Business and Trade

Storage and Furniture Ideas for an Open Plan Space

An open plan studio or office may have a fantastic look and feel but, in terms of office furniture and storage, can represent a real challenge. It goes without saying that everything in an open plan office becomes highly visible, which just means that clutter and mess becomes even more obvious and harder to stow away. Open plan layouts simply make your furniture, storage and decor choices much more noticeable.

We think the perks of an open plan office far outweigh the negatives, but that’s why it’s so important to get your furniture and storage options right so you can fully reap the benefits. Open plan offices facilitate better communication and collaboration, shared resources and a sense of belonging. The downsides are, of course, a lack of privacy and more noise, but both of these problems can be mitigated with clever design features and the room layout itself.

In an open plan office, shelving and furniture choices define the feel of the room, by creating “rooms within rooms” and designated spaces.

Keep on reading for our top tips on how to make storage and furniture work to your best advantage in an open plan studio or office.

1. Keep an open mind 

When it comes to open plan spaces, keep an open mind when choosing furniture and storage options…literally! Large desks with plenty of free space beneath them offer storage opportunities, while sleek office chairs enhance and compliment an uncluttered design.

Sleek seats and desks with added privacy screens also create a sense of seclusion without interrupting the space, while low modular furniture with soft furnishings add comfortable break out spaces that retain your clear line of sight.

Finally, glass, perspex and metal shelving units can provide visual points of interest as well as convenient storage options that reflect an open and airy design.

2. Always choose “two for one!”

In an open plan office it’s vital to minimise the use of floor space as much as possible, otherwise you’ll quickly end up with a cluttered and unworkable room. The easiest way to ensure your space stays as open and spacious as possible is to look for multifunctional storage and furniture. This includes things like desks with inbuilt storage space, screens that double as pin boards, as well as lounge areas and bookcases that define and allocate space instead of low-level walls.

Foldaway desks and bookcases, stackable chairs and portable shelving also represent functional furniture and storage solutions that can be stored away when they’re no longer needed to free up space.

3. Consider noise levels

Distracting noise is one of the most troubling aspects of going open plan. In an open airy space noise travels more easily, meaning that conversations at one end of the space could be disturbing employees all the way at the other end. The easiest way to combat this is to plan for noise control in advance and bring in furniture and storage features that effectively muffle noise.

Sound pods provide an acoustic barrier around a four seater table, excellent for meetings with clients, quiet work spaces and collaboration. Acoustic NRC panels have a sound rating of 0.76,  which means they absorb 76% of sound waves from the surrounding area.

Freestanding screens can also section off “quiet areas” within your space, without the need for heavy weight walls. These screens have the benefit of being portable and easy to store away when you want to open up the space again, such as for a function or change in layout.

Finally, it is not always your furniture, so much as what you put on top of your furniture, that acts as a sound barrier. Not only do plants green up an office but they can also provide a noise barrier around shared spaces and hot desks. The benefits also extend well beyond reducing noise levels; plants have been reported to increase workplace happiness by making a workplace more visually pleasing and enjoyable.

Need some help picking out office furniture and storage pieces? Contact Officeline today for assistance and fast shipping.

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