Category: Office Design

The workplace of the future, according to the next generation

We have all pondered how the office will change in the next ten or twenty years. Even in the last decade alone, technological advancements have transformed the way the traditional workplace is set up. And in the last year in particular, Covid-19 had again altered the hybrid needs and functionality of our everyday work set-ups. 

At Meridian Interiors, we are used to hosting and accommodating a whole range of weird, wonderful, wacky, and outright cool features and designs. But we had asked ourselves what kids and the next generation would request if they were the ones to design their workplace of the future… so we did exactly that. Our design team have since mocked up the official workplace of the future taking into account all the bespoke requests and popular features.

Paul Dawson, Director at Meridian Interiors, comments:

It’s really interesting to see what features make up the office of the future! Our most popular feature, interestingly, has been garden space and flowers in the office. Over the last year, we’ve all spent more time outdoors than ever. Couple this with the psychological benefits linked to greenery and outdoor spaces, it’s no surprise to see this become prominent in everyday working life.

Similarly, some more modern features like pet facilities, wellness areas and YouTube rooms cropped up in the children’s designs. Not only is this reflective of the changing workspace skill sets and environments, but also developing rooms alongside school and educational settings that this next generation of office workers currently spend their days in. It has been really fun designing this and listening to children instead of clients; we’re intrigued if we’ll get a real-life request with slides and pet pens in the next decade!”

Here is how offices will look according to the next generation:

The sketches

Meridian Interiors asked children around the UK to send in their ideal workplace for when they grow up, and here some of the best designs that featured in the final office of the future design. 

With permission from families, we share with you the winning sketches…

Harrison, aged 9

Maddy, aged 10

Harvey, aged 5

Harrison, aged 8

Alyssa, aged 9

A big thanks to everyone who created sketches! We hope you like some of these fantastic concepts as much as we do!

Office fit-out and refurbishment in Cambridgeshire

Meridian Interiors is an office fit-out and refurbishment company with more than 20 years of experience in commercial interior refurbishment all over the country. In this article, we take a look at some of our favourite office refurbishment and fit-outs in Cambridgeshire and provide an insight into how we helped businesses transform their workplaces on time, and on budget. 

RxCelerate, Cambridgeshire

“A key feature on this project at Cambridge based pharmaceutical company, Rxcelerate, was the use of switchable glass on the meeting room partitioning, which is a fantastic way to create privacy when needed and help with the transmission of light throughout an office, during other times. At Meridian, we like to come up with solutions to make our clients working environments as user friendly as possible. This glass is a great example of this.” 

Paul Dawson, Managing Director

This Cambridgeshire office refurbishment focused on an office design to incorporate feature flooring, breakout spaces and a glass partition to make the most of the space. The refurbishment project included feature lighting, a new tea point facility,  and alterations to electrics and lighting. The office glass partitions featured both solid and glazed partitions, creating dynamic, co-working spaces offering privacy and collaboration where appropriate. 

WCMC, Cambridge

This Cambridgeshire office refurbishment and fit out focused on refurbishing an existing library and meeting area into a more usable, relaxing collaborative space. We worked closely with the client to pull together a breakout area that was welcoming and practical, so it would be actively used by employees. The project included installing new ceilings, joinery, lighting installation, lighting and flooring. With a dedicated colour scheme throughout and new office furniture, the project in its entirety took six weeks to complete. 

To discover more about our commercial interior refurbishment services, click here. Get inspired with our case studies, or get in touch to start your journey today.

Office refurbishment in Oxfordshire

The Evergreen Agency, Bicester

“Working with the Evergreen Agency has been a lot of fun as they are a forward-thinking Bicester based marketing company, who take a lot of pride in their work and working environment. This has been reflected in the office refurbishment they commissioned Meridian Interiors to carry out, over two phases. The addition of biophilia on a couple of their walls acts as a key feature of the design and works well with the company’s branding.” 

Sarah Glover, Office Manager  

This office refurbishment in Oxfordshire saw Meridian refurbish an existing office space in keeping with the business’ design ideas and vision. Focusing on a theme for all things green, it involved installing a new meeting room as well as upgrading the tea-making area to a more modern, well-functional layout. 

Point of Difference, Banbury

“Point of Difference offer co-working spaces across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, creating interesting places for people to work alongside each other. Working with Andy Bedwell from Point of Difference at both his Banbury and Bicester workspaces has been a pleasure. As well as working well together, we consistently deliver impressive office spaces, using our expertise and quality craftsmanship.” 

Paul Dawson, Managing Director

With the brief focusing on an entire office fit out and refurbishment in Oxfordshire – based company Point of Difference main offices. The Oxfordshire office building was refurbished over three floors to bring it up to modern-day standard with design and facilities to match. The Oxfordshire refurb included installing new heating systems and gas pipe relocation, office partitioning, internal and external decoration, new lighting systems and air conditioning. The refurbishment was managed over a time period of 14 weeks and saw us incorporate modern trends that were in keeping with the traditional architecture and heritage of the building. 

Purdicom, Wantage

“Working at Oxfordshire based Purdicom is always interesting, as their offices are located within a converted barn. We enjoyed creating a modern space to reflect the company’s technological services but that also complimented the traditional surroundings and building’s features. Our fit-out specialists worked really hard to ensure this transformation was a success and our client was happy with their new working environment.” 

Leon Peters, Project Manager  

This office refurbishment project in Oxfordshire focused on renovating office space within a converted barn. Ensuring the main features of the barn were considered in the redesign, our fit out included a new glass sliding door and separate manager’s office. Meridian Interiors worked to minimise any disruption to office workers and finished the refurbishment, complete with new office furniture and 18 desks, in 4 weeks. 

Airdri, Witney

This office design and refurbishment saw Meridian Interiors overhaul an existing warehouse space and transform it into a fully functioning open plan office in 12 weeks. The project brief included kitchen areas, acoustic insulation, space planning and design, and astute project management to ensure the entire Oxfordshire office refurb was finished on time and on budget. The office refurbishment also included refiguring the electrics for optimal use, with sound partitioning for the cellular office spaces.

Office board room with large wooden table and black executive chairs

Perch Studios, Bicester

This office fit-out in Bicester was completed over a 9 week period and saw us extend a hot-desking coworking space in Bicester. With modern and contemporary colours we worked closely with the client to create a stylish, welcoming space. With cellular partitions, lighting enhancements and full redecoration we were able to create a stunning interior office space to be used by various companies, linking to areas together seamlessly. 

To discover more about our commercial office refurbishment services, click here. Explore our case studies for more information or get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you.

Office refurbishment in Bedfordshire

In this article, we discuss some of our most recent office refurbishment projects in the Bedfordshire area. For those looking for Bedfordshire office refurbishment, Meridian Interiors offer a range of office design, fit-out and commercial office refurbishment services. Explore our most recent case studies below to find out how we helped to transform offices and bring ideas to life through a bespoke and professional service.

Glenn Group, Bedford 

“I thoroughly enjoyed project managing the office refurbishment for Bedford based company, Glenn Group. Flooring played a key part in this project, together with a strong colour scheme, which can be seen throughout. Adding interest to the walls with graphics was a great way to display our client’s values and mission and I am pleased to have been a part of this transformation.” 

Leon Peters, Project Manager

Our first Bedfordshire office refurbishment focuses on Glenn Group in Bedford, which focused on an office redesign and fit-out. We worked closely with Glenn Group to bring their vision to life,  with a complete office refurbishment and office furniture installation. With work including redecoration, new flooring design, breakout areas and corporate signature, the end result was an impactful, exciting office space that reflected the brand and offered an exciting work environment for employees.

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives,  Bedford

This office refurbishment project saw Meridian Interiors transform the CILEX HQ while the offices were still in operation. With project management working in phases to reduce disruption to business continuity, the office refurb focused on refreshing the look and feel of the offices. With office partitioning, lighting, decorating and new following added, the office refurbishment also included new office furniture installation. Project management successfully refurbished the Bedfordshire offices in 20 weeks, with minimal disruption for employees throughout. 

To discover more about our office fit-out and refurbishment services, click here. Explore our case studies or contact the team to find out how we can help you.

Office refurbishment in Buckinghamshire

As a leading office refurbishment company, we decided to round up our favourite projects in Buckinghamshire. Supplying offices up and down the country with the latest in office design and refurbishment, we offer high-end office refurbishments to renovate and transform workspaces and these are just a few of our favourites to show you how we bring offices to life. 

The Parks Trust, Milton Keynes

“As an independent charity who care for parkland and greenspace across Milton Keynes, we were honoured to be selected to carry out the atrium refurbishment project at the Parks Trust offices in Buckinghamshire. The project was especially interesting, due to the bespoke timberwork and natural colour scheme, which was chosen to fit in with the Park Trust’s ethos.” 

Paul Dawson, Managing Director


This commercial office refurbishment in Buckinghamshire focused on transforming the office space at The Parks Trust. The Parks Trust are a charitable organisation and were looking to create and design a new collaborative workspace using the latest office design techniques. Our office refurbishment project included collaborative areas for employees to come together for ideation and a break from their desks. Featuring bespoke lighting and a relaxing environment for employees, this is one of our favourite office refurbs in Buckinghamshire!

Graymatter, Milton Keynes

“Graymatter is a prominent marketing agency in Milton Keynes, so we were very pleased to work with them for a second time at their Buckinghamshire office. Working within the scope of their updated brand, we enjoyed working with such a vibrant colour palette, and incorporating some quirky elements like the yellow door and faux fireplace.” 

Paul Dawson, Managing Director 

This particular Buckinghamshire office fit out and refurbishment saw us return to a previous client to help bring their ideas to life. With an updated brand, the creative marketing agency Graymatter needed an updated office space with functional, multipurpose workspaces. Our refurbishment and fit out included upgrading meeting areas for employees and setting out new break out areas for office workers. The refurbishment also included relaxed, functional furniture for a new and improved office space offering functionality and comfort throughout the day.

UCC Coffee, Milton Keynes

Our third and final favourite office refurb in Buckinghamshire features UCC Coffee in Milton Keynes. This office refurbishment involved an entire refurb of the UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, and took palace over a 52 week period. The office refurbishment included fitting out new offices, showrooms, training rooms, restaurants, coffee shops and workshop spaces. The Buckingham office refurb also included complete furniture installation, so the entire HQ was in keeping with the new redesign. We also incorporated mezzanine spaces and W/Cs into our office refurbishment, with a meticulous project plan to ensure that work disruption was kept to a minimum throughout the refurbishment. 


To discover more about our office refurbishment services, click here. For more ideas and inspiration, read our case studies or feel free to contact us to learn more about our services.

Office Design Trends 2021

This article looks at the office design trends in 2021.  According to trend forecasters, ‘Resimercial’ design, video conferencing provisions, workstation neighbourhoods and sustainability will all play a key role in the office of 2021 and beyond. We take a closer look at some of the office design trends for 2021 below.

This post covers:

  • What are the best concepts for designing an office?
  • What are some great features of a new office design?
  • What is the future of office spaces?

What are the best concepts for designing an office?

The best concepts for designing an office are concepts that consider longevity, flexibility, productivity and employee wellbeing. The workplace should be as inviting as it is stylish, and comfortable as it is practical. A comfortable office can transform the way employers see their office; a modern space that considers their needs will be appreciated by employees, and will be reflected in the quality and level of work output. Happy workers are often far more productive, will be more inclined to work hard, and will enjoy coming to the office and get more out of their workday because of it.  

We are starting to see some great concepts being introduced to workplace interior design for 2021.  

Check out this case study, which features small office design concepts to create an inviting chill out space for a previous client. 

What are some great features of a new office design?

One of the best office design features for any modern workplace is greenery. Our working environments should not be any different from the other places we inhabit. The relationship between individuals and their environment can be crucial to how your teams feel, perform and collaborate with others. Office layout designs that inspire, energise and support the people who use them is an important first step to workplace interiors design. People’s connection to nature can help organisations meet that goal.  

What is the future of office spaces?

Open-plan offices and fixed bench style workstations have proven popular in recent years. Remote working and more recently working from home means office designers have the challenge of designing the offices of the future, with the very best workplace design trends. 

Acoustic issues with more video conferencing, managing demarcation for social distancing, screening areas off and hygienic considerations will all play a part in the office in the future.

More flexibility and multi-functional areas to aid social distancing measures with a focus on improving the employee experience will be a key feature of tomorrow’s workplace.  At the start of 2021, companies were not thinking about social distancing as a workplace priority but in a short space of time, it has become central to office design.   

Increased space to hot-desking areas and collaboration meeting hubs will be important to make employees feel safe, whilst still maintaining a practical and productive working environment. Of course, every office environment has its own constraints, but this is where our Workplace Consultancy plays such a crucial part in the first steps of the process.

What are the office design trends for 2021?

There are many varied ways trends can become a reality in your office. Working with your current environment to make those all-important tweaks will increase wellbeing, productivity and promote staff retention.

Cellular meeting rooms

Larger cellular meeting rooms can be arranged into different shapes and sizes, while making sure adequate services for connectivity solutions are provided to let users ‘plug-and-play’.  Varying heights and types of furniture that ensure users feels comfortable and engaged.  

Collaboration spaces

The creation of collaboration spaces and break-out areas, with comfortable seating that both encourages distancing and allows for the productive use of personal devices.  Creating energetic settings that encourage professional or informal connection among colleagues.  It is vital that employees can find a retreat to focus and work with colleagues in an environment that puts them at ease.

Resimercial design 

Working remotely or from home has been forced upon many teams over the past 12 months, and office design is changing because of it. The term resimercial, combining residential and commercial, does exactly what it says on the tin. Resimercial design is becoming far more popular ever since people have started working from home and combines many features from the home office back to the commercial office environment.

As we begin to welcome the workforce back into the workplace, how can office interior design begin to incorporate the many features we have around us at home? 

Some key concepts of resimercial design include:

  • Softening of tones and colours used on walls and floors.
  • Introduction of plants or living walls.
  • Comfortable seating and quiet spaces to break for lunch.
  • Aesthetically pleasing features.

Simple things like table lamps, faux fireplaces or even bookcases, that you may have at home can easily be incorporated into the workplace environment.  

Meridian Interiors’ recent project completed for The Parks Trust at Shenley Pavilions Milton Keynes demonstrates how we have achieved this perfectly!

In conclusion, our endeavours to incorporate as many of the previously mentioned office design trends to your office, we hope will provide us with many exciting challenges for the year ahead.

For more insight and advice about how we can transform your office space, explore our office design services or contact us today.

5 things to consider when designing an office

Office design is an investment, and when done right, it can create a collaborative, productive and conducive environment for employees. Wellbeing directly correlates to employee productivity and output, so it pays dividends for employers to invest in a working environment that is inviting and stimulating, as opposed to stark and doldrum.

People spend a large portion of their day at work; with this in mind, as an employer, you want to incite enthusiasm within your employees. A team that has a welcoming space to work is more likely to feel enthused about the workday, and happy employees make for a more productive workforce. Office space design is a key factor that can help you create a workspace that employees love, and are proud of.

Meridian Interiors has been creating modern office spaces for over 20 years, and as experts in office space planning, we are sharing five tips for the perfect office layout below.

What does your office space need to look like?

Planning ahead

Planning ahead and considering the needs of your employees is key to designing an office space that works for everyone. Think about any specific office design features your team would benefit from. Consider working personalities and working styles: does your team have a lot of group meetings? Would they benefit from multifunctional work areas? It’s worth getting a sense of this before initial plans are drawn up, as the more detailed the brief you are working with, the easier it is for the office design planners to create a space that truly meets the needs of your employees and business from the offset.

Some features your office will benefit from include:

  • Breakout spaces
  • Glass partitions
  • Meeting rooms
  • Multifunctional workspaces
  • Individual desk space
  • Welcoming reception area

The top 5 things to consider when refurbishing an office space

Below are the top 5 things to focus on when refurbishing an office.

1. Lighting

Office lighting plays an important role in creating a welcoming working space. This is because different tones of lighting evoke different moods. Different styles of artificial lighting will bring a different energy and feel to the office. From high intensity, brighter lighting to dim lighting, the right office lighting can counteract the harsh, stark lighting from the computer screen, and help protect employees’ eyesight.

Types of office lighting and their benefits:

Dim lighting

Dim lighting can help to create a warm and inviting office space, however, be aware of lighting that is too dim, which could slow down productivity in the workplace. It’s important to get the balance right, as you don’t want to evoke an environment that’s too comfortable and leaves employees feeling sleepy. Dim lighting is generally encouraged to help people wind down before sleep, and scientifically speaking, dim light stimulates melatonin production and its resultant drowsiness.

Neutral lighting

Neutral artificial lighting should be welcoming, but with cool undertones to prevent too much of a relaxing setting. Neutral lighting can also help your energy bills from piling up, too. Mid-range colour temperatures will help with alertness, without being too stark. Ideally, neutral lighting with cooler hues should be used in an office setting, with studies finding that higher temperature lighting results in higher workplace productivity.

Bright lighting

Brighter, cooler lighting can help with alertness in the workplace, however, it’s important to avoid stark, unnatural lighting that could cause eye strain and headaches. Brighter lighting lowers melatonin, which reduces fatigue. However, heavily artificial and bright lighting can also ramp up the energy bill, so consider office design that makes use of as much natural light as possible.

Natural light

Natural lighting is very important to consider when designing an office space. Natural lighting helps to feel more productive and can help reduce energy costs, too. Sunlight has a powerful effect on the mental health of employees, helping to boost serotonin and boosting mood. Just as natural light helps you to get up in the morning, it can incentivise employees to feel productive and focused. Sunlight helps us produce Vitamin D and melatonin as well as serotonin, and bright sunlight also helps us feel more alert in general.

2. Storage

Office storage is another important factor in workplace design. Clever storage can help keep things tidy and organised, especially if you are in a large office. Shelving, drawers, storage walls and cupboards are all office storage ideas that can help you to utilise your space well. You can find office desks with storage, and there are plenty of office space ideas that allow for storage. Good office storage can help to keep any documents and physical data safe, secure and organised. It’s also just good practice to keep on top of clutter in an office; nobody wants to come into work to a mess!

Read our guide for more: How to maximise your office space

  • Go paperless where possible – excessive amounts of paper result in more clutter. Of course, there will always be a need for paper within an office environment, but by limiting paper use where possible and going digital, you will save a lot of space and time (and will also help save the planet!)
  • Be clever with desk storage – desks often take up a lot of space so where possible utilise the space below and above office desks, with additional drawers or storage units to maximise the office space you’re working with.
  • Utilise wall space – wall space is a great way to take up less physical floor area in your office, giving you more room to move around. Shelving and storage walls bring another level to your workspace and can help keep things tidy. Colour-coded filing systems, photo frames and indoor plants are simple ways to smarten up shelves and bring some depth, colour, and personality to your office.

3. Breakout areas

Top tip: Read our blog Office breakout area ideas

Breakout areas are another key part of any office space. Depending on your office location or size, you will need to accommodate a space for employees to relax and enjoy their breaks. Office breakout spaces can include kitchens, comfy areas, and places to chat and unwind with other colleagues. Just as it is important to create a productive environment for your team, it’s also important to provide space for employees to relax and unwind. Employees often use these times to chat to colleagues and switch off; taking breaks throughout the day can help with employee focus and helps prevent burnout, so by providing this space for employees, you’ll see the benefits when they return to work, rejuvenated and refreshed. 

4. Multifunctional spaces

Collaborative spaces are arguably one of the most important features of a modern office and are vital to consider in the early design stages of your new office layout. When considering collaborative spaces and meeting rooms, try to futureproof, and allow for all potential situations beyond a simple team meeting. If you regularly have visitors to the office, do your larger office spaces account for this? If you are in the process of expanding, do your initial concept designs consider this? It would be nothing short of a waste to lay the groundwork for a beautiful office space, to only find you grow out of it in six months! Multifunctional workspaces are a must-have feature of a modern office.

Benefits of multifunctional workspaces

Encourages employee interaction and collaboration

If employees have no space to meet and discuss ideas, then you may be missing a trick. By creating a work area that has a multifunctional space, employees will be encouraged to break up the day and will feel more comfortable in sharing ideas in a welcoming space, as opposed to in a formal meeting room.

Allows for networking opportunities

Your office space will be more conducive for impromptu meetings and networking sessions if there is a space that is suitable to hold them. This space will be separate from the main working area, meaning groups won’t disturb those who are in focus mode.

Reflects company culture

Employees appreciate it when employers recognise their needs, and as an employer, you’ll be ticking all the right boxes by providing multiple workspaces to work from. This can help break up the monotony of the workday, and if your team regularly works together on projects, then a multifunctional workspace – where teams can work together – will not only be appreciated but necessary.

Avoids meeting room timetable clashes

It can be very frustrating to find yourself needing a place to work together and finding the meeting room booked up. Having a space that can be used as a makeshift meeting room is very handy for such occasions, and is reflective of a typical working day in an office.

5. Thoughtful design

Of course, an underlying premise that runs through every office design and should be a key consideration for every decision made is thoughtful design. From ergonomic chairs to suitable sized desks, to tasteful interior office design. Make sure you define the needs of your office refurbishment long before work begins. This will help you tie in all your ideas together to create a design that, when it comes to fruition, meets all your requirements and beyond. Together these elements will help create a welcoming, inviting office that employees look forward to working in. It really is that simple!

You can find a number of our case studies here, which can help inspire you when coming up with your own office designs.

Check out our blog for more tips and advice:

Office refurbishment guide
How to design a productive office environment
The ultimate guide to office design
Open office vs closed office: A guide

You can speak to our team today to find out more information, or head to our blog for the latest insights.

How to Maximise Your Office Space

One of the advantages of good office design is that offices can help ensure your workplace maximises the space available in a way that works for everyone. 

In this article, we provide industry insight and guidance on how you can achieve an office that promotes good workflow and space-saving techniques. 

Within this article we cover the following:

  • How do you make a good office?
  • How to design an office space
  • Maximising the space in your office 
  • Office layout types 

How do you make a good office?

Creating a good office involves good office design that creates a welcoming and productive workspace. Workspaces should be comfortable for employers; a productive space where that can feel comfortable, and carry out their work effectively.

The long term benefits of good office design include employee wellbeing and increased productivity; so you may be asking, how is this achieved?

  • The type of furniture used
  • The colour scheme
  • The amount of natural light
  • The way the space is divided

Spend time thinking about how you would like the office space to be used, and how it could most benefit its users. Ask yourself how you would like to define the space, how can you improve collaboration between colleagues, consider employee habits and well-being, what could you improve and how could you future-proof the space. 

How to Design an Office Space

At Meridian Interiors, we operate an office design process that flows from conception through to completion, exploring options and solutions throughout the process. We find this system enables our expert designers to develop the best workplace to maximise the workspace.


You can discover more about our Office Design services here. and is explained in more detail here.

Maximising the Space in Your Office

Layout

The use of effective layouts within an office design will help to ensure footfall flows efficiency throughout the space, air and light moves effectively and collaboration between staff and departments is possible. 

Depending on the space available, it is advisable to divide the space up into functional areas with office partitions, in the most appropriate way. Within a modern working environment, popular options for areas to consider including, to maximise your office are:

  • Collaborative Spaces
  • Social Areas
  • Quiet Rooms
  • ‘Zoom’ rooms

As well as creating dedicated ‘work’ areas, employees benefit from a well-designed break out space.

For more tips, please read our article Office Breakout Area Ideas

Partitions

Using partitioning is a great way of creating functional areas and good airflow. 

Partitioning does not have to mean solid walls though. Dividing up the space to maximise its use by employees can be done with any form of partition, such as:

  • Glazed partitioning
  • Shelving
  • Columns
  • Storage wall
  • Green living walls
  • Folding walls 
  • Screens

Storage

Good storage is a key element of good office design, whether you are a very small start-up business or a larger more developed company. Focussing some energy on keeping an office space organised, can help to make it an enjoyable place to work, helping to create a more efficient working environment and providing a positive impression to visitors. 

Storage can form part of a partition, be located above desks, within pedestals, cupboards, shelving, storage wall or filing cabinets.  Most office layouts incorporate a selection of different types of storage, to ensure the best use of the available space, buying furniture that best suits the design style. 

Utilising floor to ceiling height, space above and under desks, creating privacy and reducing noise pollution throughout the office are all ways to get your storage to work for you and maximise your office space.

Furniture

Furniture can bring style, colour and personality into an office space. Using different sized furniture to best reflect the size of the working environment can be useful. 

A good idea is to experiment with different furniture layouts, as different employees with different roles may work best with different desk layouts to each other. Small groups of desks can be used to encourage teamwork, but ensure there is enough space for each employee. 

Office furniture is not all about desks and task chairs, however, and it is equally important to invest time into researching how employees will get the most out of the workspace. More modern agile and flexible working practices mean that employees may work remotely much of the time and simply come to the office as a place to collaborate and meet with colleagues and visitors, and therefore need a hot desk and meeting area. 

Other staff may work most of their time within the office, but need a quiet space to hold conference calls or deal with personal admin. 

You may even find that having a pool table in the office enables staff to have a break from their screens, clear their heads for a few minutes, develop better relationships with colleagues and as a result improve their productivity!

One size most certainly does not fit all and developing the best office layout design can really help to maximise your space.

Office Layout Types

During the 19th century, office cubicles were very prominent, with everyone partitioned into their own office or cubicle space. This way of working changed at the turn of the 21st century to an open plan style layout in many workplace environments, these designs could minimize costs within the office, such as reduced construction fees, the ability to squeeze more people into less square footage and fewer cubicle furniture pieces to purchase. 

Read more in our guide: Office Space vs Closed Office space – A Short Guide

This trend started to change around 5 years ago, as people started to realise that the open-plan layouts can be rather noisy and a more chaotic place to work, especially for businesses that require quieter working environments, confidentiality, and concentration, such as accounting firms, financial planning agencies and law firms.

Many companies are therefore now opting for more flexible office spaces, tailored towards their employee’s needs, to ensure employee wellbeing and to create more productive environments. This has been possible through both the advances in technology and the flexibility this promotes as well as the awareness of mental health within the workplace. 

Find out how Meridian Interiors can work with you to maximise your office space by getting in touch today or by exploring our office design services on our website.

A Definitive Guide to Office Space Planning (for 2021 and beyond)

As an experienced company in office design and office fit-outs, Meridian Interiors have experience in creating well-designed, well planned and executed offices and workspaces. We have used our expertise to create an all-encompassing guide on how your company can best plan out an office space for functionality, practicality, and flow.

What is office space planning?

Office space planning is a commercial interior design stage where you consider how the workplace can produce the best possible environment for staff and visitors alike. It is an opportunity to analyse how the company is structured, how this correlates with how specific teams work together and how the layout of the office can aid a positive working environment.

At Meridian Interiors, we start this process with a Workplace Evaluation, where we meet with key people from your organisation to set out the project parameters and review your main project objectives.

Benefits of office space planning

What are the benefits of office space planning? Read below to explore the best reasons to plan your office space, and how it can help you get the most out of your workspace.

Getting more from your space

Have your working practices changed, as your company has grown or modernised, but your office is still set up in the same rigid way it always has been? Investing time into creating an office layout plan to establish the best way for staff to interact and collaborate is a benefit of office space planning. It ensures you really think about the different functions, how the staff in those teams work most effectively, remembering there may not be a one size fits all solution and how these functions could make the best use of the available space.

Employee input

Optimise office space planning and see it as an opportunity to involve employees and encourage collaboration. Such changes to the office layout can be key in creating a workspace that works for everyone. Staff are key to a business’s success and feeling comfortable within a working environment can promote better well-being. And being involved in the office space planning process can help to boost morale. 

Creating more space

A badly designed layout may make you feel like you need to relocate to larger premises. Whilst this may be the case, it may simply be a need to redesign the current workplace to create more usable space. This is an option worth exploring, as it is certainly a more economical option to relocating.

Planning for the future

Realigning your office space can also help you plan for the future. This may be to realise that the existing space has room for expansion, or it may be to understand at what point a relocation will be necessary for future years.

How do you plan an office space?

Office planning starts with an evaluation of your existing workspace. Things to consider are:

  • What works well?
  • What could be improved?
  • How do departments, functions and teams work together?
  • Evaluate IT infrastructure
  • Analyses time spent in each area. Are there areas that need to be decreased or increased in size?

From there, investigate how you want people to behave in the new space and then establish your workplace requirements, to best plan the layout.  At this stage, think about concepts like agile working, hot desking, collaborative working and how they may be used to good effect in your office space.

Office spaces are an environment where stakeholders should be productive, creative and well connected, so planning an appropriate space is time well spent.

Once the evaluation has been carried out, you can utilise your findings to start planning your space. This is the fun bit, as you can start designing how you would like it to look and feel, how people should interact with the space and how technology can be embraced to enhance your business’ productivity.

How do you calculate how much office space I need?

A good working environment is not usually achieved by packing in as many workstations as possible into the desk space available, as many factors should be considered when planning your workplace.

Top Tip: You can read more about appropriate desk space in our previous guide: How to Design a Productive Office Environment.

At this stage, involving a professional office planning, design and fit-out company would be beneficial, as they have CAD software, knowledge of modern materials, design concepts and workplace products.  

How much office space per person?

Figures that are often used are 100 to 150 square ft per person however, this will depend on the type of work that your employees carry out, along with the type of furniture they will need to carry out their role. Selecting the right office furniture is paramount to making the space work most effectively while creating a comfortable workplace.

What is the best way to layout an office?

Using the knowledge gained in your evaluation stage will enable your office designer to create office layout ideas that will work best for your business.

There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to office design and the most successful layouts are office layouts that focus on creating productive and positive environments for staff.

Providing the following areas within your office layout have proven to be popular choices within a modern working environment:

  • Collaborative spaces
  • Social areas
  • Quiet rooms
  • ‘Zoom’ rooms

Top Tip: Read our detailed guide: Must-Have Office Features Employees Will Love.

Office space design

If an office is planned effectively, it will impact favourably on staff well-being and productivity, as well as creating a positive impression for visitors and customers alike. 

Office space design utilises space planning practices to create effective layouts, which aid efficient footfall throughout the space, ensures air and light moves effectively within the workplace and enables collaboration between staff, teams and functions. 

Find out how Meridian Interiors can assist you with space planning within your workspace by getting in touch today or by exploring our office design services on our website.

The Complete Guide to Office Interior Design

Whether you are struggling with the limitations of an existing office set up or are about to move to new premises, ask yourself if you have worked through the logical steps. This guide identifies a series of office design guidelines, to help you with your next project. 

What is office design?

Office design not only covers the physical elements of a workspace such as office furniture, layout and infrastructure, but also the emotional connection to the office space and employee’s well-being. Combining the physical and psychological elements into office design provides a well thought out space that offers a positive working environment.  

How to design an office space 

If you’ve decided you want to redesign your office, the next step is working out how to design an office space that considers all the requirements for a functional and practical modern-day workspace.

Meridian Interiors offers some insight and advice into how to design an office space that works for your business. 

Rethink your space

This is your chance to be practical, but also creative. Go back to basics. Ignore how your office is set up now and look at the basic square footage available to you. Then think ‘out of the box’.

Look at the ceiling height… Could you accommodate a mezzanine level for storage or extra office space? Or could you take down partitioning and/or remove a corridor to create a larger open-plan area?

space plan

Define separate work areas

Beyond the obvious office space – open plan and individual offices – consider meeting rooms or meeting areas, reception and visitor seating, the server room, tea points/kitchens, WCs (and disabled WCs) and any recreational areas you may need.

Create your ‘wish list’ – you can always pare it back later, but with a bit of reconfiguration, you may find there’s a way to deliver every element within the space available to you.

Consider employee needs

The general guidance for the average square footage per person in an office is 150 square feet – this is considered the space needed for any individual to work comfortably. However, if space allows, this can extend to 250 square feet.

Beyond this, other factors to consider when space planning are such elements as desk size, office storage, power supply availability, data cabling, and space for walkways/stairways.

Futureproof your office space

As far as space planning for the future goes, you need flexibility first and foremost.

Could you fit in another 10 office workstations if you needed to – with their associated storage requirements and access to a power supply?

Case Study – (View our solution for client Airdri.)

Do you have the flexibility to quickly re-define spaces, turning a spare meeting area or photocopier room into additional office space for example? Freestanding acoustic screens may be one easy way to achieve this.

These possibilities need to be factored in.

cad visualisation

How to design a small office space

Having plenty of space within a workplace is not always a given, for reasons like the constraints of working in cities with high rental values or an expanding workforce. Some companies, therefore, find themselves looking for ways in which to design a small office space.   

Small corporate office interior design can focus on the concepts below, which allow companies to get the best from the space they have available.

Agile Working

As well as the physical elements to office design, utilising a concept such as ‘agile working’ can be beneficial for companies with small offices. Agile working is described by the  Association for Project Management as “a framework and a working mind-set” that helps respond to changing requirements. Check this report out for more information.

Hot Desking

A familiar term within offices, hot desking is when a desk can be used by any employee on a different day depending on work schedules. This can be an effective way of working in workspaces with limited space. Hot desking would be particularly affective for office using a flexible working approach, with an office/ working from home split.

Desk Layout

Seating staff in desk pairs or quads can be a better use of space than separated desks. Desk layout can have an incredible impact on the space, layout and feel of an office. Consider your wisely and try different layouts, to make sure you’ve found one that suits the space well. Ideally it would allow for social working, while at the same time having clearly defined separate workspaces when needed.

Furniture

Using furniture as a partitioning solution to zone areas within an office adds options for multipurpose storage but also to make spaces more adaptable. Furniture is easy to move, and it doesn’t stop there, as you can select a finish and fabric design to your liking to ensure everything is on-brand. Whether you’re looking for something bright and poppy, or sleek and sophisticated, the furniture style you choose can hugely impact your office space. Be sure that your furniture choices fit in with the overall aesthetic so you make the most of your office refurbishment.

For more about office design and our office refurbishment services, explore our website, or head to our blog for the latest tips and advice on office design and refurbishment.  

How to design an office layout

Thinking about functionality is key, when designing an office layout. A workspace must ‘work’ effectively. Consider the items below when developing your next corporate office interior design.

  • Establish a flow through the space, so it is easy to navigate, with teams that work together being in proximity to each other.
  • Acoustics must be considered, to ensure staff are given a decent working environment.
  • Use natural light where possible to illuminate the space, placing glazed partitioning in darker areas, to allow light to travel through the space.
  • Explore different functional areas – meeting rooms, zoom rooms, break out spaces, quiet zones…
  • Use the layout to reflect your type of business through the type of reception area you provide, how areas are utilised, the types of furniture used…
  • A relatively new trend is to bring the outside in, following research identifying its benefits. Companies are starting to consider features like living walls in their office spaces.

Top Tip: Check out our Blog – How to Design a Productive Office Environment

How to design an office interior

Carefully considering design elements, when planning your interior office design, is time well spent. Below are a few things to discuss and incorporate in your planning phase.

Colour Palette and Branding

When it comes to the design, this is where you can have some fun! Thinking about the colour scheme in an office is probably more important than we think. It is the first thing that people notice upon entry and can tell staff and visitors alike a lot about your brand ethos, which explains why many companies opt to use their brand colours within their offices.

Furniture

Providing a variety of furniture options throughout a space can not only improve a space’s functionality, but also add to the aesthetics of a workplace.

Nature

Bringing the outside in is a modern trend that more and more workspaces are starting to adopt. Incorporating green or living walls into the office or simply adding well-placed pot plants can help the space feel more welcoming and offer a more relaxed environment. Research is increasing in this area as its popularity increases.

Style

Choosing the overall style of a space, whether it is a New York loft look, clean and clinical, natural and relaxed, industrial etc, can help to reflect a company’s brand and let staff know how they should use the space.

How to design the ultimate home office

Designing a home office is a different challenge, as often home spaces are not initially designed to be used for office space. With a forward-thinking approach to flexible working now including a working from home split, below are a few tips to help bring your home office to life.

Space Saving Ideas

Make use of the height within the room of your home office. Maximise on the space available for storage and consider how this space can be used. Desks with build in storage are a good idea, and a bookcase can provide the perfect spot for stationery, files, or books.

Making a Space Feel Bigger

Another consideration for home offices is maximising and optimising the space to make it feel and appear bigger. For this, we recommend:

  • Using a plain and simple colour palette
  • Using furniture that is the right size for the space
  • Choose blinds, as opposed to curtains, which can open up the space considerably  

Comfort

Although it is important for your office to feel like a place of work, so you can differentiate it from the rest of your house, it still needs to be comfortable. Add a few simple accessories, that sit alongside your colour palette and include plants and artwork to the walls to reflect your own personal style and make your home office a place you enjoy working in.

Meridian Interiors Limited have experienced office design who work with commercial clients to help create offices that give your people everything they need to succeed.

Contact the team at Meridian Interiors on 0333 3448 772 to find out more, or discover more about our office design services.