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Tips For Maximising A Small Office Space Small office is your problem? Here's what will change the game for you

By Jasmine Daruwalla

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Winston Churchill once rightly said, "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us." The importance of an office space used to be constantly overlooked before. However, with so much focus being laid on increasing employee productivity, design of office spaces have earned itself a spotlight and become important considerations when running a business. Yet, a big comfortable office space with private cabins is rarely seen beyond movie screens. The reality of the matter is, there is a huge space constraint in the country and hence, office spaces are shrinking making it extremely important to optimise even the smallest of spaces. Here are a few tips to maximise the smallest of office spaces.

#1 - Flexibility is the new Mantra

Say goodbye to rigid spaces with defined intent of use and introduce a wave of versatility into your office layout. While the usage of folding or sliding furniture is a good way to introduce flexibility to your office space, a better way to achieve this is through intelligent planning of space that will aid in modifying the area as needed. For example, walls can be used to display presentations instead of installing projection screens. Use of innovative dividers that double up as a bulletin board can help create shared but still private workspaces for employees while providing additional utility. Meeting or conference rooms can also be designed to become more flexible in terms of the size of meetings. Having unique screens that can divide a large room into multiple meeting rooms is a smart way to save utilise the often unused space in the room for smaller meetings.

#2 - Take Note of the Material Selection

Heavy materials like stone, marble or rugs can make space seem tight and smaller than it actually is. While these materials can seem luxurious and sophisticated from an aesthetic perspective, they can also feel too suffocating when used in small spaces. Instead, use lighter materials like wood and utilise simple finishes to make space feel airier thus, giving an illusion of a larger space. Heavy furniture like elaborate couches and large desks take up too much space and make a small office feel crowded. Instead, use lighter and comfortable furniture like multifunctional chairs and movable desks in common spaces. A popular trend is the utilisation of glass doors or walls to replace white-boards therefore, leaving more open space for other necessary fixtures.

#3 – Do Away With Chaos and Clutter

Go on a purge spree and ditch all the unnecessary furniture or equipment from the office that you don't need. When there is clutter in a small space, space can seem too congested leading to a fall in employee productivity. Use intelligent storage solutions and smart devices to sort through elaborate wiring in the office to make your office feel less packed. It is also a great idea to utilise a cloud service to store your data instead of having a paper trail which needs physical space for storage.

#4 - Play with Light

Lighting can make a huge difference in employee productivity. Studies show that by simply being in a better lit room, employees work better while dark spaces can make them feel lethargic and drowsy. Harness any opportunity to access natural light and utilise it in your office space. Small spaces without adequate windows can make space feel claustrophobic. If utilisation of natural light is not possible, opt for intelligent LED overhead downlighting instead of table or floor lamps as they take up unnecessary space.

#5 - Blurring the Lines of Common Areas

When working in a small office, every inch of space is vital and critical in the layout. Ensure smart utilisation of common areas and make them functional for work. Meeting rooms and cafeterias should be flexible enough to utilise for work in case employees feel like a need for change from their tiny cubicles. Cafeterias can become impromptu informal meeting zones for quick brainstorming sessions. Ensure that although there are separate zones in your office, every space is flexible and can be converted to fit another purpose.

Jasmine Daruwalla

Managing Director, Seedle by DC Group

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