Considering a new office layout for 2021?

Having a small office doesn’t mean you have to struggle for space. If your office is feeling cluttered or claustrophobic, it may be time for an update to your office layout.

With a few adjustments, you can make your workspace feel much bigger. Here are our tips for maximising space in your small office.

Get rid of unnecessary clutter

One of the easiest ways to update your office layout is to get rid of anything you no longer need. 

Offices can build up a surprising amount of clutter, and clearing it usually ends up at the bottom of the to-do list - so a big clear out can make a huge difference.

Go over your whole space, clearing any equipment, furniture, files or other items that you no longer use or need. 

Donate or recycle where possible, and bin the rest. You may find you suddenly have a lot more room than you thought you had!

Not only will your freshly-cleared office give you extra space to play with, it will also help you to visualise where other changes can be made and plan the rest of your office layout update.

Embrace flexibility

Adopting a flexible approach is a great way to maximise space in a small office. 

Instead of a traditional desk layout, create a range of different areas - try shared workstations, breakout spaces and booths. 

Dividing the office into these zones will make your space work harder, as well as giving the illusion of more room.

Introducing a more flexible way of working can also help to make the most of available space. 

Allowing employees to work from home can create opportunities for hot-desking, which will cut down the overall amount of desk space you need. 

You could also try switching to stand-up meetings - they not only require less room than sit-down meetings, they also tend to be quicker and more efficient. Win-win!

Make the most of vertical space

Thinking vertically is a great way to improve the space efficiency in a small office. 

Tall shelving units, filing cabinets and cupboards are great for maximising storage while using as little space as possible. 

Wall-mounted storage units or hooks allow you to utilise space above radiators, and cork boards can be handy for keeping paperwork tidy.

If possible, you could even install a mezzanine floor to give your office an entirely new room-within-a-room. This would give you a breakout space away from the main work area, as well as adding an interesting design feature to your office layout.

Use light to create a sense of space

Increasing the amount of natural light in your office can work wonders in making it seem more spacious. It also improves employee health and wellbeing, which in turn increases productivity. 

Make the most of windows by making sure your blinds or curtains don’t block too much of the light. Keep blinds open as much as possible, adjusting as necessary if glare becomes an issue.

Clever space planning can also help to maximise natural light. Position key areas, like collaborative work spaces, where there is most natural light. 

Strategically-placed mirrors can help to reflect the light throughout the room, and give the illusion of more space. 

Keep your office layout as open-plan as possible to allow light to reach throughout. If you do need partitions, use glazed ones that allow light to filter through. 

Replace any fluorescent tube lighting with LEDs - these not only provide a better quality of light, they’re more environmentally friendly too.

Take advantage of dead space

Most offices have a few ‘dead’ spaces - corridors, foyers, under stair spaces and other nooks and crannies - that are under-utilised. 

These in-between spaces can be transformed into functional work zones in interesting and unusual ways. Think casual meeting spaces, standing desks, huddle booths or even private work pods.

This can contribute to creating a more agile environment, and can make a small office work much harder. Look around your office, get creative and see what you can come up with!

Use compact, adaptable furniture

Clever use of furniture is a great way to maximise space in your office layout. For example, modular furniture can be moved around to suit different needs, meaning the same space can be used for a variety of purposes. This is particularly useful in areas used for collaborative work.

Some modular furniture also has useful extras like integrated power modules, which can reduce clutter and free up even more space.

Folding or stackable furniture enables you to store excess tables and chairs discreetly when they’re not in use, so they only take up space when you need them. You could also introduce moveable partitions to make your space more adaptable.

Finally, although it may sound obvious, using smaller furniture can make a big difference to the available space in your office. 

Replacing large desks with more compact designs will still give your employees ample space to work, and has the added bonus of discouraging clutter.

Go paperless

More and more companies are going paperless as a way of being more environmentally conscious - but it’s also a great way to save space in a small office.

Paper can take up a lot of room, and while it may be necessary to have physical copies of some documents, most can be replaced by digital versions. 

Although switching over to a digital filing and storage system may seem like a hassle, it will make things easier in the long run - and you’ll be able to wave goodbye to all those shelves, cupboards and filing cabinets cluttering up the office.

Ready to transform your office layout?

We hope our tips have given you some inspiration for a space-maximising rejig. With a few clever adjustments to your office layout, even the smallest of workplaces can seem surprisingly spacious.

Looking for a new office to try our tips on? Check out our range of London offices here.

Welcome to the neighbourhood