Unique Design Tips For Small Office Spaces

Posted by Norma Anthony on Oct 13, 2015 10:01:00 AM

Economical work space is often a selling point for the decision-makers of a company, but a cause of much grumbling among the employees working there every day. Obviously, you want your clients to be happy in their space, but if their employees are feeling frustrated, your clients may start losing faith in the space you put them in. Time to step in!

As someone involved in commercial real estate and office space, you’ve had more opportunity than most people to observe what does and doesn’t work in offices. In all the places you’ve developed, designed, managed, or shown, you’ve seen some great ideas, and probably some terrible ones too.  Take that knowledge to your clients, and see if you can’t help them remake the space they’re already in.


Start At The Beginning

This is probably the hardest, but smartest thing you can ask your clients to do: start with an empty space, if at all possible.  When deciding how to re-organize a space, it’s best to look at it without any “stuff” in the way. If your clients are game, get them to strip their workspaces down as much as they can stand to, before going in to make any changes.

Encourage A Purge

This can also be a difficult sell, depending on the type of client you’re dealing with. If you have a packrat on your hands, you might need to do some serious convincing, but you know from experience that you can’t maximize workspace without minimizing clutter.

Nothing closes in the walls of small spaces quite like clutter can, but many workers have a hard time changing their habits. Hanging onto unnecessary things is something we all do, unintentionally. The only way around it is to regularly go through your things, and weed out everything you don’t need. If it’s been awhile since your clients last did a thorough purge, it may be a daunting task for them to take on now. Be that cheerleader they need to get started.

Get Creative About Organization

Most people do not necessarily show up to work thinking “I am going to make this as disorganized as possible,” yet that can sometimes be what happens. Slowly but surely, things get out of place, and before your clients realize it, they’ve set themselves up to be totally inefficient.

This usually begins because they want easy access to the things they interact with most, and the easiest way to keep them handy is to pile them up. So, start there - offer them storage and accessibility solutions other than their desktop. For shelves, think up, not out. For furniture, look for clever storage compartments. Show your clients some smart alternatives, and they can rework their entire space.

Give Employees Their Privacy Back

The open floorplan was hugely popular for a number of years, because it seemed like a great idea in theory. In practice, it has continually proven to be somewhat miserable for the everyday worker. C-level staff loved the idea of the open floorplan because it was inexpensive, and allowed far more people to fit into far less space… which is exactly why most employees hate it.

The main factor missing from an open office is privacy. While experts can theorize all day about productivity, everyone knows that employees are going to take the occasional personal call, or have the occasional terrible day at work. When these things happen, employees feel like they’re suddenly on display.

Help your clients maximize privacy in open floorplans by suggesting some of the things you’ve seen in other offices. Small partitions, or clever ways to allow for a little more distance between employees. If workers feel stressed, they are not as productive. Your client could change offices a hundred times and still be facing the same productivity issues if employee privacy and morale isn’t addressed.


Ideally, you want to help your clients find the “space” in their current space. Reorganization, smarter layouts, junk purges and plenty of storage can totally transform an office, without all the hassle of moving. If you are thinking your clients might be due for a little layout help, start with this free guide, 7 Signs Your Clients Are Ready To Expand, and get out ahead of the problem, before it becomes a problem at all.


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