Workplace Design Ideas for the Small Office

Edited January 2021

No matter where you are in the lifecycle of your business, if your office is small, don’t sacrifice good design. Whether your budget is modest or mighty, a tiny workspace should feel spacious and inviting, and it can if you follow some basic design principles. 

Finding the right small office design for your company takes strategy and planning from your entire team. Here are 5 ideas to make your small office seem large.

1. Think Minimal

The simplest thing to do when designing for a small office is to take a note from the minimalism movement. Minimalism is all about living with less—so why not work with less? Discard the clutter, make sure items have a purpose, and give yourself a spot to add something special later. 

Your new office design mantra? Less is more.

2. Find Creative Cubicles

Each employee needs their own desk, of course, but in a small office, creating desk “neighborhoods” is a great way to add space to any room. Think about potentially grouping all your employees’ desks together in one area. Not only will this free up space for other important office needs, but it also inspires collaboration and camaraderie between staff members.

There are also space-utilizing, creative cubicle options that can transport your small office space into the future. Line up these modern, modular cubicles against one wall to create a dedicated, comfortable, and unique workspace for employees.

3. Make It Mobile 

Don’t constrain all the furniture in your small office to one specific place. Instead, make each piece of furniture as mobile as possible. For example, adjustable height desks can act as both a dedicated workspace in the morning and then a conference table in the afternoon with the touch of a button.

This ergonomic rolling office chair has a pull handle for easy mobility in any small, collaborative office environment, and this modern mobile filing cabinet can make storage simple. There are several furniture design options out there that can add mobility to your office—you just need to know where to look.

4. Utilize Every Inch

While you can’t magically push the walls of your office to make more room, you can use those walls in smart ways to add different elements to your space. 

Need to add more privacy but don’t have enough room for an acoustic privacy pod? Acoustic phone booths can be easily added to the walls of a small office to create much-needed separation. Use tables that can be pulled back up into the wall. Find a corner wall shelf to add more storage in a space that’s rarely utilized in an office. 

5. Promote Natural Elements

Biophilic design is important for every workspace, regardless of its size. The beauty of bringing plant-life into the office isn’t just in how it looks; it’s in how nature makes us feel. Incorporate biophilia wisely in your small space by adding flowers and potted-plants to windowsills, shelves, and other empty spaces. 

Besides greenery, think of different ways to let natural light in. You may only have a window or two—or maybe even none—but there are other methods to give your employees the natural light they need. It can be as simple as hanging art or other mounted accents on your walls to break up the blandness of white paint.

Creative approaches can take a small office and turn it into something that looks and feels much more spacious, because everything matters when space is limited. Just remember minimal, mobile, natural, and purposeful elements when choosing how to size up your office design.

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