Workspace ideas for an SME

8 Dec 2022

Small business workspace ideas

Workspace design plays a huge role in motivating and inspiring staff – and the possible design ideas are endless; a simple online search will deliver a wealth of ideas. The way we work has undergone a huge revolution in the last couple of years, and you’ll see this reflected in a lot of modern office designs, with the focus shifting to multi-functional, people-centric spaces that offer employees more freedom and flexibility. 

If you’re an SME owner thinking about your workspace design, you might think that recreating the kind of inspirational spaces you see online is beyond your budget or resources. However, that’s not the case, as there are a host of design ideas for small offices that will help you create a space your staff will love working in – without breaking the bank.

Making the most of limited space

Think about how your business operates and how this impacts what you need from your space. If your company offers hybrid working, where staff combine working in the office with working from home, is allocating one desk per person still an efficient use of space? Depending on the space available, consider ‘zoning’ your workspace instead – something as simple as adding rugs or moveable room dividers can help delineate the spaces. Use bench desks for hot desking or consider using one large table for several people to work at collaboratively, incorporate booths or quiet areas where employees can work or meet without interruptions, and create breakout areas with soft furnishings where staff can relax, rejuvenate or meet informally.

Focusing on the essentials and decluttering will bring a feeling of spaciousness. Look at every piece of furniture – is it all necessary? Is there a design that will avoid wasted space? Instead of pedestal drawers under each desk, install personal storage lockers to give your staff space to store their belongings, or have one central cupboard for files and office supplies. Floating desks/shelves will free up floor space and attaching monitors to arms will free up desk space. Also choose furniture that’s appropriate to the size of space. You may have fallen in love with that impressive, vintage-style desk in the shop, but if it’s too large for the space, it’s just going to get in the way. 

The importance of natural light 

There has been much research on how lighting impacts mental health in the workplace, with natural lighting said to improve concentration, productivity and wellbeing. Ensure you make maximum use of the natural light available – avoid obscuring windows with furniture, keep space around windows clutter-free, and make the windows a focal point of your design. If natural light is limited, look for other solutions to brighten up the space such as strategically placed ambient and task lighting, light paint tones combined with pops of colour in soft furnishings, mirrors to reflect light, and shade-tolerant plants to bring the outside in.  

Designing on a budget

Rethinking your office space doesn’t mean throwing everything away and starting again. Think about how you can rearrange, repurpose or renovate your current furniture to work for your needs now. Perhaps larger pieces could still work, and all you need is some inexpensive additions to reinvigorate your space. This will not only save on your budget, it will also improve your sustainability credentials – you won’t be shipping and using new products and you’ll reduce the amount of furniture heading to landfill. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint – perhaps in your brand’s colours – can liven up the space, or you could support local artists by hanging some of their artwork on the walls.

Focus on your employees

When you’re running an SME, you can’t afford for your key staff members to be off work with bad backs or other injuries, so think about ergonomic chairs and sit-stand desks to enhance their wellbeing. Many SME staff became used to working from home during the pandemic, so incorporating some home comforts such as soft furnishings and coffee machines will help ensure they’re as happy in the office as they are at home. 

If you’re thinking about changing up your workspace, take a look at our serviced office spaces and offices to rent. These ready-made spaces will take care of many aspects of your office design needs – we offer meeting room hire and breakout areas with free tea/coffee, and we can help with furniture too, so you’ll be able to give your staff a fresh, new environment where they can thrive. Contact us today to book a tour. 

Got a question?






    I understand that by ticking this box and submitting this form, I consent to UOE contacting me by email or phone in order to process my enquiry. UOE will not pass your details onto other companies or third parties.

    Cookie & Privacy Policy

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.