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4 Budget Friendly Restaurant Design Ideas

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Getting people through the door of your restaurant can be challenging. One thing that can help however, is having an inviting and appealing restaurant design.

When it comes to your restaurant, the overall design and layout is super important and can mean the difference between a dining room full of customers and a dining room that is empty.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend millions upgrading the look of your restaurant. In fact, with just a few simple changes you can bring new life into your restaurant.

Here are 4 budget friendly ways you can update the design of your restaurant-

1) Funky Lighting Fixtures
Changing the lighting in your restaurant can be extremely costly, but simply replacing your lighting fixtures can make a world of difference for much less cost. Choose lighting fixtures that reflect the overall style and theme of your brand, but don’t be afraid to also try something daring. Funky lighting fixtures can make your space look modern and trendy. They can also add dimension and change the overall feel of your dining room. Lighting fixtures are also cheap enough that they can be updated through the years so your restaurant will always be on trend.

2) Low Maintenance Plants
Adding greenery to your restaurant can instantly bring new life into your space and create a vibrant and modern feel. While you definitely don’t want to be bothering with fiddly or hard to keep indoor plants, succulents and other low maintenance plants are a good choice. You can also get creative with the positioning of your plants by hanging them from the ceiling or creating a wall of greenery. You can also place the plants in decorative pots to add more colour and style.

3) Modern Seating
Another quick and easy way to update the look of your restaurant is to change the seats to something more modern and plush. Depending on the style of your restaurant, choose seating that is comfortable and in a matching colour scheme. You can also make a bold choice and go for brightly coloured seats or even stools that stand out from the crowd. If changing your seating is too costly, you can also experiment with adding new seat cushions in an array of matching colours.

4) Local Art
One of the most cost effective ways to decorate your restaurant is to showcase local art. Often artists are happy to lend you their work for free in the hopes that a restaurant customer decides to purchase it. Consider sourcing artists that create work that is aligned with the overall feel and tone of your brand. You can also periodically change up the artwork that you are showcasing to bring a new look to your space.

These 4 affordable and simple changes can make a world of difference to the overall design of your restaurant. Why not give them a try and see how they can help to attract more customers.

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3 Cost Effective Ways to Update the Look of your Office

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Want to update the look of your office but can’t afford a complete revamp?

Having an office that feel fresh, bright and clean is super important to the functioning of your business. Not only does it help to create a more pleasant environment for your clients and customers, but it also helps your employees to stay motivated and energised.

Making your office space feel welcoming is definitely important, but with budget restraints this can be hard to achieve. Especially if you are a small business or start-up, it can feel hard to justify spending huge amounts of money on the layout and design of your office.

While effective office design can improve your business overall, if you can’t quite afford the expense just yet, here are some highly cost effective ways to update the overall look and feel of your office-

  1. Add a Burst of Colour
    It is amazing what adding colour can do to a space. We have seen dreary and drab office spaces completely transformed by the right touch of colour.Colour plays a big role in setting the mood and tone of a room, it has also been shown to influence emotions such as motivation and creativity.

    To bring colour to your office space, think about what mood you would like to create and then choose the corresponding colour. Here is a simple list to get you started-

    Blue-Greys: helps to evoke a feeling of calmness, trust and peacefulness
    Green: helps to evoke feelings of relaxation and motivation
    Yellow: helps to evoke feelings of positivity
    Orange: helps to evoke learning and taking action
    Purple: helps to evoke feelings of luxury

    Once you have decided on the colour that will work best for your company, consider incorporating it into your overall design. This could include-
    • Painting a feature wall
    • Adding desk accessories in your chosen colour
    • Adding office furniture in your chosen colour

  1. Reduce Clutter
    Before you think of adding anything new, first consider clearing the clutter.

    One of the best ways to make your office look clean and modern is to remove all the unnecessary clutter.

    Clutter can instantly make your space feel smaller and can even disrupt productivity. It can also ruin the overall aesthetic of your work space.

    In fact, it is amazing how clearing the clutter can bring new life and energy into your work environment.

    To work out what needs to stay and what needs to go, perhaps make a list of all the main items in your office and their frequency of use. If items are not used that frequently and don’t serve any particular purpose, consider getting rid of them.

    More and more offices are also removing their reception desk and creating inviting waiting areas instead.

  1. Add Real Plants
    Adding plants to your office is a great way to clean the air and bring a liveliness to your space.

    Consider choosing indoor plants that are easy to care for and bring colour and vibrancy to your space.

    A good tip when it comes to placing plants in your office space is to try to create a feeling of symmetry. This will help your office to look more coordinated and organized as well.

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Why Your Office Design Needs to Reflect Your Company Culture

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When it comes to designing your office space, your company culture is extremely important.

You could have the best and latest in office design materials and the most fashionable furniture, but if your office is not a reflection of your brand and the people that work there, it is not likely to leave a very memorable or lasting impression.

Whether your business is big or small, your office design matters, not only for your customers but also for your staff as well.

When you surround your team in an environment that reflects their personality and the personality of your brand, that is when your company can truly thrive.

Just take Google for example, their offices are famous around the world because they include everything from sleep pods to an indoor slide and company bicycles. Facebook is also known for incorporating their company culture into their office space and offer everything from DJ booths to roller skating and lunchtime yoga.

While your company may not have the glamorous budgets of these tech giants, there is something that you can learn from how they have created and built up a solid company culture.

If you are looking to bring more of your company culture into your office design, here are five top questions to consider-

  1. Reflect on the values of your team and your brand. What type of employees, customer or client are you trying to attract? This will help you to determine the overall design and theme of your space.
  1. How do you intend to use your office space? Are meetings and group communication extremely important, or do your employees need space and privacy? This will help you to determine what is most needed in the space and how things should flow.
  1. What overall feel are you looking to create for customers when they walk through the door? See if you can summarise this into 3-5 words. This will help in determining the aesthetic appeal of your space from your customers point of view.
  1. What overall feel are you looking to create for employees when they come to work every day? Again, see if you can summarise this into just 3-5 words. This will help you to cater to the needs of your employees and offer an environment that they feel happy to be a part of.
  1. What does your brand want to be known for or recognised for? How can you incorporate this into the overall look, design and feel of your space? This will help your space to stand out from the crowd and be a true reflection of your company values.

By answering these simple questions, it will help you or your office fit out company, to have a clearer understanding of how to incorporate the overall culture of your brand into your office design plans.

Many businesses that focus on bringing company culture into their office space find that their employees feel more satisfied, and that their brand is more memorable to the customers and clients who stop by.

Design trends are always changing, but if you can focus on your company culture instead, and use this as the main catalyst when designing your space, your office is always going to be in style.

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How to Create a Workspace Millennials will Love

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Millennials are very quickly making up the largest percentage of the workforce. In fact, it has been estimated that by 2020, millennials will make up over 50 percent of the workforce in Australia.

If you want your business to attract the top millennial talent in Australia, then you need to have an office that caters to their lifestyle and desires.

By creating a more millennial friendly environment, your business will not only be ready for the future but it will also help to attract some of the youngest and most influential minds in your industry.

Here are the top design tips when creating a workspace that millennials will love-

  1. Create Collaborative Open Spaces
    The idea of working in a cubical is long gone and is often highly undesirable to millennials. Creating an open work space not only makes your workplace more inviting, but it also helps to improve productivity. When your environment encourages collaboration, it also allows your employees to work together as a team, which can help your business to thrive in the long run. 
  1. Use Ergonomic Furniture that Supports a Healthy Lifestyle
    Ergonomic furniture not only creates a comfortable environment but research has found that it can also reduce employee sick days due to conditions like back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Millennials, like everyone, want to be comfortable at work and have their workspace support a healthy lifestyle. Consider choosing desks that can be adjusted to standing height and offer chairs that are suitable for all shapes and body types.
  1. Embrace Natural Design Elements
    When it comes to attracting millennials, having a well-designed office space that is modern, open, light and airy is key. One of the hottest trends when it comes to office design is using natural elements such as wood panelling, exposed brick and decorating with plants. By incorporating natural design elements, your office will not only look modern but also relaxing.
  1. Use Natural and Accent Lighting
    The use of fluorescent lighting in office spaces is long gone and is especially not attractive for millennials. Fluorescent lighting has also been linked to migraines, headaches, eye strain, anxiety and stress. Opt for natural lighting instead by having large open windows and skylights. If natural lighting is not possible, consider accent lighting using soft yellow to soft white hues.
  1. Offer a Recreation Room or Staff Space
    While not all office spaces are large enough to accommodate a recreational room, having an inviting staff space where employees can relax on their breaks is a great idea. Consider including staples like a coffee machine and fridge, and then adding some bonuses like bean bags, a small basketball hoop, massage chair, a juicer or even workout equipment. Small touches like these can go a long way to making your workspace inviting and fun.
  1. Limit Distractions
    Even though the average millennial prefers having an open work space, providing a quiet, distraction free work environment is also important. Consider creating private work spaces using dividing partitions where employees can come to really concentrate and focus. By creating flexible spaces within your work environment, it helps to cater to all the needs of your staff, which allows them to get more work done in far less time.

By taking into consideration these 6 millennial friendly design ideas, your office will be well and truly ready for the next generation.

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How to Optimise the Layout of your Retail Store

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Having a retail store that looks clean, fresh and inviting is important for attracting customers and making sales, but what is even more important is your layout.

Numerous studies have shown that the layout of your retail store from product displays to the flow of counters and aisles, all influence the behaviour of your customers.

When customers feel cramped or inconvenienced by the layout of a store they are less likely to carry through with sale. On the other hand however, if customers feel welcomed and find navigating the store a breeze, they are more likely to carry through with a sale.

The placement of things in your retail store has a lot to do with aesthetics but also psychology. There are certain proven psychological factors that can influence a customer’s decision and being aware of this can help when it comes to planning your fitout.

Here are some of the top tips and tricks to keep in mind when planning your retail fitout –

  1. Choose a store layout that works for your business: the grid layout is the most popular when it comes to retail design, but does this actually work for your brand? You may also want to consider a loop layout or a free flowing layout. What you choose depends on your brand and the overall experience that you wish customers to have when they enter your store.
  1. Put your most important merchandise to the right of the entrance: in one study it was found that consumers most frequently turn to the right when they enter a store. To use this to your advantage, put your most attention grabbing or important merchandise to the right of the entrance and at eye level.
  1. Create an intention grabbing store display: creating an eye-catching store display is important for attracting attention. The best place to do this is in the window of your store. Use this space to create a display that showcases your products and your creativity.
  1. Minimise the use of counters: counters create a barrier between the customers and the staff. Psychologically, this can make customers feel held back from approaching staff and from making a sale. Minimise counters as much as possible and think of creative ways to make your register area seem inviting. This could be done through using plants, art and so on.
  1. Have adequate aisle space: if customers have to squeeze through tight aisles or feel cramped when looking for an item, they are likely to lose interest and give up. One study found that even if a customer really wanted an item, they wouldn’t buy it if they had to squeeze past another customer in order to get it.
  1. Maintain good visibility: all parts of your store should be clearly visible. Avoid having cluttered back corners or areas of your store that are segregated from the rest. This helps to reduce shop lifting and also makes your store feel more organised.
  1. Create speed bumps: in order to avoid your customers moving past your products without looking, create speed bumps. These are standing displays or single displays that cause your customers to slow down and look around. These “speed bumps” can be anything from signs to special displays and even discount bins.

By keeping these top tips in mind it will not only to help you create a beautiful retail store layout but one that is also primed for making more sales.

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5 Office Partition Ideas You May Not Have Considered

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Office partitioning gives your employees their own private space but can also create a stuffy and stagnant feel.

If you want to include office partitions as part of your office furniture plan but want to ensure an open and airy feel to your office environment, there are some dividers out there that can give you the best of both worlds.

Here are five of the latest office partition ideas from around the world that you may not have yet considered for your office design-

  1. The Bene Nice Wall

The Bene Nice wall is frameless and can be produced up to 30 meters in length. Bene Nice walls are interactive, which means that they can be great for conferences and group meetings. They are also a great option for brainstorming ideas and taking notes as they actually allow you to write and create graphs and flowcharts. Bene Nice Walls are also a good option for creative design and collaborative spaces.  

  1. The Steelcase Privacy Wall

Steelcase Privacy Walls offer a flexible solution and allow you to create private meeting rooms or executive offices easily. In fact, these walls are a great option for those looking for an easy and hassle free partitioning wall. Steelcase Privacy Walls are also easy to take down and put back up when needed, making them a great choice in leased spaces as well. As an added bonus, these walls are made from 30 percent recycled material and look extremely impressive and modern in any office space.

  1. BuzziWings

These room dividers are attached to the ceiling at a 90-degree angle and are designed to section off large areas with ease. These “wings” hang from the ceiling and do not touch the ground, giving the room a light, open and airy feel. Even though this partition does not touch the ground, it still offers privacy and can also help to regulate the acoustics of the room. These “wings” are a great idea for separating co-workers without making them feel isolated or trapped behind closed doors.

  1. Vitra Workbays

Workbays are a great alternative to a traditional office partition and even provide seating, storage and power outlets as well. Think of these workbays like a transportable office nook that you can easily shift and move around the room.

Workbays are great for creating privacy and peace and quiet within the office while still providing an open feel. They can be customised to offer more or less privacy and are also available in a range of bright colours and textures so you can customize how they look in your space.

  1. IdeaPaint

Want a wall that also doubles as a whiteboard? IdeaPaint offers office partitions that double as a writeable surface. IdeaPaint was first developed to be used in schools but they are now also starting to become a popular fixture in office spaces as well. The IdeaPaint walls are great for sectioning off board rooms, conference rooms and creative spaces.

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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Restaurant Fitout

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The feel and design of your dining room is immensely important to have a successful restaurant.

From the moment your guests walk in the door to the moment they leave, your space is influencing their decisions and creating an atmosphere that is either enjoyable and comforting or unwelcoming and cold.

We have been helping clients to design restaurants for years and have learnt what works and what definitely doesn’t.

Here are 6 of the most common mistakes to avoid when designing your restaurant fitout-

 

  1. Cluttered Entrance
    The door to your restaurant should be open and inviting. It should also be easy to find and have a clear line to the host stand or cash register.The front entrance should also be kept free of clutter and there should be ample storage for things like menus, pens and so on. If possible, avoid having tables right in the front of the restaurant too, as this can also create a cluttered look and may feel uncomfortable or distracting for guests.
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  3. Placing Tables in High Traffic Areas
    When working with a small space it can be tempting to cram in as many tables in as possible, but this is not necessarily the best solution. Having a well thought out floor plan is extremely important not just for the guests but also for the staff.Avoid placing tables in high traffic areas and ensure that there is enough space for wait staff to move in and around the tables.
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  5. Exposed Service Areas
    No one wants to be seated next to the rubbish bin or dirty dishes. When these things are visible from a table, it creates a negative customer experience and it can also be a health hazard. When designing your restaurant, ensure areas like the trash or dirty dishes are kept towards the back and away from the viewpoint of your customers. While having an open kitchen is sometimes a good idea, exposed dirty dishes and rubbish bins are not.
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  7. Adequate Space for Storage
    Many restaurants underestimate just how much storage space they are going to need. Having ample storage space especially in the kitchen is so important, as without it, food is more likely to get lost or turn bad. Poor storage also slows down kitchen staff, which can also have a negative effect on your profits.
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  9. Poor Lighting
    Depending on the restaurant atmosphere you are trying to create, your lighting needs may be different. One mistake that we consistently see with restaurants looking to create a darker and more romantic atmosphere, is that the restaurant often looks closed to people passing by. To avoid this happening, you can’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach for your whole restaurant. Instead, you need to adjust the lighting for the areas of your restaurant depending on how the space is being used.
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  11. Adequate Signage
    Having a clear sign on the exterior of your business is so important. In fact, research has found that improper signage can cost a business as much as $1 million per year in potential revenue. By having a clear sign that is easy to read and stands out from the crowd, your restaurant is more likely to gain attraction and be easy for guests to find.

 
With the right planning, avoiding these mistakes is easy and will make a world of difference to having a successful restaurant.

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5 Common Mistakes When Planning an Office Fitout

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An office fit out is a great way to jazz up your business, impress your customers and boost your productivity, but when not done right, your office fitout could turn into a nightmare that costs your business thousands.

While all good companies will walk you through everything you need to know to make your fit out a success, there are some common mistakes that are good to be aware of.

Knowledge is definitely power and by having all of these points addressed and taken care of, your office fit out is bound to be a success.

Here are 5 common mistakes businesses make when it comes to office fitouts and how to avoid them-

  • Not Creating a Budget

Planning an office fitout is definitely exciting. There are so many cool gadgets, ergonomically designed chairs and fancy desks that would all look stunning in your space, but are they within your budget?

Having a budget is crucial to the success of your office fit out, as this will allow you to manage your spending and focus on what is most important. When you have a budget it also makes it easier for designers to work with you and help you to stick with your goals.

  • Not Knowing the Terms of Your Lease

Before you even start planning or dreaming up the perfect office fitout design, it is important that you know the ins and outs of your lease agreement.

Not all leases are created the same and the last thing you want to be dealing with is an angry landlord or hidden fees and fines.

Before you get started with your fitout, be sure to check your lease and speak with your building manager or landlord before getting started. As a courtesy, you may also have to speak with your neighbours and let them know about any pending noise disturbances.  

  • Office Fitouts During Working Hours

If you are going to do your office fitout while your office or store is still in business, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Studies have found that there can be a 40 percent loss in productivity when employees have to deal with construction and disruptions to their work environment.

For this reason, it is best to schedule your office fit out during non-peak hours or on weekends so it causes the least possible disruption to your employees or workers.

If you have to organize your fitout during working hours, have your builders save the noisy projects for later in the day or before employees arrive, as this will help to minimise any possible distractions or loss of productivity.

Most good office fit out companies are highly aware of this fact and will often work around your operating hours, but it does help to be aware of it.

  • Not Including Enough Power points or data connections

The general rule of thumb with power points is that you need more than you think.

Having multiple power points is a great idea as it reduces the look of messy cords around the room and it also ensures that there is always enough room for your staff to plug in their phones, computers and other technology.

  • Managing Everything On Your Own

Organising, designing and building a whole new office fit out is definitely no easy task. This is why it helps to have a team of professionals to guide and support you throughout the process.

Buying your own office materials and installing it all yourself may save you money, but it will cost a lot of your time and may even end in disaster if you don’t know what you are doing.

When you hire the right professionals, it allows you to also rest easy and know that your office is in capable hands. It also takes pressure and stress off you and allows you to focus on running your business.

Whether your office fitout is big or small, it always helps to have an expert nearby that knows what they are doing and knows how to turn your office into the vision that you have always dreamed of.   

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6 Office Design Tips that Can Dramatically Boost Productivity

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Your environment plays a huge role in your feelings of productivity and motivation.

When your environment feels good and is well organised, it can enhance positivity, creativity and energy levels, which are all things that your business needs to grow.

Just the same, when your office environment is stagnant, stuffy and poorly designed it can lead to a lack of motivation and reduced employee satisfaction.

If your office environment is in need of a productivity boost, here are 6 tips to follow-

Adequate Lighting

Sunlight is naturally energising, so having open windows and natural light is the best solution when it comes to enhancing productivity. Most office spaces however, also require artificial lighting as well.

When it comes to choosing artificial lighting, warm, natural light with soft white tone works best. You may also want to provide lamps so your employees can control if they want more or less light.

Standing Desks

More and more research is showing that sitting for prolonged periods of time can not only reduce your motivation, but it can also be bad for your health. Not all employees are going to like standing all day, but offering adjustable desks that they can switch from sitting to standing may help to increase productivity.  

Clearing Clutter

Clutter is one of the biggest distractions when it comes to productivity in the work environment. To create a clutter free environment, you have to have a well organised layout that is equipped with ample storage and filing solutions. Placing too many objects in a space can also create a feeling of clutter, which can lead to a lack of motivation and feelings of confusion.

Using Colours

Colours are a great way to promote productivity in the work environment. In fact, there are many studies that have shown just how colours can impact and effect our mood. When organising your office fit out, it is important to think about your colour schemes and how they are going to impact on the motivation of your employees. When in doubt, neutral colours and shades of blue and green, seem to suit most personalities. 

Office Temperature

Many companies overlook the importance of climate control. If the room feels too hot, it is going to be difficult to concentrate, just the same if the room feels too cold, it is going to be difficult to relax and get things done. Research has actually found that warmer weather makes people more productive. Of course, you don’t want to have your office space too warm, but 20-22 degrees is optimal.

Noise Level

Noise can be a huge distraction for employees. When designing your office environment try to keep the noisy sections together and the quiet sections together. This reduces the likelihood of noise travelling, and gives your employees a quiet place to retreat to if they need to concentrate.

 

These 6 simple tricks can go a long way in creating an office environment that is both productive and well designed. Why not try implementing a few of these strategies, and see how they can boost the feel of your work environment?

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How Much Office Space Do You Need Per Person?

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Space is one of the most important design elements to consider. Even if you find the perfect building to run your office out of, how you use the space and how much space you allocate for certain things is an extremely important factor.

When calculating how much space you need there are many factors to consider, such as the number of employees to office equipment, waiting rooms and so much more.

Having too much space can also drain your budget and leave your office space looking cold and empty. Just the same, having too little space can create a cramped feeling and can limit the productivity of your workers.

As you can see, having just the right amount of space is crucial when creating an optimal work environment that is going to be appealing to everyone and to your budget.

Office Space Fitout is a Huge Productivity Factor

If you are trying to determine how much office space you need, here is a list of things to consider that can help you to get started with the process-

  • How many current employees will be using the office space?
  • How many new employees will be hired in the coming years?
  • How many separate areas or spaces does the office need? (Here is a list of the most common areas to consider)-
    • Reception room
    • Meeting Room or Board Room
    • Open Plan Workstations
    • Open Plan Breakout Space
    • Cellular Office
    • Executive Office
    • Kitchenette
    • Printer/Copier Room
    • Storage Room
    • Circulation Allowance
  • Will there be workstations, cubicles or community desks?
  • What type of equipment will be housed in the office- i.e. Photocopiers, large printers etc.?
  • What type of tasks will be conducted in the office space?
  • What storage space is required, if any?

When it comes to your employees, the general rule of thumb is a minimum of 10m2 per person up at 25m2 per person, but this, of course, is also dependent on the type of business you are operating and the type of work that is going to be conducted.

If you are leasing an office space, you may also need to consider that the average business is likely to grow by at least 10-30 percent in five years, so keep this in mind when agreeing to the terms of your contract.

By taking into account everything from your employees to your predicted growth, you should be in a pretty good position to start working out the overall size and design of your office space.

Along with ensuring that you have enough space, it is also important to carefully consider your design elements.

You can have all the space in the world, but if you clutter your office with unnecessary furniture, it can come across as being a lot smaller. Similarly, if you design your space well, a smaller space can appear to be far more roomy and open.

There are so many factors to consider when it comes to designing a thoughtful and well-organized space, which is why hiring a reputable office fitout company is the best way to go.