top of page

9 Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Your Office Design

Office Design Ideas

Are you looking to improve your office design for 2023 but don’t have a big budget? Office refurbishments don’t have to be huge investments. Sometimes a few small changes is all it needs to give your office a completely fresh look and feel.

Great office design has never been so important. In a challenging time for companies and people across the country, keeping your people motivated and productive is essential. As the space where your staff spend most or all of their working lives, your office has a big impact on their wellbeing, communication, and productivity.

Not every company has a big budget available, however. At Zentura, we’ve been helping companies improve their office designs for nearly 15 years. Over that time, we’ve found there are a number of cost-effective ways to improve the office design. It’s not all about complicated utility systems and bespoke reception desks. Here we’ll go over 9 of our favourite ways to improve your office on a budget.

1) Decoration

One of the simplest and cheapest 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 zonse.

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.

2) Signage

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.

3) 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.

4) Lighting

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

While it may be more expensive than some other options on this list, replacing your current system with daylight-balanced LED panels with prove a good investment. Lighting can also become a design element, with feature lighting being a great addition to teapoints, receptions, and collaboration areas.

5) Plants

Of all the ideas on this list, adding plants to your office is certainly the easiest and one of the most effective. By tapping into your people’s innate connection with nature, plants can improve wellbeing in your office. This, in turn, improves their productivity. Exeter University discovered in a recent study that employees are 15% more productive when their workplaces are populated with a few houseplants.

There are a lot of ways to add plants throughout your space. 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 stunning design feature!

6) 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 necessary 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) 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. Without collaboration, teams become disparate collections of individuals that are less creative and more rigid.

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) 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) 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. Adding decoration, signage, and artwork will bring your brand identity to life and create an inspiring place for your employees to work. Lighting, biophilia, and ergonomic furniture can improve the wellbeing and ultimately productivity of your people. Providing your people with collaborative furniture and pods will help make them more productive by providing them with an environment that matches they way they work. With careful planning, your office redesign can have a big impact, even if you only have a small budget available.

Want to learn more about office design ideas? Check out our article explaining our top 6 office design tips. There, we’ve collated our top design tips, including both evergreen and on-trend ideas, to help keep you on track during your next office design project. For more office design inspiration, check out our top office design trends for 2023.

bottom of page