If you’re looking to reinvigorate your employees, it might be time to change up the look of your office. Redesigning this space can bring fresh energy to your team, encouraging productivity, boosting morale, and perhaps even inspiring new and innovative ideas. It can also be a memorable way to mark a milestone for your business.
But once you get into the nitty-gritty of actually rearranging your office furniture, you might realize you’ve stumbled upon a pretty sizable task. From aesthetics to your team’s input, there are numerous factors to consider for office space reconfiguration.
Fortunately, we’ve put together some helpful tips and tricks to help you better understand what matters most when giving your office a new look. Read on to learn our top five tips for how to arrange office furniture from the conference room to the cubicle and everywhere in between.
#1 Prioritize Workflow
Above all else, your office is meant to be a functional area where team members get their jobs done, so it’s important to make sure the space is conducive to productive work. While it might seem aesthetically pleasing to fill the walls with newly acquired modern art, it’s counterproductive if there’s no room for filing cabinets, bulletin boards, and shelves.
To create an efficient office space that helps your team get in the zone (and stay in the zone), take some time to understand their workflows, which can vary by department or even by individual. This information will help you focus on and prioritize certain aspects of your redesign.
Think about organizing one of the following to receive feedback:
- A company-wide brainstorming session
- A survey
- A meeting with the department heads
In addition to what you learn from your team, other factors to take into account include:
- Communication needs – If your team often works together and discusses work-related issues with each other, reconfiguring your office layout into individually-spaced cubicles might not be the most conducive to efficient workflow. Instead, consider taking down barriers between individual spaces to encourage more collaboration.
- Desk placement – Wondering what is the best desk position in the office? Figure out which departments or people work closely together and think about placing them near each other. It can be a huge headache for two team members who need to be in constant communication to be placed at opposite ends of the floor. Run your proposed seating arrangement by your team to avoid any issues.
- Technological requirements – It’s tempting to try out a bold, innovative floor plan, like situating desks in concentric circles starting from the middle of the room, but check that you have the technological office equipment to support it. In this case, if the only outlets in the office are on the wall, certain team members may struggle to charge their devices.
- Walkways – It’s exciting to have office furniture from our office furniture collections delivered for your redesign, but make sure all those smart new pieces are well-placed. Spend some time experimenting with locations for filing and storage cabinets so that they don’t crowd the walkways. That way, you’ll get the most value out of your new furniture.
#2 Try an Open-Office Design
If you want to spice things up at the office, trade out those high walls and closed doors for an open-office floor plan filled with low-walled cubicles, lounge areas and benches, and transparent glass meeting rooms.
There are multiple benefits to an open-office design, such as:
- Easier communication
- More economical use of space
- Flexible layouts that can be reconfigured with little effort
When tearing down those cubicle walls, make sure to keep the following tips in mind:
- Natural light is your friend – Situate your open-office furniture arrangement in a room with large windows. Your team will appreciate the sun exposure and the ability to see the outside world. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your office space is as evenly lit as possible so that no team member finds themself sitting in a dark corner.
- Proper spacing is key – While it can be tempting to try to squeeze as many people into an open-office plan as possible, it’s important to make sure that team members still have enough personal space to work comfortably. You should also take noise into account, and consider placing dividers if you think any distractions may carry over. Privacy and comfort of your employees is another consideration. You may want to consider purchasing a below desk modesty panel for any desk in an open office environment.
Don’t forget to add variety – Ease of movement is a primary perk of open-office environments, so make sure your team has plenty of options for where to work. Beyond just individual spaces, think about including a comfy sofa set in the lounge area, mobile whiteboards that can be taken into meeting rooms, and modular training tables that can be configured in many different ways.
#3 Consider Individual Spaces
No matter how collaborative and open your office is, it’s still important to create areas where team members can get into the zone and focus without distractions when they need to.
If you have the space in your office, a new batch of cubicle workstations might be in order. Arrange them in a way that allows for walkways to go between and around them. Finish them off with firm, posture-friendly chairs and desktop power modules.
If you’re not ready for a complete overhaul, a set of desk dividers can work wonders. A desk divider is an affordable alternative to cubicles that come with the following benefits:
- Opportunities for personalization – A new set of fabric dividers can double as a bulletin board so that employees can hang up holiday cards, family photos, or reference documents. Dry-erase dividers can be used for reminders, notes, and doodles. Your team will appreciate the ability to personalize their workspace, allowing them to take greater ownership over it.
- Privacy – For team members dealing with sensitive or classified information, desk dividers create designated personal spaces where they can keep sensitive documents out in the open while working. Additionally, having a private workspace comes in handy for when team members want to sneak in a quick lunch at their office computer desk without everyone looking.
- Less stress – A lively, social office can make for an enjoyable work environment, but when it comes to crunch time, your team also needs spaces where they can buckle down without fear of distraction. Otherwise, the possibility of being interrupted and the need to tell coworkers to stay away can become a source of tension or stress.
#4 Use Versatile Conference Room Tables
If you work in a small office space or your conference room doubles as a workspace most days of the week, think about outfitting the small office space with tables that can be easily reconfigured to match the needs of your team.
For instance, multi-purpose office nesting tables can be lined up against the wall when needed for individual work or pulled out into the middle of the room when needed for conferences and meetings. Tables that feature wheels make for even easier maneuvering and rearranging.
Here are a few conference table arrangements to try:
- Single table – This is the traditional conference room layout, which features a centrally located table and chairs surrounding it. A single table is perfect for discussion-heavy meetings. While you can always opt for one long table, arranging smaller tables around a larger main table can allow you to create different configurations based on your meeting needs (for instance, if you want to break out into groups).
- U-shaped table – Often used in classroom settings, U-shaped or horseshoe tables are ideal for multimedia presentations or when there is a single speaker. If your office has upcoming training sessions, a U-shaped setup means that all team members can see the visuals without turning their chairs.
- Multiple tables – If your team works best in breakout groups, you can turn your bigger central table into multiple smaller tables seating four to six people. Team members will appreciate the opportunity to share ideas in small groups before presenting them in front of the whole office.
#5 Bring in Dark Colored Seating
If you’re thinking about revamping your reception area or conference rooms, dark-colored sofas and armchairs are sure to impress. In fact, darker colors come with the following advantages:
- A warm aesthetic – Darker colors bring a sense of warmth and formality to a room. So, meeting rooms or office spaces with midnight blue or black sofas and chairs can show potential clients that you mean business while helping them feel relaxed.
- Easy cleanup – While lighter furniture pieces easily show stains and dirt, darker furniture pieces naturally conceal these types of small blemishes. For the areas of your office that experience heavy amounts of traffic, such as the reception area or lounge area, darker colors can help you achieve that clean, put-together look.
To arrange your dark-colored furniture in a way that exudes professionalism while welcoming team members and clients, consider these setups for the following spaces:
- For the reception area, place navy or black couches and armchairs against walls painted in your company colors. Make sure couches and armchairs face each other versus the reception desk to create a more inviting work space.
- For the lounge area, place laidback deep gray or blue armchairs around an oval, angle-leg coffee table to encourage relaxation, conversation, and shared snacks.
- For the conference room, place black leather highback conference chairs around a glossy wooden table for a sleek, professional look that invites discussion and collaboration.
Juniper: Full Service Solutions for All Your Workplace Needs
By rearranging your office furniture in a way that prioritizes workflow and meets your team’s needs, you can create a productive work environment that both team members and clients will feel excited about.
Looking for a little help revamping your unique work space? With over a century of experience in the office furniture industry, we at Juniper can provide trusted solutions for all your workplace needs. From consulting to installation services, we’ll be with you every step of the way in your redesign to ensure you achieve the office of your dreams.
Beyond The Magazine. Office Space Floor Planning: Do You Have an Efficient Workflow and Layout? https://beyondthemagazine.com/office-space-floor-planning-do-you-have-an-efficient-workflow-and-layout/
Home Decor Bliss. Should You Choose Light Or Dark Living Room Furniture? (Inc. 14 Examples). https://homedecorbliss.com/light-or-dark-living-room-furniture/
LinkedIn. 9 ways to make open office plans work for your company. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/9-ways-make-open-office-plans-work-your-company-lisbi-abraham
Gallup. How to Make an Open Office Floor Plan Work. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236219/open-office-floor-plan-work.aspx
CVent. The Ultimate Guide to U-Shaped Seating. https://www.socialtables.com/blog/meeting-event-design/u-shaped-seating/