Everything under control with the checklist for entrepreneurs – set up the office properly.

19. July 2022

Setting up an office is fun. Creating a beautiful environment that allows productive work while exuding a pleasant atmosphere is a challenging task. After all, knowledge workers spend an average of at least six and a half hours a day at their desks, and for many it’s even more than nine hours. This makes it all the more important that the environment is right. The furnishings must therefore take into account both ergonomic and architectural aspects, but also very individual aspects.

Thanks to the steady advance of digitization, people now work almost everywhere: at the airport, on the train, in the car, in a café, on a park bench, and even in the cinema. The way people work is also constantly changing. And that also changes the requirements for a workplace. That has always been the case. At the moment, however, we are at a historic turning point and can feel this process gaining momentum and impacting the world of work and society with great pressure. Therefore, how should a modern office be furnished? What ensures productivity and well-being? From the digital workplace to the workplace of the future, there is talk everywhere. However, there is no uniform definition. For one person, a workplace of the future is a height-adjustable desk with an integrated display; for another, it involves extensive technological visions. However, it is undisputed that the design and set-up of the digital workplace are the linchpin of digitization. And this applies to home offices, corporate offices, individual offices as well as shared offices. While the biggest challenge in the home office is often the technical connection, in large companies the hurdles lie in mapping business processes, cultures and hierarchies in a digital workplace concept. But let’s start from the beginning. Currently, a workplace classically consists of a chair, a work table and a table lamp. Although many a bank executive furnishes his office with a couch, refrigerator and large dining table with many chairs, this is the exception rather than the rule. Different requirements apply to entrepreneurs with several employees than to freelancers.

For over twenty years, Anita Gödiker, founder and managing director of Satellite Office, has been involved with the subject of office furnishing. More than 2,500 people work at its currently eleven locations in Germany and Switzerland – in open-plan offices, smaller team offices with up to six workstations, classic three- or two-person offices, anterooms or executive offices. In addition, there are “open spaces” where discussions are held or members without a fixed workplace pursue their business. In 2019, however, there has been a bang for Satellite Office’s buck when it comes to office setup. “I started with yucca palm and chrome-footed director’s chairs in the early 90s of the last century,” says the office furnishings specialist. “That was modern back then. Today, the world has changed completely. And in the last five years, the most has happened,” says the specialist for flexible workplaces.

With relaxation corners you increase productivity

Gödiker never believed in the huge coworking spaces where everyone goes to work with a parrot, dog and pool cue. Satellite Office never offered that either. “However, what we still considered important five years ago, namely large, open communal areas, Open Spaces, as we call them, is already no longer State – of -the -Art” admits the expert. Complex, creative work requires rest. “Today, I create spaces that allow concentrated work. We set up offices that do not create distractions in terms of color. Ergonomic office chairs, height-adjustable desks, sufficient light, not looking at a wall. Offices must be conducive to good health. We aim to create the best possible working atmosphere for all five senses. Quiet, relaxing colors, no fragrances, the best materials in the covers of chairs, benches and armchairs, healthy snacks and finely filtered water in the cafeterias,” reports Gödiker. In the latest Satellite Office workspace in Frankfurt, whose room concept is called “pureSilent,” the open spaces were kept small and silent cubes were installed. On the one hand, concentrated work can be done here, but confidential meetings or telephone calls can also be held. The common areas are largely soundproofed and always allow for a retreat, such as a cleverly placed soundproof wall or an armchair with a very high, padded back. For the materials, Satellite Office has taken its cue from nature: Beige and gray in many shades, very dark, warm purple. Everything for concentrated deep working. The breathtaking view of Mainhatten, the surrounding terrace that can be accessed directly from many offices, a fireplace lounge with a flickering fire and also its own terrace, luxurious designer furniture partly upholstered in soft calfskin and technical gimmicks wherever they make life easier ensure well-being, and that is enormously important for productivity.

Inspirations and tips for freelancers

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who are setting up an office now, Anita Gödiker has a valuable tip: “Set up your office the way you need it today. That’s what I do, too. Experience shows that we cannot plan for technical advances in all their complexity. We live in the here and now. I’m sure augmented reality will become a huge topic in office design in the next five years. “Wearables” such as AR glasses will probably become part of everyday life. It will become much more accepted that computers are controlled by voice and less by keyboards. But we’ll grow into it, and that won’t happen overnight. An office that meets today’s modern technical and ergonomic requirements is fit for the future.”

Set up workplace – plan for retreats and long distances

Tips for entrepreneurs and freelancers

With this checklist, based on insights from casual luxury workspace leader Satellite Office, you’ll have your office décor under control – whether it’s a study or an open-plan office.

– Design your workplace according to their own profile: are they frequent readers? Are they frequent writers? Do you need a screen in your desk or an office chair with a headrest?

– Equip your office with the latest technology.

– Be aware of background noise before selecting a room. The less, the better.

– Provide enough space, brightness, expansion possibilities and good technical reception.

– Set up your office ergonomically to promote your health. A height-adjustable desk and an ergonomic office chair are standard today.

– Create room to move and different places to retreat to work. This contributes enormously to creativity and productivity.

– Choose wall colors that have a positive effect on your well-being. Calm and light colors are recommended. Also consider their corporate design, the colors can be used as accents.

– Set up the workstation dynamically. Walking distances should be as far as possible (move wastebasket to another room, printer paper a few steps away from printer, etc.).

– Ensure good cable management to eliminate tripping hazards.

– Set up relaxation corners, think individually about what can be soothing for you: a small reading corner, a fireplace, the yoga mat or the cafe counter?

– The light regulates the state of wakefulness and well-being. Ideally, your office should have a window and be well lit by natural daylight. Due to the time of day and seasons, additional lighting is essential. In addition, at the desk should be a light source that can be regulated in stages.

Online office furniture providers such as Freifrau offer inspiration for design questions, but also the “Pinterest” app. If you enter the keyword “design offices” here, you will find many office ideas.

We would like to refer to an interesting study on the subject of workplaces, the results of which have been incorporated into this BLOG:

We were also inspired to write this BLOG by the film “Aufbruch” by Axel Springer. He describes the many ideas, thoughts and visions for the Axel Springer new building, which is scheduled to open this spring in 2020.