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9 Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Your Office Design

Updated: Mar 11

Office Design Ideas

Does your office lease end in 2-3 years, but you need to update it now? Perhaps there are issues with your current space, but you have a limited budget. If so, you'll be looking for cost effective ways to improve your office design. That's exactly what we're going to go through in this article.


Drawing on our 16 years of experience in designing and building workspaces, we'll go through 9 of the best ways you can improve your office on a limited budget. By the end of this article, you'll be able to identify if these improvements will be helpful and if so, how to implement them.


1) Maximise Natural Light

One of the most overlooked elements of office design is the lighting. It can have a significant impact on employees’ mental health and performance. In fact, effective lighting has been found to decrease depression and improve mood, energy, and alertness.


To improve the lighting in your space, make sure the most used areas of your office have access to natural light. Where this is not possible, you can install daylight-balanced led lighting to mimic natural light.


 2) Add Biophilia

Adding natural features and finishes to your space boost the wellbeing and productivity of your people. Studies have shown that biophilic workspaces lead to a 31% improvement in wellbeing and a 15% improvement in productivity.


The easiest way to include biophilia in your office is by adding plants. You can add feature plants in various corners throughout your office, or add small desktop plants to various tables and desks. You could even install a living wall as a design feature!


3) Redecoration

One of the simplest ways to improve your office is to redecorate various areas throughout in your brand colours. This can prevent your office feeling like a drab desk farm, and lend it some personality. You don’t even have to redecorate your entire office – you could just do certain areas, such as a teapoint or collaboration zone.


You don’t just have to limit yourself to brand colours. It's important that you consider the effect of the colours that you use, as they will have a big effect on your people. For a relaxation area, green is a great option, as it reduces fatigue and improves wellbeing. Yellow is an optimistic colour, improving creativity and collaboration. For focus areas, blue will improve focus and productivity. No matter what colour(s) you use, make sure you consider how it will improve your space.


 4) Update Branding

Another way to improve brand identity throughout your office is to install signage. This doesn’t have to be limited to a logo in the reception. Signage can be anything that acts as a visual reminder of your company’s brand, from your company values printed on the wall to branded coffee cups.


 Along with decoration, signage plays a crucial role in bringing your company to life. If your staff are working in a bland, uninspiring office, then they will produce bland, uninspiring results. By creating a workspace that your brand, you can reflect and enhance your company’s unique culture. 


5) Install Artwork

Installing artwork throughout your space can be a cost-effective way to add even more inspiration to your office. Artwork isn't always expensive commissioned pieces or reprints of famous pieces. With a little research, you can find unique pieces that help turn your office into a home for your company.


 While art is a common sight in many offices, it tends to be a rushed afterthought that has little impact. However, choosing meaningful and impactful works of art in your workplace can further reinforce your brand and inspire your staff.


6) Include Ergonomic Furniture

Ergonomic furniture is absolutely essential to keep your staff performing to the best of their ability. While high-quality furniture may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, it is a excellent investment. 7 in 10 office workers say that their chair has caused them back pain. Insufficient ergonomics can also lead to higher levels of fatigue through inactivity and poor posture.


You can reduce the cost of ergonomic office furniture by looking at second-hand or refurbished furniture. This is especially popular for task chairs because quality is crucial if your people are going to be using them for most of the working day.


 7) Introduce Collaboration Furniture

If your staff are struggling to work together well, then adding or improving collaboration areas can really help. 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.


By providing a comfortable area in which staff can work together better, teamwork improves, boosting company performance. Collaboration rarely happens in formal settings like meeting rooms. It's important that your area is comfortable and relaxed, helping your staff to be more creative.


8) Add Acoustic Baffles

One of the most common staff complaints about their office is the distracting noise levels. This is a serious issue for their productivity. The average employee experiences as many as 56 disruptions per day, reducing their productivity by 30%. One popular way to reduce this problem is by installing acoustic baffles or panels. 


Acoustic panels can be installed either on walls or ceilings. Made of soft, sound-absorbent materials, they reduce echo and noise levels, making it easier for your people to concentrate. Acoustic baffles are available in a wide variety of designs and finishes. Some can even make stunning design features or have integrated lighting!


9) Consider Pods

At a time of real estate uncertainty, office pods and booths are fast becoming a fixture in the modern workspace. While they may appear expensive initially, they are nearly always cheaper than building out a room, requiring adaptions to utilities, as well as extensive redecoration. Office pods are also movable, meaning they can be moved around the office to suit your changing needs, or even move with you when you leave your current office!


There is a huge variety of office pods available, from phone booths to modular pod systems with multiple different pods in one reconfigurable system. To learn more about what types of office pods are available and what they will cost, read our article What do office pods cost? 


Improving Your Office Design

It may seem difficult to improve your office design on a budget, but there are many different cost-effective improvements you can make to give your workspace a new lease of life. With careful planning, your office redesign can have a big impact, even if you only have a small budget available.


Adding decoration, signage, and artwork will create an inspiring place for your employees to work. Lighting, biophilia, and ergonomic furniture can improve the wellbeing and productivity. Providing your people with collaborative furniture and pods will provide your staff with an environment that matches the way they work.


Now that you know about the best cost-effective ways to improve office design, you're ready to apply them to your own workspace. To take the next step, download your Definitive Office Design Guide. There, you'll get answers to all your questions about office design, why it matters, and how to get started. Download your office design guide today.



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