The JAI team firmly believes in design with a purpose and our internal word of 2018 is “simplify.” We put these two principles into practice in the past six months when we relocated our office space in February.
Making the transition from 3000 sq ft to 1600 sq ft may seem like a downgrade, but we were all amazed how simplifying our office space actually felt like an upgrade! By moving to an open floor plan we gained a working environment with more natural light and better team communication. Our previous workspace featured individual offices around the perimeter consuming all of the natural light. This left our open library in a considerably darker center of the space under fluorescent lights.
Seeking efficiency in design can be a very savvy business decision. By simplifying our unneeded space, not only did we save money by not cooling (and occasionally heating) excess areas, we also gained even more opportunities for team growth and camaraderie. Part of our process included downsizing our sample library, purging any outdated material that lingered from years of accumulation. Our reps keep us on the cutting edge, but we all had favorites stashed since we had the space! We kept just what was needed to be efficient going forward.
Being in an open office concept allows for more feedback from others as well as more teachable moments for the group instead of more isolated feedback in single office designs. We all had input on the finishes and the layout of our new office, which provided a sense of ownership and pride for everyone on the team.
If you’re looking to refresh a space with minimal budget for maximum impact, try a fresh coat of paint on the walls. A little color can go a long way, just be sure you use the correct finish for your use. Try new flooring to add new life to any room. With great-looking yet affordable options available such as laying tile or LVT (luxury vinyl tile) planks over existing tile you can save time and money on demo. For spaces with a lot of noise, carpet tile is a great solution and as areas of carpet wear or get soiled, you can swap them out for others that may have been hidden or covered up to get longevity out of this investment.
If natural light is at a premium (or not an option at all), update your bulbs, shades, and diffusers for brighter space. When moving into our new space, we noticed several of our bulbs were different colors/temperatures and some of the diffusers were yellowed or damaged. Once we replaced them all, our space was brighter and same color of light, which is critical when selecting colors as often as we do! We recommend 2700K-3000K as a good warm temperature for most work environments.
There is power in designing efficient and simple spaces with a purpose. We are absolutely in love with our new office and hopefully you’re inspired to make some upgrades of your own!