When you think of the most attractive office spaces you’ve seen, you likely think about big tech companies such as Google or Apple. While tech companies trend toward cutting-edge spaces that are conducive to productivity, companies that fall into different industries need beautiful space as well.
The definition of attractive varies for different companies. One of the best ways to figure out what works well is to study what other companies have done. Even a boutique clothing line can learn from a tech company office and vice versa.
Moving to a More Modern Design
Once popular, cube farms are on their way out and have gotten a bad rap thanks to jokes on television and movies poking fun at the setup. There are multiple issues with a cubicle-based setup, including a limitation on open communication and a restrictive feel for employees.
If you’re looking to attract the brightest graduates hitting the job market, it pays to consider the type of office environment millennial and gen-Z workers want. The focus for this generation is on high function and high tech. They also want the space to look beautiful.
What does that look like in action?
Take a look at a renovated manufacturer’s reception area. Instead of hard-backed chairs around the perimeter of the room, the space features soft chairs with a coffee table and plenty of natural light. This setup encourages people to gather and hash out ideas in an invigorating environment.
How the design comes together for your office may vary. Seek out the advice of interior design architects and gather input from your employees on what is functional for them. Traditional companies can embrace modernity even without the practical need to fill their spaces with the latest technology.
Benefits of an Attractive Office Space
There are many benefits to creating a unique and attractive office space. Adding something as simple as a gathering spot encourages more collaboration between co-workers.
Finding something you can put a unique stamp on or create a theme leaves an impression on the clients who visit your office. For example, there is a trend in recent years to revamp old buildings and go with the theme of whatever original purpose that building served.
One example would be converting an old bank building into a modern office. Retaining elements such as heavy chandeliers, turning vaults into meeting rooms and adding elements such as rooftop meeting space and bright lighting all work together to turn an old bank building into a gorgeous office that has people talking.
Drawbacks to Modern Offices
Of course, there are some drawbacks to a modern, open-concept office space. First, there isn’t privacy when everything is open. Some businesses circumvent this by adding glass walls. This way, things feel open, but workers still have a private space free of noise.
For office spaces converting old buildings into something fresh and new, the cost can be prohibitive. If the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, you’ll likely have to keep much of the original building intact, which challenges design. It’s possible to accomplish, but costs and time become factors.
Think Outside the Box
If you want a truly unique space, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with a new concept nobody else has done before. Think about the function of the design. For example, include an area for people to let off steam, a place to meet up with co-workers and bounce around ideas, areas for private phone calls and spots for team meetings.
Once you have your basic needs in mind, it’s a simple matter to pull in some of the current trends. Add greenery and areas where employees can take in nature to tie into the biophilic design trend. Augmented virtual reality and high-tech solutions are on the rise, so look into which ones would benefit your company most. Finally, companies understand the importance of more accessibility in the office, whether that’s wheelchair access or features to help with physical limitations.
Beautify Your Office Space
Design trends only work if they are functional for your specific business needs. Take the ideas that work well with your business and throw the rest aside. Don’t forget you might one day outgrow your space and have to sell the building, so you don’t want to get so unique with designs that no one else would want the building.
Instead, create a functional, modern space that serves your needs and is easily adaptable as your company changes and grows. Look ahead five, 10 and even 50 years to what your company could become and mesh the different needs into something highly functional.
Holly Welles is a real estate writer who covers the latest market trends in everything from residential to commercial spaces. She is the editor behind her own blog, The Estate Update, and curates more advice on Twitter.