Is your office space shrinking? It might feel that way as small and medium-sized businesses grapple with the new realities of their physical workplace. Increasingly, companies are realizing that having a smaller office footprint can be cost-effective as commercial real estate costs continue to rise and more workers telecommute at least part of the time.
To answer that need, many businesses are turning to more flexible office spaces, such as co-working spaces, or are trying to make do with less square footage in a traditional commercial office building. Along with physical downsizing comes the need for furniture for small spaces.
Here are some small office space ideas that are both functional and practical—while still reflecting the aesthetic vibe modern companies prize.
What should you look for in small space furniture?
The first rule of any office space is not to sacrifice form over function. That means you should try to make sure that your small office furniture performs—but looks good doing it.
Your first step to be to assess your needs. You can ask yourself these questions to help identify the furniture for small spaces that will fit your individual work style and needs.
Does your team always work from the office or do some members telecommute?
That will help you decide how many small office desks you need, as well as whether you might want to also invest in the best home office desk possible to encourage their productivity outside the office.
Can your team utilize shared furniture?
Many offices have embraced flexible arrangements, where associates claim whichever desk they choose, rather than having rigidly assigned desks, which often can require too much office furniture for small spaces. One great option for small office spaces are rolling desks or mobile workstations that can move as needed.
How much budget do I want to allocate for my furnishings?
The great news is that attractive furniture can be had at great prices these days—for example, you can find a lot of options for desks under $100 that don’t sacrifice comfort or looks.
Do I often have guests in my office?
If you routinely have visitors, such as clients, investors or suppliers, you’ll need to consider the other types of furnishings you need for productive meetings, such as a small computer table or training table.
What sort of storage solutions do I need?
Depending on your business, you’ll want to try to make sure you have ample storage areas; for example, a design firm might need office cabinet storage for storing samples or look books; while a company that works mostly in the cloud will just need to make sure that its “storage,” such as in the cloud, is secure with appropriate security software.
By answering these questions, you can assess your needs and make sure that you have the right furniture for small spaces.
Tips for configuring office furniture for small spaces.
Once you have figured out what you need, you can decide the type of arrangement that will work best for your environment.
If you need quiet spaces…
If you frequently make phone calls or immerse yourself in heads-down work like writing or accounting, a private office is ideal, with a small desk with drawers and basic desk chair. Don’t have the luxury of a real door? Consider partitions that can create the look and feel of privacy and then wear headphones or earbuds to drown out the other office din.
If you do mostly collaborative work…
Sometimes a better option than individual desks is a small office table where you can convene with your own laptops and look at concepts that are displayed in the middle. If you do a lot of brainstorming, try to make sure to add a white board and other presentation tools in order to capture ideas as they arise. When the team disperses to work individually, they can telecommute as appropriate or retreat with their laptops to other spaces that have comfortable armchairs or furnishings that can be flexibly arranged.
If you often host guests…
Try to make sure that you have the right amenities for them, whether it’s a small office couch or small office table where you can meet in comfort. If you’re in a co-working space, you can find out the rules on hosting meetings; often it can be wise to reserve a conference room if you are feeling cramped entertaining clients in a small office space.
If your team works mostly remotely…
Even if telecommuting is the norm, it’s good to have some space arranged for them when they do come in; having occasional in-person meetings or social events can promote camaraderie and enhance team work. So even if you don’t want to have dedicated space for everyone on the team, you can invest in sauder desks under $100 that they can use when they visit. Having an “open door” policy where your workers feel free to come in even if they typically work remotely can foster loyalty and having a selection of small space furniture will help them feel welcome.
If you are growing rapidly…
Office space can present a “Goldilocks” conundrum, as in, it’s often too large or too small, especially when you are in a growth phase. That’s when a co-working option might be a good solution as it will allow you to flex with the size of the team. In many co-working offices, basic office furniture will be provided, but you may wish to supplement the “standard issue” with a few pieces that make it feel like yours—from a small office couch to a standing desk. You can check with the office manager to confirm they are open to having you provide some of your own pieces.
You can use those to personalize your space and let your company personality shine through—an important part of your brand message that can be expressed through office furniture for small spaces.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, finance and real estate.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
/account/v2/editBillingDisplay,/orderhistory/subsManager,/orderhistory/submitReturn,/account/accountSummaryDisplay,/account/loginAccountDisplay,/account/myfiles,/csl/listAllhttps://request.eprotect.vantivcnp.com/eProtect/js/payframe-client3.min.js?d=20200222 Join Now