While it may carry negative connotations, a small workspace doesn’t necessarily mean an awkward or uncomfortable work environment. It is only when that space is poorly utilised that your office may feel cramped, claustrophobic, or stifling to productivity. Often, when conducting our tenant advisory service (or spatial assessment) in Melbourne, we’re challenged by commercial environments that are lacking in square meterage. However, in many instances, we can offer design solutions that dramatically increase the sense of spaciousness without the need for any structural changes.
De-clutter with digital
Sometimes, the answer to your problem is right in front of you. And in today’s tech-driven age, our dependence on digital could be our greatest advantage when it comes to finding extra floor space. Do away with keeping a hard copy of every document. Store it in the cloud, on your hard drive, or anywhere else it won’t take up physical room. Ditch the clutter of wires and cables. Technology like wireless mouses, keyboards, and chargers will make your office-life more convenient and create the impression of an uncluttered environment.
Minimalist design for maximum space
Fittingly, minimalist design is the way to go when space is at a minimum. Resist the urge to decorate your office space with busy art pieces, towering plants, or a collection of knick-knacks from home. While a homey vibe can be pleasant, restraint is important – choose simple, striking art pieces and refined furniture for a more considered look that won’t dominate the space.
Choosing simple and unobtrusive furniture will create visual openings that allow the room (and you) to breathe. Opt for thin frames; consider materials that are transparent or reflective; and, as we’ve discussed in earlier articles, explore mobile furniture options, which can add invaluable flexibility to smaller offices. Whenever possible, avoid unnecessary bulk – before purchasing that plush, 4-seater couch, ask yourself whether it is really going to make your employees more comfortable than having extra space to move around in.
Verticality is vital
Even if your office isn’t blessed with the luxury of a high ceiling, designing with an emphasis on verticality can open up the space. Choosing furniture with long, thin legs and decor that features vertical lines such as photo frames and wallpapers can create the illusion of more height. On a practical note, taking advantage of vertical storage will create more room to move around in and combat feelings of stuffiness.
Light and bright to lift the space
Not only can light and bright colours have a positive effect on mood and wellbeing, but they can also make a room look and feel bigger. Painting the walls light colours is easy on the eye and opens up the office – even better if you can incorporate natural light into the area. Conversely, choosing dark shades for the floors gives the impression that they are extending further. For furniture, we recommend lighter options in fabrics that are durable and easy to clean.
Keep it simple for the strongest results
Every space has potential, and optimising the feel and function of your workplace simply requires a bit of know-how and a considered approach to design. Choosing unobtrusive furniture, a strategic layout, and light colours will prevent a lack of square meterage from stifling employee performance and wellbeing. Most importantly, keep it simple – consult the professionals at Merit Interiors for a design approach that fits more into less.