Small business owners often find themselves operating in a small office space setting with a limited amount of space. When working with limited office space, it’s critical to get creative with your storage solutions, decorating ideas and design layout. The goal is to create a comfortable yet functional working environment for your employees and a welcoming setting for your clients. A well-designed small office space will maximize your place of business without impacting your bottom line.
Embrace Open Environment
Cubicles and partitions have a tendency to make an office space feel smaller and appear cluttered. Why not consider the open environment of a commercial warehouse space? Open layouts foster a sense of camaraderie, encourage a collaborative work environment and make your space look bigger. You might consider using a partition judiciously in order to separate your client area for meetings and private discussions or to create an employee lunch area.
Measure Measure Measure
When planning the layout of any office space, it’s critical to take accurate measurements of the area you are designing. Take your space measurements with you when you go furniture shopping in order to ensure the pieces you’re looking at will fit in the space you have. Another tip is to ask for help. Retailers know their inventory inside and out and often have a great sense of decorating within confined spaces.
If you’re space has a large wall, consider floor to ceiling bookcases with storage solutions such as cubbies, canvas drawers, baskets and magazine holders. These storage options allow you to store company information, client files, reference books and office supplies without cluttering your space. You can also find rollaway file cabinets that fit underneath your employees’ desks for additional storage. If storage space is limited, consider renting a self storage unit. Many of these facilities provide inexpensive, climate controlled business storage solutions.
One way to save of space and help reduce your carbon footprint is to go paperless. By transferring important company records and information electronically, you can significantly cut down of the amount of paper in your office. Storing company files “in the cloud” is made simple with online solutions such as DropBox, Google Documents, Box.com or Mozy.
Thrift Store Décor
You don’t have to buy off-the-shelf, regular-size office furniture found at office supply and furniture stores either. These pieces can easily overwhelm your small office space. Instead, get creative when choosing office furniture. Take your office measurements with you to a thrift store and opt in for alternative desk options such as a butcher block kitchen table or a long dining room table. You can also find great deals on office furniture by searching Craiglist for estate sales or furniture by owner. Remember, you can always negotiate. It never hurts to ask!