10 Tips for Maximising a Small Office Space
Your office is the ultimate symbol of possibility. It reminds you that there’s work to be done, and that you created something that warrants such work. It should inspire you to keep achieving goals, signing new clients and making new contacts every day. It should motivate you to get out of bed in the morning so you can start work and kick-start that cycle of success you’ve got going on. However, we wouldn’t blame you for thinking this can all be rather tricky when your office is smaller than your childhood bedroom. But, you’d be wrong!
The office is the place where the magic happens, and that’s regardless of size. Humble office spaces have long been making as much of an impact on the world as big ones – and when it comes to decor, they can pack just as much of a punch. From living-room nooks to commercial offices, read on to get inspired by our small office decorating ideas.
1. Start with a Blank Canvas
If you can, clear everything out and start afresh. This will make creating something amazing that much easier.
2. Inject Some Personality
Bold styles don’t need to be limited to big spaces. Opt for a splash of colour on one wall, or hang an eye-catching painting above your desk. Think of things that inspire you, and adorn your space with them. You could even paint a wall in blackboard chalk and use it to leave reminders, draw out designs or write out inspirational quotes.
When it comes to furniture, as you’ll have less of it, whatever you choose will make more of an impact. Mix up colours and styles so that anyone who stops by will remember your office. You may also find these sorts of touches can create the visual energy you need to get things done.
3. Use Colours Strategically
Light colours can make objects appear larger, so dark-wood furniture or a black office chair could make the room look less cluttered. However, don’t forget tip number 2. If you think white furniture will brighten up the room, opt for that instead. Have a really good think about what you’d like to achieve from your choice of colour. Remember too, furniture can easily be changed, but it can be trickier to change the colour of walls and flooring.
4. Transform a Room with Lighting
Lighting choices can be quite a personal thing – some people prefer a cosy glow, others prefer a bright, clean light. Consider the sort of conditions that you’re most productive in, and be sure to ask any staff for their opinion too.
Some general tips though: spotlights above your desk will add a professional air to your workspace, and reduce eye strain. If the room benefits from natural light, make the most of it by placing your desk near a window. Dark winter afternoons could really benefit from a bright ceiling light, too. Whatever you choose, don’t underestimate the atmosphere that effective lighting can add to a room.
5. See Every Space as an Opportunity
Seek out space and use it wisely – there are plenty of smart ways to maximise every gap, corner and wall. If you’ve got space near your window, why not add a chic window seat with built-in storage? Learn to think vertically, too. If you have high ceilings, take advantage with solid shelving (that means down as well as up – shelves can go right down to the ground). Don’t ignore a chunk of wall just because there’s a radiator there – simply add a table top or large shelf over it instead.
The spatial opportunities really are endless in small offices when you think outside the box (room)! For some quick inspiration, make Pinterest your new best friend.
6. Invest in Dual or Triple-Purpose Furniture
Keep making your space work harder. Roll-out desks are a dream for small offices – you can gain access to extra space as and when you need it. Ottomans work well as stools as well as storage space, and you can even top certain cabinets with cushions that will work well as extra seats (just make sure they’re sturdy enough).
7. Consider Foldaway Furniture
Foldaway furniture is just as handy as dual and triple-purpose furniture. It can be a genius space-saver, and very handy if you need to host boardroom meetings. There’s a huge range of such furniture available, from chairs that tuck into desks to desks that fold into walls! The key to getting this right is making sure that clutter is always kept to a minimum, as desks may need to be cleared at a moment’s notice.
8. Make the Most of the Wall Behind Your Desk
A simple rail that you can hang storage baskets on is perfect for stationery and other small items that you may need easy access too. A whiteboard can help you organise the day ahead, and a notice board is always handy for reminders. If you work away from home, pinning up a few personal photos can have a calming, comforting effect. This is your space, so get creative.
9. Frequently Declutter
Take a look at everything you have on your desk. If you don’t use it daily, it shouldn’t be there. Limit the use of paper by storing important paperwork on your laptop (but always remember to create backups). Pick up a small rain gutter to neaten up cables beneath or behind your desk, or if you don’t have too many wires, buy some cable ties.
Little changes like these can make a huge difference to your mini office. Don’t be afraid to make a mess when you are working though (that’s what your office is meant for)! Just remember to have regular tidy-ups – you could even schedule these into your weekly planning.
10. Have Standing Meetings
If your office hosts staff, occasional freelancers or clients, don’t worry about not having a meeting room. Standing meetings encourage close collaboration, and research has shown that spending a minimum of two hours on our feet each working day is important for the maintenance of good health. Depending on the location of your office, you could try walking meetings too, as a change in surroundings can work wonders for creativity.
Got any more tips for maximising small office spaces? Send us a tweet: @TravelersUK