Designing an Office With Comfort and Productivity in Mind
Whether you need a space for a whole team or just need to revamp a room in your home, designing an office requires a careful balance of form and function, comfort and creativity. Your office should be a pleasant, inspiring place, but also one that encourages you to keep alert and makes it easy to stay productive. Here's how to create an office that will make you love going to work.
Get in the Zone
Consider exactly what kinds of work you need to do in your office — and how you like to do it. If you do a lot of research, do you prefer to sit at a desk or kick back with your laptop? Do you need a large surface for rolling out blueprints or fabric? Do you need to entertain clients? Make a list of your typical work tasks.
Once you have an idea of how your office will be used, group tasks by work zone. For example, what things do you do at your desk? On the couch? With a team? By dividing your work this way, you'll get a clearer view of the zones you need in your design, whether it's a conference area, standing desk or La-Z-Boy. These areas don't have to be big, but you can't skip the essential work zones if you want to remain productive in your new office space.
Most people skip the concept of filing and organization when designing their work zones, but this is a huge mistake. Even if you only think about filing at tax time, your organization system is an integral part of your work life, so it's automatically one of your zones.
Break that zone down further by considering what types of items you need to store. Paper and folders are the most common, but you also probably have office supplies, business cards and a slew of other records. You might also have portfolios, product samples, raw materials and a whole lot of tech to deal with. Figure out the best type of storage for your particular pile of stuff and calculate how much you need. Then double it.
As for placement, your storage can be in a zone of its own or spread among other work zones to keep your supplies close at hand. To save space, try shelving and built-ins around the perimeter of your office so you're never far from anything you need.
Once you've hashed out the nuts and bolts that will keep you organized and productive, it's time for the fun part. Choosing the right colors and materials for your office is a big part of making your space comfortable and inviting. The easiest thing to do is to choose a fabric you love for curtains or upholstery, then use our color matching tool to choose your favorite shade to paint your walls. This guarantees you'll feel right at home.
If you need to entertain clients or share your office with others, let feng shui color traditions be your guide. White and gray are great for creativity and mental clarity to help you stay focused, while warmer neutrals like beige and brown signify stability to clients and employees alike. To inspire personal growth and a sense of harmony, green is a calming choice. Red is a power color that is best used as accents to add a splash of "I'm a rock star in my field" cache.
Color is also highly dependent on lighting, so make sure your office design includes as much natural light as possible. If that's a challenge, add task lighting — just skip the fluorescent bulbs, which are unnatural and fatiguing.
The physical arrangement of your office will contribute most to productivity, but the choice of color and fabrics will create a comfortable, individualized space to work. Balance the two, and you'll have the perfect work home! In order to find the best decor and colors for your office, be sure to use our color matching tool, COLOR MUSE, today!