Office Design Tips for Small Businesses

Posted on March 20, 2023

Farmington Hills, MI – (March 20, 2023) Being a small business can pose some unique challenges when it comes to office design. It’s important to have a nice space for people to work in, but small businesses often have smaller offices. And if a small business is expecting to go through a period of growth, they don’t want to feel locked into a setting that may not work well for them in the not-too-distant future. So what can small businesses do to make the most of their office spaces?

A row of workstations in an open office setting.

Keep it Flexible

One of the biggest design challenges small businesses often face is making sure their space can keep up with the company as it changes. For small businesses that are just starting to get established, it’s very common for them to experience some growing pains where they need to bring on new employees to keep up with an increasing amount of work, but feel limited by their environment.

For small but growing businesses, flexible open office spaces are very nice to have. Without permanent walls, it’s much easier to reconfigure workstations as needed when people join the team. Need a flexible space but don’t want to have a fully open office? Portable screens and partitions are a great option to consider. They add privacy and create space definition without taking away your ability to rearrange later on.

Chairs arranged around a table in a conference room with a light green wall and a TV on the wall.

Add Some Privacy

People often think of small businesses as being very collaborative environments. But since small businesses often have smaller office spaces, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that collaboration can potentially be a distraction to others in the office. Make sure to include a range of spaces that support different styles of collaboration, including private meeting rooms where conversations won’t frustrate others who are working nearby.

A lounge area in the middle of an office with light brown leather seating arranged around a round table.

Think About First Impressions

First impressions matter for businesses of any size. When you have clients and potential new hires coming into the office, it’s important for them to be welcomed with a space that creates a good impression. But for small businesses, spaces like reception areas can easily end up on the back burner. Maybe they don’t have a lot of room to work with or want to prioritize working on other areas of the workplace.

But even if you don’t have a lot of space to work with, visitors still need a space where they can comfortably wait for appointments. If someone is visiting your office for the first time, it’s also good for them to be able to walk into a space that says something positive about your company. You don’t necessarily need a large reception area to make a good impression. Something simple like a small but inviting lounge area can go a long way in helping people feel welcome.

Overhead view of a group of people around a table looking at plans for a renovation.

Image: Pixabay

Ask for Employee Feedback

If you’re thinking about moving into a new office or remodeling your existing space, asking your employees for input about what they’d like to see in a new or refreshed workplace can be very helpful. Employees can have a lot of insights about what things are working well and where improvements can be made so that people can work more effectively.

Seating area in an office hallway with bright green cushions and a law-themed mural on the wall.

Have Fun With Art & Color

Art and color can be great ways to add character to a space and reflect a company’s unique personality. For example, a company that wants to be seen as innovative and cutting edge might want to decorate with pieces of modern art and pops of bright colors while a company that wants to be seen as more old-fashioned may want to go with more muted color tones and more traditional artwork.

Color can also be a way to play with the size of a space. For example, if you have a small space and want it to look larger than it is, decorate with lighter colors to help it feel more open and airy. Darker colors tend to make spaces feel smaller and more closed-in.

A group of workstations in an open office area with lots of natural lighting.

Prioritize Lighting

Small businesses might not be able to offer amenities like game rooms or fitness centers but one thing they can offer is good office lighting. Lighting might not be something you immediately think of as an office amenity, but lighting plays a major role in employee comfort and productivity and many offices fall short in that regard. In a 2018 article from the Harvard Business Review, natural light was cited as the most desirable office feature.

Ready to give your office a new look? Premier Construction & Design can help create a space that works well for your needs. We have experience working with companies in a wide range of businesses in the Metro Detroit area and would love to learn more about your project. Take a look at our portfolio to see examples of some projects we’ve worked on. Contact us to get started.