Office designers create hugely functional and attractive modern working spaces, but they do not always get it completely right. There have been some high-profile examples of how office designers have missed the mark and created spaces which are not really fit for purpose. Here are some examples of the things not to do when designing a modern office.

  1. Adding Gimmicky Elements

The jury is still out over whether gimmicks like indoor slides and tree houses are really of great benefit to the workplace. In some cases, the addition of this kind of item will enhance the office but in other cases it will just serve as an unwelcome distraction. Adding a gimmick just for the sake of generating headlines will not be good for the overall building, but something quirky that employees really like is usually a good addition.

  1. Design Doesn’t Fit the Culture

According to Commercial People, all offices are different and every workplace culture is different. You can’t just add a pool table and hope that it will increase productivity and collaboration. You’ll just end up with a pool table. You need to design with the overall culture of the company in mind, playing to strengths and trying to help minimise negative aspects. Some workplaces are very traditional and not suited to bold and imaginative design, while other companies need this kind of style in order to attract and inspire workers.

  1. Design Doesn’t Suit User Needs

It happens all too often – designers come up with a truly innovative and creative design concept but in real life it just doesn’t suit the way people work. You can stick to all manner of office design rules but if you do not look at what people actually need then you will be failing with office design. Designers need to consider aspects of working life that include where and how people work, socialise, and meet clients.

  1. Too Much or Too Little Privacy

Sometimes an open plan office will be the best solution for effective office design; sometimes there is a need for more privacy. Again, this boils down to a need to look at exactly how a workplace functions. There are compromises you can make to give people space and flexibility while at the same time maintaining privacy requirements. It is important to keep asking what the end goal and result of the design should be, and check whether the design is actually meeting these end goals.

Image courtesy of Phil_Bird/

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