14 Design Elements to Make Your Office or Storefront Stand Out

11/27/2017 07:58 am ET

Your office or retail space may be in need of an overhaul. Redesigning these areas can provide more flow and efficiency in their design and function. Through the use of lighting, space and new amenities, you can greatly improve the work area for your employees or make it more inviting for customers to engage with you. But, where do you start to make a difference in the functionality or design of your office or storefront?

A. Open Spaces and Private Spaces

It's helped us to offer something for everyone. Not everyone works well in the open environment because they are more sensitive to the noise element. We've also added private spaces that deliver quiet areas for brainstorming and even a nap when necessary. - Andrew O'Connor, American Addiction Centers

A. Large Windows and an Outdoor Area

Being able to see the natural light is known to improve people's mood. Since we're a remote company, our employees can work from anywhere. One change that has made all the difference in my office space has been dedicating a shaded table outside for working. I already love what I do, but being able to work outdoors on a breezy, warm day takes it one step further. - Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

A. An 'Open' Sign

How many times have you walked by a store and been unsure if it’s open or not? This sounds obvious, but it’s a common mistake. Display an "Open" sign. If possible, have your door propped open. Turn your lights on inside and outside when dark. Make sure it’s clean and inviting. Stand outside your storefront and ask yourself whether you look open and welcoming. Adjust accordingly. - Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

A. Wireless Internet Connection

A few years ago we transitioned all of our employees to compact laptops. It’s made such a difference in terms of mobility in the office, opportunity to work remotely, traveling, etc. We’re a very collaborative team, so it’s made meetings and collaborations seamless. - Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

A. Conference Rooms

The least cushy room in our office is our conference room. It has poor lighting, a dilapidated conference table, few power outlets and chairs that require perfect posture or you risk falling over if tilting back too far. It also doubles as a storage room. As a result, our formal meetings move very quickly. - Stephen Hetzel, BidPrime

A. Ambient Lighting

Using IoT light bulbs to create more ambient lighting for a natural effect has reduced energy consumption and added an environment that helps with eye strain and bolsters creativity and productivity. Everyone can control their own lighting area to have what works for them. - Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

A. Scented Air

Clients can smell the amazing essential oils of our massage studios long before they enter it. The signature scent that we use combines lavender, vanilla, rosemary and black pepper, and is easily recognizable by clients. Relaxation starts before they even enter the space, and it draws clients in. - Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, Massage Williamsburg

A. Desks on Wheels

We're a collaborative company, and need different teams to meet regularly. Everyone needs their own space, but they also need flexibility to sit together. At first we reserved a lot of meeting spaces (couches, white-boards, etc.). But that space would go unused for 60% of the day. Last year we put wheels on all of our desks and whiteboards. Now we can have impromptu meetings anywhere. - Aaron Schwartz, Passport

A. Artwork Relevant for Your Brand

A game-changer for us was canvas prints in our retail stores and office spaces that clearly showed what our company stands for and what we, as people, live for. In our case, that was amazing pictures of ourselves riding mountain bikes in epic places around the globe and locally. Having your culture expressed in artwork on your walls shows everyone who sees it what your company's "why" really is. - Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

A. Dual Monitors

Adding dual monitors to our office space has significantly increased productivity. The more data available on screen, the more employees can accomplish. Before investing in dual monitors you need to consider each position and if it will require them. I found that anyone in development, web design, photo/video editing, accounting and customer support benefit the most from a dual monitor setup. - Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

A. Electronic Massage Pillows

Having an electronic massage pillow has been a huge win for my office. There's nothing better than taking a 10-minute massage break to charge you up for the afternoon. The massage pillow is much more affordable than a massage chair so you can purchase one, see if your employees use it, and if they do, purchase a couple more. - Jared Atchison, WPForms

A. Ergonomic Chairs

Despite all of the things we have done over the years to make our office unique, there is no question that the biggest differentiator both visually and functionally has been having an office flush with top-of-the-line ergonomic office chairs. Every employee, intern and visitor comments on how comfortable the chairs are and how much more enjoyable the experience is as a result. - Adam Mendler, Beverly Hills Chairs

A. Sit-to-Stand Desks

The functionality element that has made a tremendous difference in our office space is our sit-to-stand desks. From a design perspective, they are set at different heights, which produces a more creative, modern look in the office. Most importantly, employees have the chance to stand up or sit down based on how they feel, which increases productivity and wellness. - Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders, Inc

A. Raised and Sunken Floorspaces

Vertical spaces are generally underutilized in retail and office space. A common notion is that every space should be on the same level. However, by raising or lowering a space you create a dynamism that requires very little investment and achieves unique results. There is a furniture store in Zurich, Neumarkt 17, that displays its products in a maze of different levels; the effect is stunning. - Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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