Equality is the new black. And you only need a few simple things for everyone to feel the love from your London office fit out.
If we told you that a graphic designer and an engineer needed the exact same skills to do their job, you’d look at us like we were cray-cray, right? Yet you stick these people in the same office environment and expect them both to thrive.
How does that work?
Everyone is different and each person works differently. What’s fun and motivational for one team is another team’s tyranny of forced hula hooping. Some of you handle sensitive materials and need a private space. Some of you find private space isolating and you need to be in constant communication – point is, it’s personal, not some ideology about how office interior design in London should be.
Here are 10 principles for designing an office with that exact mission in mind.
1. Give people lots of mediums to express themselves.
Write on the walls. Scribble on the windows. Pin up lots of graph paper. There’s something really satisfying about seeing people’s ideas wherever you walk like a continuous brainstorm. Plus, it’s a great way to customise your own little corner of the office.
2. Let there be (natural) light.
Prisons have tiny windows for a reason – to cut contact with the outside world. Don’t make your people feel like prisoners. Exposure to daylight makes people happier, healthier and more creative. So, ditch the heavy blinds and let natural light bounce around the room. No one ever asks for less natural light, not even the work-all-night vampires.
3. Let departments customise their own space.
Your “departments” may consist of two or three people working in side by side in a single open-plan space, but these team structures should still drive their own office interior design. London creatives may need to be in constant collaboration, so give them an area behind a sliding door where they can communicate without distracting others. Your legal people may need a private office for making sensitive phone calls. Try to adapt the space to the person rather than the person to the space.
4. Use lots of glass.
We love glass panels. They give a sense of transparency which is an important value in most organisations. Plus, they let you create a private space for meetings and quiet work without feeling like you’re cut off from the rest of the office. Glass allows for natural light to flow through, too, and you can etch or paint on it to display your branding.
5. Provide multiple communal spaces.
There are some parts of the office where no one would expect privacy anyway, so make these areas as sociable and welcoming as possible. For example, a cosy sitting area, kitchen or bar are fantastic places for people to socialise, brainstorm and take a break from thinking time.
6. For goodness sake, move.
You’ve probably heard about the life-extending benefits of exercise (!) so think about incorporating a number of key spaces that get people moving throughout the day – desk to collaboration area to kitchen to stadium seating. Use wheels to whizz around the healthiest office interior design in London! Or, ban the chairs! Make it easy for people to have walking meetings or throw in some sit-stand desks for maximum health and wellbeing.
7. Unify spaces through branding.
While it’s motivating to give teams something unique in their own area, you must also make sure all areas are in contact with each other so it’s clear you’re all operating under the same flag. Make sure the company logo is visually present everywhere and unify the neighbourhoods through common colour schemes.
8. Let people control their environment.
No matter how laid back your people are, it will all kick off in the thermostat wars. You know, the one where a chilly woman and a sweltering man are constantly battling over the temperature dial; up, down, up again? This little tyranny plays out in every office everyday, and it’s just one example of how much happier your people would be if you let them control their own environment.
9. Get everyone involved from the beginning.
It’s not ideal to personalise spaces after the event, so get your people involved in the planning stages of your London office fit out. Otherwise, there’s a risk that the person in charge will design things in her own image, which may be gorgeous and sexy and wonderful, but it won’t be right for everyone. There’s a huge benefit from having a large set of voices when design decisions are made.
10. Plan for weird habits.
Apparently, some people like to clean their fingernails with business cards or spend their break doing pull-ups in the loo. We’re not judging. If that’s what makes people work better, it pays to give them a private space where they can indulge their habits away from prying eyes. It’s a small gesture, but it makes a difference.