Over the years, research has highlighted the importance of good office design. A 1984 study by the Buffalo Organization for Social and Technological Innovation, for example, found the layout of a workplace can affect job satisfaction and performance, while a 2004 Texas Tech University study found a link to overall employee wellness.
In light of this scientific research, it is understandable that many businesses want to take a great deal of care with their design projects and are happy to pay out for assistance from experienced professionals. So what are the main benefits of enlisting established office designers, rather than going it alone?
The main reason people turn to professional designers for help is that they are experts in the field. This means that they know what does and does not work, and they almost certainly have experience carrying out similar projects. This level of expertise can be especially useful during the planning stage.
“Clients often ask interior design firms to help them determine if the space to be leased or built is sufficient,” writes Christine M. Piotrowski in the book Designing Commercial Interiors. “Office design involves numerous [different] components that must be brought together in a plan that facilitates employee productivity.”
Of course, expert assistance has advantages far beyond carrying out feasibility studies or drawing up design briefs in those early stages. Professional designers can stay up to date with the latest office space planning trends, giving them the ability to introduce completely fresh ideas to a project. Furthermore, they possess a knowledge of the way certain design features or color schemes affect people, either positively or negatively.
Another significant benefit of using professional designers is the level of efficiency they can bring to the table, enabling projects to be completed as quickly as possible, and according to schedule. For instance, the resources and experience an established designer has will usually allow them to:
Anticipate problems before they occur;
Perform work accurately, preventing mistakes;
Rely on their existing contacts within the industry;
Stay up to date with current legal requirements;
Generally speaking, the longer a design project takes, the more stressful it is for all involved. A professional designer’s ability to work efficiently can shave considerable time off a project, allowing an organization to get back to work sooner rather than later.
Last but not least, enlisting a qualified design team can produce financial gains. At face value, this may appear to be a confusing suggestion, because a business has to pay for the design work in the first place. However, the work they carry out can result in significant financial benefits in the longer term.
“A well-designed office may [initially] cost a little more, but it is much cheaper than a poorly designed one,” explains Morgan Lovell’s head of marketing, Paul Kelly. “A non-functioning office wastes time and causes frustration because it can hinder basic tasks. Good office design solves these problems.”
Indeed, a carefully designed office can reduce staff absenteeism, improve productivity, boost morale, and even open up new possibilities for business. At the same time, it can lead to less overall wastage and lower staff turnover rates. A reduction in the associated costs can ensure that the design process more than pays for itself in the end.