The office space; a productivity hub; a place where members of the public can earn their keep whilst excelling in a particular discipline or duty. It also acts as a second home for your employees, who will only return to their recognised place of residence after the afternoon has passed. Due to this, it's important to carry elements from a conventional living environment across to your space. Otherwise, well, your house just won't be a home.
If you're a business owner, you of course have the luxury of decorating your office whichever way you please. While the sky is the limit when it comes to painting and decorating, remember that the space should also inspire your workers and cater for their basic requirements. This is why sitting areas and communal areas are fast becoming a necessity in the modern office.
Now, bigger companies will have found no problem in adapting their space ever so slightly to include a sitting area. They might have a waiting room for clients or customers while a representative is brought out. Meanwhile, in the office itself, a vacant room can be turned into a handy lunch area in the blink of an eye.
It becomes a different matter when you're of a smaller scale and have a lot less free space to play with. However, you can still craft a 'place to be' for clients and employees alike through a few shrewd investments. Here's what a suitable area will include.
Headlining your shopping list is a comfortable seating arrangement. Your selection will depend on the number of staff you have to cater for, along with the space at your disposal.
We'll take the model of small business demanding a multi-functional area. Positioned near the office entrance, the seating space can be used by employees to meet and talk over all things business. On other days, it's a mini waiting area for clients, candidates and visitors alike.
A seating space for six would be par for the course in this instance. Judging by this, one three-seater leather sofa either side of a coffee table will provide ample room for impromptu meetings. Perhaps another, smaller sofa or armchair could run at the end of the table, but always leave at least one gap for people to vacate the space.
A coffee table no higher than the seat base is ideal for resting documents, cups and laptops. Remember that these people have their own desks and will be coming to the seating area for a conversation, rather than a demonstration. The actions in effect are the words, so the table serves less of a purpose than you might think.
An important client might well be asked whether they'd like a drink of any sort upon entry. Also point them in the direction of a water cooler just behind their chair. They may have endured a stuffy train ride to get to your office and will require a few cups of filtered water before they can focus on the matters at hand. Having this there is also heaps more convenient for your employees, as they won't have to continuously journey across to the kitchen when a meeting runs overtime.
Lastly, scatter a couple of industry publications on the desk to keep your waiting line entertained. You never know, this might also show prospective clients and future employees they you're firmly in touch with your field. On the other hand, they offer a spot of light reading when immediate assistance can't be at hand.