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7 Ideas on How to use Extra Space in an Office

Many different types of buildings can serve as an office; it could even be argued that offices are often as varied as the businesses that use them. However, such is the versatility of office design that, in arranging your own workspace, you might have inadvertently left some unused gaps.

While you might be convinced that your office is currently using space efficiently, we would urge you to look again. Are you truly using each square foot to its optimum capacity? Even if you are, that might not necessarily be the case every hour of the working day.

Judging from research highlighted by Bplans, each desk might only be completely utilised for roughly 45% of the time. Therefore, even if your office is frequently used, it could still often have empty desks spare – and, by heeding the following points in this article, you could find proper uses for them.

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1. Add amenities for use in preparing coffee and snacks

If your office doesn’t include a well-served break room, you’re probably not giving your workers the relaxation opportunities they need to prevent burning out. Since you wouldn’t want to pose this risk to your team’s productivity, don’t omit both food and drink options from your break room.

While a coffee machine should be deemed an indispensable part of a complete break room, you could also consider adding a tea kettle and cappuccino machine, as Small Business Trends implies.

Another viable option would be adding a fridge or pantry, which you could stock with a range of healthy snack options capable of giving your staff just that midday energy boost they need to meet that next looming deadline.

2. Give your staff space to converse

Another reason why your office design should allow for a break room is that it’s where work collaborations can form. However, you can’t expect your staff to get ideas for collaborations unless those workers have opportunities to verbally interact with each other.

You could encourage such conversations by placing tables and comfortable seating in your break room. These amenities would allow staff to sit down in that room to enjoy their lunch or coffee amongst each other, rather than retreat to their isolated desks and possibly eat in silence.

3. Let your workers take part in fun activities

When many of your employees are in that break room together, what might they talk about? Well, potential work collaborations, as you might be hoping and we have implied. However, your personnel might need some time to de-stress before they quite reach that point.

This sheds light on why, in that room, you could also benefit from adding amenities meant to encourage a range of fun activities. While you might already be brimming with fun ideas, we would suggest a ping pong table or pool table if you reckon that your staff would be inclined to use either.

Alternatively, you could connect a videogame console to a TV set in that room or simply stack a carefully-chosen selection of board games on shelves in that room.

4. Visually personalise your work area

When it comes to aesthetic improvements, you might not have to look too far for design ideas. After all, what you opt to do could simply be an extension of your company’s existing branding.

However, while you should indeed consider staying relatively consistent with the colour scheme, there’s still good scope for experimentation. Taking into account the likes of paint colours, wall art and furniture, you could contact an interior designer to seek their feedback.

At Maris, our design experts always welcome enquiries – and we can meet up with you at either your office or our own base in Southwark, London. To get the ball rolling, you can give us a ring on 0207 902 1800 or email us via hello@maris.co.uk.

5. Build a sit-or-stand workstation

When looking for the extra space in your office, did you remember to stop to look up? Yes, even the upper reaches of your physical space can be used for work essentials – and one of the benefits of reaching out to a design guru is that they could help you to spot surprise possibilities.

Those possibilities include that of creating a bar-height desk for wrapping around a room, enabling workers to use the desk while standing up. This would be no gimmick because sitting down all day can actually adversely affect your health, as The Spruce warns.

Nonetheless, as constantly staying stood up as you work can feel arduous, you could still sit down from time to time by pulling up a bar stool.

6. Set up a home office in a cupboard

It’s easy to see why cupboards can often contribute to wasted space in an office. After all, you might often assume that cupboards could only possibly be used for storing supplies – and you might simply not have, or even be able to afford, enough supplies to fill up much of a cupboard.

However, all of this could strongly incentivise you to repurpose the cupboard as a home office. If a particular cupboard in your office often looks too sparse, find a small desk that can fit into that space. Other essentials, like a computer, seat and standalone lighting, can follow.

7. Mount furniture onto the walls

If you still work from home, you might have decided against renting a dedicated office, perhaps out of preference for a home office space. However, as your home will be used for many purposes other than work, space could be more at a premium there than it would be in a rented office.

That’s why being able to fix crucial items to the walls can prove particularly useful. For example, if you have a spare corner, you could wall-mount a storage unit there as part of a wider effort to turn the space into a small home office.

It’s even possible to mount a computer monitor onto a wall, allowing you to free up desk space for other items. Such tactics can culminate to make a room feel more space-efficient than it ever has been – and many workers could find it surprisingly inviting…

8. Consider renting out underutilised office space

In revamping your building to make it more work-friendly, you could find much of the freed-up space to be surplus even to your own requirements. In this situation, you could consider renting out the unused space for other businesses to tap into.

Whether that unused space is just a single desk in your home or a whole unit in your corporate building, you could be pleasantly surprised by how much money you can make by going down this route. Indeed, many small businesses prefer a dedicated office to a home for work purposes.

You wouldn’t even strictly have to fret about a stack of the renting company’s mail ending up on your doormat, as the company could register their office address elsewhere. That could leave them to use your space simply for the practical means of getting day-to-day work done.

However, as we have seen, a worker’s environment can have a major effect on their productivity. For this reason, consider calling us to see if we could help you to cleverly tweak that space to bring meaningful productivity gains.