggestions To Help Create An Effective Office Space

Creating an effective workspace can feel daunting. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

Space planning and office layoutPreparation is key. Consider what the spaces will be used for and what works well and not so well in your current space. 
What Size Office Do You Need?Consider how many members of staff will be in at any one time and how you can achieve that. 
Does Your Workforce Work Remote?The way we work is changing with more flexible options. Review how your team is going to work and how often a physical office space will be needed
Involve The TeamInvolve your team from the start. Ask them what works and what doesn’t with the current layout. What ideas do they have for improving the space?
Staff welfareA good office space will help to foster community and create a productive workforce. Including things like free healthy snacks, exercise and relaxation spaces can help to achieve that

Space Planning and Office Layout

Preparation is key when it comes to designing a new office space so that you can be sure it’s going to work for your team. A trendy, open-plan space isn’t going to work if your teams need privacy to talk about confidential issues. Nor will it suit all working styles.

If you’re renovating an existing space, spend some time looking at what works well, and what doesn’t. Look at your team’s dynamics and consider how they use the current space, how everyone moves around, and whether any obstacles prevent good flow. 

Carrying out an office space planning exercise is a great way of checking you’re making the best use of all your office, canteen and social spaces. It will help you to consider things like how much natural light there is and making sure workstations make the most of it and where employees can store their personal items if hot desking is going to be used.

What Size Office Do You Need?

Look closely at the office of your office and whether it meets your needs. Space planning can help you identify opportunities to reduce the footprint required for your business. This could provide sub-let opportunities or reduce tenancy overhead costs if you only require part of the building or floor you currently use.

Consider the layout of the office and how much space your business needs. How many people will be using the office daily? How many will need a desk for part of the week only? An open-plan space creates more flexibility and allows better movement and flow that can encourage employees to collaborate and create a positive work environment. If there’s flexibility in the design to create smaller, more private areas as well, that will ensure everyone’s needs are met.

Does Your Workforce Work Remote?

Gone are the days when office workers spent the whole of their work day at their office desks, 9 to 5, five days a week. With more employers recognising the benefits of flexible working styles, more people are working from home, or condensing their working hours in the office to get a better work-life balance.

Remote and flexible working may mean you need less office space. And the space you do need may be different. You may only need a small central hub for occasional team meetings, client appointments or as a base for teleconference calls.

Rather than a conventional office layout, an open meeting area or break-out space along with private meeting rooms, conference rooms and soundproof spaces for phone calls and virtual meetings may work best for your business.

Involve The Team

If you want to create an effective workplace design that helps to boost productivity from the people who use it, include them in the early stages of the planning process. If they have modern office layout ideas and you’re thinking of something completely different, talking it through at the start will help ensure that the end design meets everyone’s needs.

This then means that when you speak with the office designers, you will be speaking on behalf of your team including their ideas to help create an ideal office space for everyone. Involving your team in any major changes keeps everyone feeling included and valued, and may highlight some key improvements that could otherwise have been overlooked.

Staff welfare

Flexible workspaces aren’t just about creating a good work environment. Consider how your space can also provide health benefits for your teams by including features such as a workout and exercise zone, a state-of-the-art kitchen where staff can prepare and eat food, or free healthy drinks, fruit and snacks. 

Find out what’s important to your team.  What will inspire and motivate them?  What will help recruit and retain the best team players in your industry? Your office design should foster community and encourage a productive workforce. Creating an office design with natural light and access to fresh air makes all the difference to how people feel while they’re at work helping to improve their well-being and stress levels.

Do You Need Help With Effective Office Space Design?

The team at Office Options are experts in making effective use of office spaces to create an engaged workforce with design elements that cater for different work styles. Our services include scaled floorplans and 3D renders that enable you to visualise the proposed design before you commit to the cost of implementing them.

We will guide you through your project from initial design to final delivery, helping you create a space that will work effectively for your business.

Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help.

To discuss your project with our team today, give us a call on 01642 211 100 and email us at