If you only have a small office to work with, you need to optimize it for the best possible business output. The way you design your office space is more important than the amount of space you have to work with. Office sizes continue to shrink as real estate costs rise in major urban areas, so you need to consider different approaches to the design and usage of your workspace.
Adding glass to your office design is more than just decorative. Glass can actually become an essential feature that improves your employee productivity and the modern appearance of your business to customers and clients. Here are ways that updating your small space with glass will help maximize your business in a small office space.
The Feeling of Space
When a small office is divided out into cubicles or tiny offices, the size of the office seems even smaller. There’s no room for expansion, and it seems like there might not be much room inside private offices with closed doors. The office also becomes darker because each wall or cubicle reduces the flow of natural light and increases your dependence on artificial lighting.
If you remove typical board and fabric workspace dividers and replace them with tempered glass panels, an entire room opens up to the sight at once. Light flows more easily, allowing more employees to enjoy light from windows. Since small offices may only have windows on one or two sides, the flow of light to the whole space becomes more important.
If you don’t have cubicle workers and use your office space for clients or showings, then glass is still a good idea. For example, installing a glass panel in each interior door allows more light for private offices to move into darker hallways — making them seem brighter and more modern.
With firm walls, you may find it difficult to create a space that’s large enough for employee collaboration. Glass dividers between offices and workspaces can make an office more versatile.
For example, if the dividers between individual work areas were made with sliding glass panels instead of walls, then the panels could open to transform smaller spaces into a larger area for meetings and company parties.
The Perception of Visibility
As consumers demand more and more clarity from the people they deal with and buy from, incorporating glass into your design is essential when your office is small. Even though you may have a great business model and excellent client reviews, a small closed-off space will give the perception of stuffiness and hidden spaces.
More glass in your design shows that you’re not worried about allowing clients and customers to see your work. Even if you need privacy, like when you’re working on a patient at a dentist office, frosted glass still gives the open vibe without allowing for any visibility.
However, you should seek to be as visible as possible whenever privacy is not an issue. You don’t want people feeling closed in when they are there for a consultation. The impression of openness and cleanliness from glass will downplay the small footprint of your work area.
If taking down walls is not possible, you can still give this open impression in other ways. Add interior windows to keep walls from being obstructive. Hang mirrors to expand and bounce light into the room. Use glass desks and shop fronts, and if you have any displays, use glass dividers or clear racks.
If you’re worried about privatizing glass later when a room needs to be used for a different purpose, you can always add films to make glass less see-through.
Changing a small office design also helps you use a small space more effectively. In a cubicle with solid walls, you can set filing cabinets against the wall, a shredder under the desk, and use plastic trays for stacks of paperwork. However, when the office is more visible with glass, clutter builds up and you don’t have the option to keep a lot of extras.
Some business owners can see a lack of hiding places as a downside, but it can be an opportunity. You can reduce paperwork by embracing tablets and paperless communications, which means you’ll need fewer filing cabinets. As a result of reduced furniture and clutter, you’ll have less wasted materials, which can save you money and time.
Furthermore, a little decor goes a long way in a visible office. You won’t need to spend money on framed pictures and plants for every room. Instead, one large canvas on the main wall becomes art enough for each workspace. Plants in the office can be viewed and enjoyed no matter where they are.
Glass in the workspace promotes cleanliness. Since clutter and dirt only make a small workspace prohibitive, the see-through office design is beneficial when you have limited square footage.
For more information, contact us at Ken Caryl Glass, Inc.
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