If your small office is short on space, it can seem like everyone is in the way and everything is less organized. But you can rescue your employees and yourself from the curse of having too little space to work by making a few inexpensive changes. Here are 5 ways to make your small office workstations seem larger.
Go Paperless. Embracing a digital age and paperless mentality can not only help you open up physical work space, but it can also make your entire business more efficient and organized. Scan documents instead of filing papers. Create a computer-based storage system for things like client files, employee files, specs and correspondence. Organize and store emails rather than printing things out. Just be sure you have sufficient backup systems in place to protect your business.
Think Vertical. If you lack square footage, don't forget that you still have vertical space to use. Wall pockets, hanging hooks and bulletin boards can all free up work space with little interruption. Choose a desk or work station design that makes use of the wall space above it. You can even hang shelves that are sturdy enough to hold equipment such as printers, postal equipment or office supplies. Look around your space to determine what you might be able to get up off the floor or desk.
Light it Up. Adding natural and indoor lighting to the office can help make everything seem larger and more inviting. If you can, try adding real sunlight via additional windows or skylights or even moving some cubicles or workstations around. Make sure your overhead lighting is sufficiently illuminating all work areas. Add small LED desk lamps to help light up individual desks.
Embrace New Designs. When you think of an office workstation, you probably have the same general layout and design in your head that office workers have used for decades. It generally consists of a large desk, a big rolling chair, file cabinets and the like. But try to lose this old-fashioned mentality and look for new ways of using space, including standing desks, portable computers or innovative standalone desk designs instead of full cubicles.
Use the Common Areas. Can some of what you or your employees are used to doing inside their offices be done in common areas? This can include having meetings, brainstorming with others, storage of documents and using large computer equipment. If you can consolidate individual office equipment (such as a printer, computers or even a flat work space) to a single item in a common area, you have potentially opened up a lot of usable space.
Adapting your office and work style to a small office can mean some changes in the way things are done. But you may also find that by learning new ways to maximize your office space and minimize things like clutter and redundancy, the work itself becomes more efficient and enjoyable.