A proper organization of your enterprise starts with your office organization. Why? Well, because people are susceptible to all sorts of stimuli and by creating a work-friendly environment, you can help get the most out of your employees.
When it comes to productivity, there are some things like one’s work ethic, mindset, and talents which you just can’t affect.
The best you can do is give them a chance to live up to their full potential. Here’s how you can set up a new office essentials checklist and start with this process.
Table of Contents
1. Pick the right space
One of the things that not a lot of people will outright admit is the fact that your office decoration and fit-out starts long before you start making the list.
It starts with the consideration of the layout of the place, which means that it starts when you start making a decision on which office space to lease out or buy.
Here, you need to consider two things. The first one is the size of the place. Here, you need to keep in mind the potential growth, not just your current needs or the current size of your staff. Second, you need to take the layout into consideration.
Speaking of the size, you need to ensure that there’s enough room for everyone. The maximum capacity of the people in the room is irrelevant.
What you need is to find a way to provide everyone with a sufficient amount of space. According to some estimates, this is about 7 square meters of personal space per employee.
If, on the other hand, you aim to go for a traditional cubicle system, you might want to take into consideration the surface of the room that will be consumed by these wall dividers.
2. The budget
The next thing you need to take into consideration is your office fit-out budget. First of all, you need to think about the lease that you can actually afford.
The overhead is always there, however, during your move-in period, you’ll also have to make a substantial number of one-time purchases.
You would be surprised to learn just how quickly these expenses pile up, which means that you need to know exactly how much money you’re currently working with.
Perhaps the biggest issue on this list is the technology, which is something that definitely requires an elaborate checklist.
First of all, you need computers (one per employee) and computer peripherals. When it comes to this, you also need to take into consideration the fact that multi-monitor setups are getting more and more popular by the minute.
Apart from this, you also need to make a choice between desktop and laptop computers. Then, there’s the standard office equipment like scanners, shredders, copiers and printers. All in all, you have so much to factor in.
3. Ergonomic furniture
The next thing you need to think about is the basic office furniture which needs to be sufficient in both numbers and quality. Your average employee spends so much time sitting behind their desk that the quality of their office chair, the height of the desk and the angle at which they look at the monitor have a serious impact on their health.
Their health is your primary concern for a lot of reasons, ranging from the fact that fewer sick days mean higher productivity, all the way to the fact that it’s just an ethical thing to do. This is why you might want to opt for ergonomic furniture.
Speaking of ergonomic office trends, you might want to go a bit more innovative and look for something like standing desks. This way, you get to make an even greater investment in the health, focus and productivity of your staff.
Naturally, one more ingenious thing about standing desks is the fact that they virtually compel your staff to embrace the concept of interval working.
Seeing as how they won’t stand for 8 hours straight, they are forced to split their working sessions into 20-10 or 25-5 intervals, where they work for 20 or 25 minutes and rest for 5 or 10 minutes.
4. A breakroom or a cafeteria
In the previous section, we’ve talked about the importance of taking a break, which is something that a lot of people tend to lose from their minds.
When behind on schedule, a lot of people tend to skip breaks, which only makes them less focused and productive.
In order to avoid this, you need to make these breaks mandatory and, for this, you need a great break room. The room should be separated from the main work area, it should have enough seating and, of course, some optional entertainment.
One more thing worth your time and money is a cafeteria or, at least, an office kitchen. It has been known for a while that some healthy foods, like those containing an abundance of good fats, help stimulate the brain thus providing one with a substantial boost to their cognitive abilities.
While you can’t control the diet of your employees while they’re not in the office, you can, at least, partially affect one of their daily meals this way. On the other hand, you could at least make an office kitchen and consider outfitting it with commercial coffee machines. Coffee is a known work-stimulator.
5. A visitor system
One more thing worth taking into consideration is the fact that your office isn’t something that you’re decorating for your staff exclusively. What you also need is a visitor check-in system.
For instance, when decorating, you need to have it clear in your mind which areas the non-employees will be allowed to visit.
Here, you need to put a special emphasis on branding. Apart from this, you also need a great visitor management system, for the sake of security.
Speaking of visitors and security, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, an outsider should never be allowed to wander the premises unsupervised, so make sure that they’re always tailed by the member of your staff.
Second, provide them with vests and labels, so that they can be spotted from a mile away.
Third, you might want to invest in a check-in machine, which will both keep track and record of who came to visit your office.
Therefore, if there is an incident, you can do far more accurate diagnostics.
When it comes to the issue of security, in general, you might want to take an extra step to ensure that your office is in the right hands. For instance, when it comes to office space in general, installing a reliable surveillance and monitoring system is a bare minimum.
In this day and age, such a thing is not nearly as expensive as it was in the past. Apart from it, you may also feel the need to protect the surroundings of the office space. What this means is that you should erect a fence, install a gatehouse and hire a security guard.
Just keep in mind that not all the danger comes from the outside, which is why you need to have your surveillance system covering the storage room and your guard checking the employees as they are checking-out. Why?
Well, because despite your best wishes and hopes, employee theft is a real thing and a pestilence of the business world. Still, tending to this issue is something that you need to start worrying about as soon as you start hiring people.
7. Something extra
The next thing you need to take into consideration is the fit-out steps that can make your office unique; those that can make it stand out. For instance, instead of a regular break room, you can turn the area of the office into a recharge room.
The concept of a 20-minute power nap is something that’s getting more and more attention in the business world, which is what makes entrepreneurs all over the globe dedicate one area towards this task exclusively. This means that they need to have a remote, silent and dark room, that also has a sufficient number of beds or mats.
Another idea, even more, expensive and unorthodox is to start an in-house daycare. This is a concept that can make you appear much more parent-friendly, as well as drastically improve the image of your company.
Due to the fact that this is a real problem for a lot of working parents (especially working moms), such a move would give you a chance to drastically improve their employee loyalty.
Also, we’ve already spoken about various different forms of the break room and giving a parent a chance to hang out with their kid for 20 minutes can be something quite unique and quite effective.
The last issue that we’re about to discuss is the importance of office lighting and what you can do in order to improve it. Sure, when it comes to the question of light, your office already has a certain infrastructure, which is one more reason why you need to be extra careful when choosing the place.
You see, daylight is one of the most important motivators but you won’t be able to depend on it completely. First of all, during the winter, days will be substantially shorter, which means that it will sometimes be pitch black by 6 PM. This is why you need an artificial lighting source, as well.
By now, the majority of you are probably wondering about the task light. First of all, in a modern office, such a thing is not as hard to achieve. For starters, you need to understand that the electronic devices used for work (computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones) already have their light source. This means that you will be able to do your job even in the dark. Still, adding a lamp, a task light to each desk is always a solid plan.
While some of the suggestions on this list may seem quite optional, while it is clear that others are mandatory, they all work towards the same purpose – a better, more functional office space. Sure, the motivation of your employees and their capability is something quite individual.
Still, before you provide them with adequate working conditions, you simply won’t be able to tell whether they’ve lived up to their full potential. It really is that simple.
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.