Before you start filling in those commercial fitout details for the company that’s going to refurbish your office, take a few minutes to think of what is it you want to get out of the new design. When you start your negotiations, keep in mind that you are designing not only for practicality but also you are designing a space for people.
The first thing you should consider is allowing the personnel to have a say in the design. This might become impractical if you have a large staff, but for smaller business it fosters loyalty. Allow them to bring personal items so that they can be integrated with the design. A famous design firm in New York allows their employees to bring a toy when they are hired. The toy has to be representative of the new employee. The rational behind it is that the token will tell the rest of the staff a bit about the new comer and it will nurture team spirit.
If you really want to foster your employee’s creativity, when you are filling in those commercial fitout details you can put in special touches just for them. Like this: when you were at your old location, where was the place where your employees were more creative and why. Once you stop and pay attention to your personnel’s behavior you can rest assure they’ll be productive in the new environment.
Another way to increase productivity is to divide your space into zones. Offices that are just a big square will not encourage creativity, this is one of the failures of the open space design in big companies. So, make delineated zones where people can either go to talk and places where they can intentionally go to work. Privacy does not go against collaboration.
This is a big away from what you’d put on those commercial fitout details when you are about to start refurbishing; nevertheless I think it’s very important for creativity. You want people to be stimulated and alert, so why don’t you decorate your office with your brand. One of the top software design companies in the west coast hang production drawings of current projects on the wall for every employee to see and to critic. With this approach the company is allowing the creative energy to flow and feedback from one department to the other.
One radical vision of modern office design has to do with removing desks from the work space. Thanks to wireless technology, workers can move around and still be productive. In the old days it was believed that everybody needed their own desk. This is no longer the case, as more and more offices are turning to wondering employees that will feel just as good in a couch than at a desk. If you go into a modern office you’ll notice that at least half of the desks are empty.
Finally, if it is with in your budget plan to have as much open space as it is practical. In this open space you should have natural plants which will make people feel less constrained and will boost their creative side. Also, go with as much natural light as possible, it will save on electricity bills and your employees will thank you for it. With this small change, you’ll notice tangible results from your creative team.