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Will an interior designer save you money? pt 2

Interior design questions

A few years ago we wrote a piece looking at the merits of investing in an interior designer entitled Will an interior designer save you money part 1. The world has changed a lot since then, as has the industry, so we thought it time to revisit that piece and see if the same things are still true.

One of the biggest changes to overtake the world of office design is the implosion of the five day office week. The Covid pandemic completely rewrote the rulebook for how workers worldwide balanced their time, with huge numbers now working a chunk of the week from home. And when they do go into the office those spaces are much likely to be agile and versatile, with hot desks instead of set desks. Overnight, the name of the game became ‘flex’.

So does that mean that the returns on investing in your office interior have been scaled down? In our opinion they have probably been scaled up. The previous factors of people, lighting, acoustics, ergonomics and layout and storage covered in the original blog are still just as relevant, but now additional dynamics are coming into play.

Obviously the more fluid a business’ relationship to office is, the more unpredictable these factors are. Some smaller companies did away with offices entirely, making the idea of investment temporarily moot. But the pandemic showed us that we can’t take anything for granted. What you need, what employees want, what works to inspire productivity is changeable – in fact your ability to change and respond is hardwired into success.

People power

There has been a major power shift since "Will an interior designer save you money? Part 1" was written. Our emphasis previously was on designing around people for productivity, but now those same people have a lot more power and choice. If an office isn’t pleasurable to be in, and nurturing to their wellbeing, they just won’t come in as much – or they might not even stick around in their job, since wellbeing is being prioritised by so many other employers. All of which means designing around people is a necessity for productivity, wellbeing and retention. Recruitment is an expensive business.

Creating a space that really works for your people, and fosters a strong collaborative culture, can see the ROI you get for your office interior exceed anything imaginable pre-2020.


The irregularity of office time has led to a much more fluid sense of ownership over desks. Less and less of us want to sit at the same desk all the time for all our work. The rise of lockers and versatile workplace storage for your stuff is testimony to that. It’s necessary at a personal level – you need to know you can set up your workspace quickly and easily, whenever and wherever, but it’s just as important from an output perspective. Collaboration is still an incredibly important part of an organisation’s productivity. So when people are in the same building, opportunities to collaborate need to be easy to take and to maximise. Is your interior design conducive to collaboration? Does it provide the mood, space, and lighting that will help make those kind of meetings maximally effective? Can any absent team members be easily patched in via Teams if required, without running into tech issues? These are the questions that will tell you if your space is optimised for collaborative potential.

Like home, only better

Workers who are used to a comfy, light relaxed workspace at home, with their favourite hot drinks on-hand, need to be lured into office spaces that much harder. The office space needs to offer them everything they can get at home plus something they can’t. That can include everything from décor and social spaces to coffee machines. The emotional feeling when they arrive should be uplifting. An interior designer can make sure that all those ingredients add up to a really nourishing and rewarding space, that works on all the levels it needs to and makes sure that experience of coming together is the best that it can be.

That is not to say that the more you invest in your interior design the more productive and happier you will all be. A smart relatively small investment can make a massive difference, it’s all about appropriateness to you and your needs. The impact of working alongside colleagues on employee wellbeing and productivity have been well shown. So if your office spaces helps to bring everyone together, keep them together, and supports them in working in the best possible way when they are together, then it remains one of the best investments you can make.

If you have an office project in mind please get in touch.


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©2024 Forster Inc. 

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