Many businesses use their workplace, commercial property or office as a reason top talent should want to work for or with them. This is used as a way to show the company culture in a physical way. The office has long represented what a business stands for or aims to achieve, which is why so much effort and resource goes into finding the right one. A cool office can be seen as staying relevant and appealing to what employees are looking for, but is that still the case?
As with any feature or decor trend, cool office ideas are subjective and can show more about the designer or person who commissioned it more than the business. That said, no one wants to work in a stale environment, so there’s a balance to be found to get the right atmosphere.
Does A Cool Office Really Make A Difference?
There was a time when an innovative, cool office was a big selling point for potential employees. Given that workers were spending a huge amount of time each day in the office, the better an environment it was, the more alluring it became. Remote working has changed this to a point, with fewer people spending as much time in the office as before, but it still needs to be a place people want to go to.
A cool office goes beyond the physical factors, though. While office design ideas make an impact on people visiting and working in the office, it also contributes to the atmosphere. A great looking office that caters to the needs of the business and employees will generate a better atmosphere and instantly make the place more inviting and welcoming.
Balancing Form And Substance
Finding the balance of a cool office and a good place to work isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s easy for business leaders to spend all their time coming up with office design ideas that they think will make all the difference to workers.
Going too far with the office design ideas runs the risk of not enough effort being put into other areas of the business, and these can be just as important in attracting – and retaining – talent. No matter how good the office is, you need to think about what else is important to the people making your business a success.
You should also keep in mind there are building regulations that must be followed, too, and certain design elements may be restricted by those. Health and safety risks should also be at the centre of any plans, such as making sure there are no obstructions to fire escapes and that materials used are treated properly. There’s a lot of, what some would say, boring processes to go through and check against.
Ensuring Your Perks Aren’t Surface Deep
A great office, with breakout areas, social areas, and a foosball table is all well and good, but your staff don’t go to the office to play games or relax with their co-workers. That wouldn’t help with productivity or business success, so as good as these areas or perks are, making them the focus just shows people what they could do with their time if they weren’t working.
This is where you have to balance out the perks offered to staff. It can start as a cool office with all the above areas or items, but think deeper to what kind of environment it helps create. That’s a deeper, more meaningful offering than an arcade machine or free piece of fruit every morning.
Take that concept further and look deeper at the things people want from their employer. There’s nothing wrong with a cool office, but it’s not the most important thing for everyone.
On top of the perks, think about other factors that will help potential employees want to work for you – and in your office – such as:
- Accessible locations
- Suitable parking
- Public transport links
- Nearby amenities
What Office Ideas Matter To Your Business?
So, while cool office design matters, but not too much to detract from other aspects of your business employees look for, what can the right office or commercial property do for your business? Yes, you can create the wow-factor for first time visitors, but that only works once. You’ll need more to make sure there’s a lasting impact.
That said, an impact doesn’t have to be a big, in your face moment. It can be a slower, more subtle feeling that builds confidence the longer someone is in the area. Depending on the business, this can be a much better approach, but it does depend on how success is measured and where that comes from.
Creating The Right Atmosphere
The office design features you include have more than a practical application. They set the tone, and that’s why a feature wall is used by many businesses. Not only does this make sense from a branding point of view – it helps set the tone for the rest of the office – but you can make the decor consistent throughout the entire office.
This goes a long way to creating the atmosphere your business needs to succeed. From a quiet, focused workplace to a thriving, bustling environment, or anything in between, getting the right atmosphere not only sets up the company for success, but it shows visitors, customers, and clients that everyone is on the same page.
We’ve included some ideas and themes you can think about below.
Providing The Best Tools And Resources
An open plan office is the most common type of setup for a lot of businesses now, to encourage better workplace relations and communications across the business. It’s also a great use of space, but meeting rooms are also still required.
Beyond this, there are office design ideas that can help your business thrive. Meeting rooms are good, but breakout areas where workers can work together don’t have to be completely separate from the rest of the office atmosphere. These areas represent a change of pace and that can help bring out amazing ideas and results. Make use of:
- Bean bags
- Writable walls
- Shareable tech
- Other features to promote collaboration.
An area to relax and chill out can also help workers with a quick restart when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Ensuring there are good facilities for breaks, and everything people could use to eat properly can keep your teams in top shape.
What Office Design Ideas Are Worth Considering?
While office design can often be considered a personal preference, it’s a bit more complicated for a business. The business as a whole has to match the style and the staff should be considered – as they’re the ones that have to embrace it.
Encouraging natural light is one way to immediately lift the mood and atmosphere. You create a sense of freshness and brightness that makes everyone feel better and more energised, as it has been proven that natural light is more beneficial to people than artificial light sources.
Water features were once a sign of affluence in an office, and while they can be calming, they can often be seen as wasteful if too extravagant. Some businesses use their feature wall to incorporate a water feature, or a smaller piece to add some atmosphere.
Industrial and modern looks go for very clean colours and shapes, moving away from natural tones and materials. This is especially true in city centre offices, but also shows that the business is on the cutting edge and pushing into the future, which gives confidence to customers and clients.
Incorporating natural tones can be a boon, bringing a synergy between the indoors and nature that makes for a warm, welcoming environment. This is a smart, professional look that has been used in businesses for many years.
Focusing on space has been a highlight of open plan offices for a long time. While you can enjoy flexibility in how people and resources are located, it can make an office feel bigger and more inviting than before. Even with a lot of people, highlighting spacious areas reduces the feeling of being cramped.
Bring nature to the front with plants and greenery. This takes some maintenance but the benefits of office plants can’t be overstated. They help with cleaning up the air in the office and break up what can sometimes be a monotonous environment.
Choosing bold colours makes a statement. These colours can align with branding or play to the psychological associations that come with certain colours – both can bring boons to your office space. You don’t have to go overboard, either, as subtle highlights can work with any number of office styles.
Glass designs encourage openness and transparency, which helps everyone in the business feel a part of one larger team, regardless of the business structure.
Looking For A Cool Office To Attract Talent To Your Business?
While a cool office has its perks, there’s a lot more to think about then just how the property looks. Office design can change as trends do, but some elements and features are integral to the commercial property you choose. When these add value to the office – and business – they are great selling points.
A lot of properties are blank slates, allowing the business to make their mark on the space. What can be done is agreed under the rental agreement, but property owners have much more control over the changes, style or decor they want to use. Whether you choose to rent or buy commercial property depends on your preference and viability, but there are options open to you.
When it comes to finding a new office, contact our team at Williams Sillitoe and we will help you find the right location – and incorporate any office ideas you have where possible.