Designing your open plan office is an exciting opportunity to tell your employees and your clients who you are as a business. Much like your home, your office will serve to give a little insight into your personality and taste. For your team, it will help illustrate the culture you endorse and continue to nurture.
Open plan office design was in many ways inspired by startup work environments and the incredible results so many of them achieve with their teams. This often begins in the culture that a business builds – and office environment is instrumental in culture building.
Whether you consider yourself a creative company or not does not matter when it comes to your selection of an office space, as actually, people like to take pride in where they work no matter the discipline. The key to finding an office that appeals to the needs of every character in your team is to ensure that the space allows for as much flexibility to create a little something for everyone.
Consider investing in soft furnishings like rugs, cushions and bean bags – along with a variety of plants and flowers – to create a comforting and beautiful space. Plants are particularly popular as they are fantastic for the quality of air in office spaces and bring a touch of the outdoors, in.
Open plan office – A Flexible Workspace
One of the most important attributes in modern workspaces is the ability to create comforting hubs and hangouts that resemble similar comforts of home. As pictured above from our Office Space in Shoreditch, introducing sofas and other lounge furniture replicates that of a living room – offering flexibility to the team. These spaces can be used to have meetings, take breaks, or to inspire the same creativity that comes from sitting on your own sofa among friends.
Creating these spaces in a bustling office also allows team members to take short breaks when they need to clear their heads or reprioritise for the day. Let’s not forget the additional perk of being able to host clients and partners in your workspace – they’ll have the luxury of being comfortable while also being able to observe the team and office dynamic you’ve built.
Open plan office – Create Space to Collaborate
As seen in our Luke Street, Shoreditch based offices, collaboration spaces can often begin by simply banking teams together in desk clusters. Think about the ways in which you can enable teams to work and engage with each other with ease. The simplest way of doing this is to ensure they’re sat together, particularly with productivity in mind. Instead of waiting for meetings to get quick answers for live projects, the team can raise questions and thoughts at the desk. It also allows for other team members to weigh in on discussions they may overhear and be able to contribute to.
What is great about renting an office space, is that you can quite often adopt an open plan layout to your changing needs. By investing in agile ways of working, you’ll very quickly be able to adapt depending on what comes next for your business. Desk banks can be extended or separated, storage units can be moved and in many cases, additional space can be purchased.
Open plan office – Privacy Hubs and Focus Booths
Privacy hubs or focus booths, as they’re often coined, are essential to open plan office design. These pods, as illustrated above in our Shoreditch High Street workspaces, are highly recommended for both small and large offices. They offer the opportunity for team members to knuckle down and meet challenging deadlines, deal with sensitive tasks and information and take the space they need to take a personal call – without the need to leave the building.
We must also factor in an element of a work/life balance and by adding a touch of privacy to open plan offices, team members are able to ensure they’re contactable for the important elements of their private lives.
Open Plan Office – Fixed Desks vs Hot Desking
Many London teams work alongside agency staff or team members from different locations across the UK and the world. By ensuring you have a collection of hot desks, you’re able to account for the need to offer space on an ad hoc basis. These spaces, similar to the ones pictured above in our offices in Dalston Lane, are extremely adaptable. They can also be used as lunch desks when not in use, or again, as little break out areas for concentration and moments away from the desk.
Hot desking was a particularly popular design for office spaces in recent years, however, there are benefits to being able to call a desk yours. A sense of belonging and ownership can do a great deal to your motivations – so when you are designing your space, ensure you factor in the right desk to person ratio for the team you have.
Open plan office – Meeting Rooms
Open plan environments may not always cater for meeting spaces, and the need for these is inevitable. There are many ways that you may be able to partition an open plan office, however sound and privacy might become issues. It’s worth considering including a private meeting room in your brief to your office manager, even if you decide to go for one that is shared between teams.
As shown above in our Luke Street office space, you are able to maintain your policy and commitment to transparency in your office designs, by opting for a workspace with floor to ceiling windows. While the sound won’t travel, the team has visibility on the activity within the office.
About Canvas Offices
We build and design office spaces with a homely feel. Our current rental offices are Shoreditch, Old Street, Mayfair, Dalston and Clerkenwell, all of which are almost always full. We’re also opening new serviced office spaces in Mayfair, Highbury and Islington and Old Street. If you’ve found this post useful don’t forget to subscribe below. For more information about office spaces in London please get in touch.
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