How to Redesign Your Windowless-Office Space
Into one of the Most Useful and Pleasing Areas in Your Company
Does your company occupy a building where only a portion of your employees’ offices receive natural light? And, do those spaces wrap around a center cluster of windowless, claustrophobic offices? Then read on and discover our office renovation ideas that will turn those dark interior spaces into communal-work offices, quiet-work areas, conference rooms or even desirable office spaces.
See Those Windowless Spaces in a Different Light
Uninspiring inner offices can easily be used as storage spaces, supply rooms, mail rooms or copier stations. You might be able to renovate these windowless spaces into bathrooms. If you want to encourage communication and a sharing of ideas between employees, as they travel to and from their desks, create a common space separating the two wash rooms. Add a few comfortable chairs and a table, so employees will be encouraged to mix and converse before returning to work. Instead of sharing a common area, each bathroom could have a separate space, where a counter supplied with mouthwash, tissues and a large mirror would give your staff the opportunity to look their best before client meetings.
Those inner offices can be converted into service areas or additional work spaces, where your staff can use their laptops away from the confines of their desks. Provide coffee and tea, as well as vending machines with speciality snacks and additional drinks. Include a few tables and chairs or maybe a couple of upholstered easy chairs for a casual-cafe feel. For an appealing sense of the outdoors, include a few plants that have low-light requirements.
Better yet, expand on this open-office concept and create a communal kitchen and a few workstations for small-group meetings. Left open to the outside offices, your staff could have a second-hand view of the outdoors. If you want a barrier between this communal area and other offices, use glass walls that give a sense of privacy yet allow additional light. If you want to be really creative, install a wall with a false window. Place a bright painting of an outdoor scene in the window or hang a back-lit, stained-glass window depicting trees, water and sunshine. Your staff won’t feel as if they’re isolated from nature.
If you decide to renovate your office space with an open-concept design, you could place communal-work stations near the outside-facing windows and the private-work stations towards the center of the building, for those employees who want fewer distractions. This arrangement lets everyone rotate between the two environments, depending on their particular needs, at various times of the day.
Use Windowless Work Spaces as Conference or Training Rooms
The interior spaces surrounded by outside-facing offices, are wonderful areas for conference or seminar rooms. Since this location won’t be occupied for long periods of time, the lack of natural light won’t be an overwhelming issue. As for that outside-light feel, the space can be made to look brighter by using various design concepts, such as bright wall colors, large art pieces and halogen light bulbs. When not used for conferences or client meetings, the space can serve as quiet work areas or be used for group discussions.
If you Need theSpace for Offices, Consider These Ideas to Brighten the Enclosed Rooms
If you absolutely need the interior offices, there are several renovation and decorating techniques that can make those spaces feel less confining and a little more connected to the outside.
Using glass walls and doors makes an enclosed space feel larger and more open. The glass lets in more natural light from the offices that are across from or next to the interior spaces. If a glass-walled office makes your staff feel as if they’re on display, there are a number of methods to create privacy zones. By alternating traditional-wall material with glass panels or selecting glass that is glazed, frosted, designed with a pattern or texture, or tinted you can provide an element of privacy. These unique effects can be used on just the lower portions of the glass, leaving the upper half clear, or alternate these special designs with clear glass panels.
If re configuring your walls isn’t an option, then focus on paint colors, especially white ceilings and pale blue, pink, yellow or gray walls. Break up the wall space by hanging mirrors, large art pieces in modern metallic or white frames, or large landscapes. Use light to focus on the art and hide lights behind furniture, plants or next to bookcases to add an indirect glow. Upholster furniture in outdoor colors, such as green, gray or brown. Don’t forget a plant or two, low-light types or faux will do.
Studies have shown that natural light in office environments is better for your employees’ mental and physical health, but when the windowed spaces are taken make the alternative a place your workers will want to be.