Form and function in the office

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Do you work in a beautifully decorated, trendy co-working office? Is it fit for purpose or have the cracks begun to show. Employee coffee cups are chipped, paper-thin walls mean whispers are necessary to avoid being overheard, and the facilities barely work, at best.

As designers, we can’t help but ask when hearing this: is this ‘beautiful design’? Or just veneer?

Retail often gets it right

In our twenty years in the interior design industry, we have found that the best place to look for the balance between form and function is retailers.

For their businesses to sell, their shop fronts and retail spaces have to look beautiful, and work for customers, too. Stepping one foot into an Apple Store, or into Ikea’s organised, user-friendly layout, shows the power of this at work.

Inside offices the relationship between customer-and-business isn’t quite as clear-cut. Employees also play a huge factor and are at the heart of business performance. And while there have been many studies inextricably linking employee output and office design, many employers still don’t consider office design a good business investment.

In other words: your meeting room may have beautifully decorated wallpaper on it – but if you can hear a confidential client meeting happening in the room next door, your office isn’t really fitting its purpose.

Make your office space work for you

The key to ensuring you’ve struck the balance between form and function is understanding how your space is used. Putting in the right storage, furniture, layout and flow can be the difference between increased profit and slow process.

Our advice to office managers, particularly in the creative industries is this: become more aware of your surroundings. Your office may be stylish, but is the layout, furniture and design helping your employees work in the most efficient way possible? Make sure that your space works for both your clients and your staff, and you will see increased performance. Period.

When it comes to office design, ‘one size fits all’ simply cannot apply. Each company has its own unique culture, needs and tastes. This is why having an interior designer come in to help can make such a big difference. Investing in the most efficient design for your office is investing in your staff, your productivity, and your future.

Is your office in need of a redesign? Get in touch to discuss. We’d love to help.

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