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Maximising space, without compromise.

Jul 15, 2022 8:00:00 AM / by Banner

Maximising space image 1 (2)

With continued uncertainty over trading, rapid growth in some sectors and collapses in others, workplace design has never been more important. Isabel Spence, Banner and evo Group's Marketing Director, explains the best ways to maximise space without compromising on staff well-being. 

Market inconsistency has been one of the very few consistent things throughout the pandemic, and a cross-sector skills shortage has made recruitment a war for talent. Many businesses are downsizing offices and embracing hybrid or home working permanently to reduce overheads.

Other businesses are expanding as rapidly as they can, provided they can attract staff. Any way you look at it, there is a lot of movement going on.

Maximising the space you have available to you is obviously the first priority in these circumstances. In the old days ‘maximising space’ might have meant stuffing as many desks as physically possible into a single room, like sardines in a can. But we now know that this has a negative effect on productivity, employee well-being and mental health, and job satisfaction. In a post-Covid world, your office needs to help you compete for new talent, as well as compete for your existing staff who have the ease and convenience of their home offices, by offering them a comfortable, practical and productive workspace.

Wasted space is wasted money, but at the same time you don’t want productivity or staff morale to drop as a result of a poor workplace environment. It can be hard to imagine how to do this, but there are some simple changes and furniture hacks you can utilise to maximise space in every sense.

Tip One

The first thing you need to change is your mindset, specifically when it comes to what constitutes ‘wasted space’. Desks on desks on desks is not ideal and, despite the fact that they won’t be used all the time, zoned areas for break outs, collaborative group work, private calls and meetings are essential. It’s a reality of creating a productive workplace that has to be accepted.

Likewise, having rows and rows of hot desks is a great way to get more bums on seats per square footage, but it’s not really optimised if you don’t consider those job roles in your business that actually require a quiet environment to work, or a permanent desk. Finance teams, for example, usually need some peace to be able to get on with their number crunching, and designers and technicians may need specialised equipment to do their jobs, so it doesn’t make sense for them to have to move workstations day-to-day.

maximising space 2 Space planning is one of those things people think they can do themselves, despite not necessarily having the knowledge or skills to do so. But as you may now realise, it’s more complicated than you might have first thought. This leads us on to tip number two…

Tip Two

Get a professional to measure the space and plan it for you.
Accurate floor plans are such a useful tool that it’s amazing to me how many businesses, especially SME’s, opt to not bother with them. Most obviously, a floor plan allows you to repeatedly reconfigure the space again and again until you find something that works for your business, without any of the back breaking labour involved in physically moving the furniture around with each new prospective idea. It’s well worth the investment and you can get it done quite easily through us at Banner, or any office interiors agency.

Tip Three

Use softer furnishings to create an inviting space that’s at least somewhat as cosy and comfortable to work in as your employee’s home set ups. You may even want to consider creating dedicated wellbeing areas that serve no other purpose than to give staff a place to relax, swap ideas and generate a sense of community. Again, this is not wasted space because it’s creating a healthier, and therefore more productive, working environment.

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Tip Four

Finally, you need to consider the size of your existing furniture. Each individual workstation doesn’t need to be that big. If your desks are any other shape than rectangle, (e.g. if they’re curved) you can save space by swapping them our for a smaller option. Likewise, pedestal drawers take up a lot of room and they aren’t always necessary in flexible working areas; in fact, they encourage employees to ‘own’ a workstation, so they really don’t work if hot desking is what you’re going for.

There is also specialist furniture that allow you to create totally mobile office environments so that the space can be modified to suit the requirements of a certain project or purpose. Office furniture such as the Senator Play range, for example, is on wheels, allowing for workplaces to be adapted to best suit those working within the space.

This process might seem like a challenge, but it will undoubtedly be worth it. There has never been a better time to ensure that your employees feel comfortable, safe and supported, while also making your workplace as productive as possible.


Inspired solutions that enhance the performance of modern workplaces

At Banner, we offer inspiring solutions that promote productivity, encourage creativity and improve overall well-being; because when your space works, everything works. 

From sourcing that perfect single product, to modular solutions for flexi-working, to full office design and refurbishment, we have the skills, knowledge and expertise to delivery the best solution for your organisation. 

View Banner's Interiors page, here.


Topics: furniture


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