Oftentimes, when we search for office design inspirations, we often come across large expansive office spaces. Be it Google or LEGO, you are taught that to have a beautiful space, you need a large space. While it is true that having a larger space allows you to do more, this is not always possible. Afterall, we all need to start from somewhere and capital is hard to come by at the start.
Small offices as a reality for start-ups and small businesses
As such, most newer businesses start with small office spaces. Oftentimes, they would occupy a single unit within an office building. This means that they will squeeze in as many employees as possible till realized profit allows them to expand.
How much space do employees need?
Prior research studies have cited the need for employees to have at least 100 square feet of workspace. This thus means that your employees will find themselves working in congested spaces. Without need for elaboration, it is clear that this is sub-optimal for both their health and productivity.
Enlarging your office space
How then can business owners of such small offices feasibly improve their office room interior design? The answer lies in utilizing furniture, furnishings, paint and lighting to visually enlarge the space.
There are still multiple ways to make full use of the environment and to even enhance the amount of perceived space. All that is needed is a little creativity and knowledge of interior design. In this article, we will be taking a look at a few of these aspects and giving you tips on how to pull them off.
Changing your furniture and furnishings
When filling out a small office space, think neat, small and simple. Start by tearing down any cubicles, big file cabinets or large visual blockages. Instead, replace them with open head space and digital storage.
Furthermore, shift out bulky desks in favor of elevated desks. High desks like those in cafes provide employees with more visual space while also giving you storage area below. Do also consider geometric tables that offer the same number of seats as traditional desks yet take up less space.
Ergonomic design of smaller furniture can also be observed. Typically, attributes of these furniture include open arms and exposed legs. As such, a more airy feeling is introduced into the space.
If bulky furniture and furnishings are required, then consider ensuring they are of the same colour as your walls. This helps the furniture blend into your walls and thus not standout in your space.
Hot Desking is an arrangement whereby employees do not have set seating arrangements. Instead, they are free to select their seats at any one time when available. This arrangement is great for small offices where not every employee needs to be in the office every day. Instead, those assigned to come in for the day would pick their seats on a daily basis. In turn, no space is wasted on unoccupied seats.
In similar fashion, consider having multiple uses for your rooms. Instead of solely dedicating rooms to conferences, ideation or relaxation, ensure both functions are accommodated in a single space. When paired with a proper booking system, you can be assured that your office space is always utilized optimally.
Optical illusion techniques can be used to visually enlarge the space. Generally, lighter colours make a space appear bigger and less constricted. Scientifically, this occurs as light or bright walls reflect more light and thus create an open and airy feeling. Conversely, dark colours absorb more light and thus make the space more cozy.
This is not to say that your office cannot have dark paint. Instead through careful planning, both types of paint can be used. Dark paint would help to funnel or direct people’s attention towards brighter spaces. In this way, you would not be overwhelming a person but instead be providing a clear focus point in the space.
Having said that, there is a trade-off. Should you choose instead to use a single colour to paint the office, the boarders of the room are less apparent. In this area, a space can possibly appear bigger.
However, this is not exactly straight forward. For example, you could paint the walls in bright paint or the ceiling in dark colours. In this way, the space appears wider since our eyes’ focus is forced sidewards.
For starters, natural light contributes to opening up your space and maximizing its perceived area. Where possible, install extensive windows in order to have as much light stream into your office as possible. This is why many small offices nowadays feature full length windows or even open glass ceilings.
What if installing windows and allowing natural light in is not an option? In which case you can consider introducing bright lights of different shades of white and yellow. This helps to mimic the feeling of natural sunlight to some extent while also providing enough light to the workspace.
Also, in replacement of the natural feel of sunlight, try having other biophilic features such as plant walls. These coupled with bright lights help to enhance the airy feeling of the space.
Have you ever walked into a seemingly large retail store, restaurant or gym, only to realie that it was much smaller? If so, then you would likely have been looking at full length mirrors that multiplied the perceived space by 2 times.
Installing full length mirrors along the length of your office creates an illusion of depth. Furthermore, it reflects all kinds of light, making the room even brighter than before. When combined with full length windows, the mirrors reflect natural sunlight deeper into the office space.
Rely on Visual ID’s Expertise
Visual ID is a small office interior design firm in Singapore. If you want to revamp your small office in your dream style, then we are here to help. Our team is highly experienced in working with business owners towards their goals. We also offer precise and helpful advice on the feasibility of your plans and ensure that it is as equally good looking as it is functional.