Home > Life Transitions > Starting a Business > Go From Cramped to Productive In Your Small Office Space
People working in a small office space

Go From Cramped to Productive In Your Small Office Space

Growing your small business is exciting, but a lack of space can complicate things. Whether you’re looking to expand out of your home office or make the most of the room you have, maximizing a small office space is a great idea. Boost productivity in your workplace with these 14 small office space ideas!

Start With Decluttering

People Sitting in a Modern Office Space While Working at a Long Desk. Photo by Instagram user @area3design

Photo via @area3design

Before diving into office organization ideas, start by using decluttering methods to maximize your space. Tossing out items that go unused and only organizing what remains can give you a more realistic idea of how much office space you have and what necessary items and supplies you should prioritize. A clean desk and clean office can reduce visual distractions, helping to boost productivity and eliminate stress—so decluttering is well worth your time!

Digitize Business Files

Using filing cabinets for business documents can take up a lot of valuable room in a small workspace. Instead, try digitizing files to create more space for the essentials. Save your files to hard drives, utilize cloud storage, or use online faxing services and scanning apps to go paperless and store your documents in one digital location. Not only can digitizing your files open up your space, but the accessibility can also help you manage your documents more efficiently.

Get Your Employees’ Opinions

People Working Together in a Small Conference Room. Photo by Instagram user @globalpress

Photo via @globalpress

When trying to figure out the best small office layout, take the time to bring members of your team into the discussion. People need different things to do their best work, so ask before you assume. Brainstorming with your employees can inspire office decorating ideas, help you decide which furniture is most practical, and decide on an office layout that will contribute to a productive work environment.

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you

Opt for an Open Office Layout

Large Open Office Space With People Working at Desks. Photo by Instagram user @area3design

Photo via @area3design

While separate offices and cubicles used to be the norm, many modern workplaces find that an open office layout works best for a small office. Shared office spaces allow you to arrange desks and tables in a variety of space-saving combinations, giving you more room and flexibility. Utilizing wheeled desks, tables, and chairs that can easily be rearranged also helps your office adapt to different daily demands, fostering a more collaborative work environment.

Break Up Open Spaces

While an open office layout is a great small workplace design idea, it’s still good to try to break up the space a bit to help with concentration and productivity. To minimize noise from movement in the office, consider using plants, bookcases, or shelving units between rows of desks. Separating work areas with big furniture pieces like wall dividers, decorative screens, storage lockers, or filing cabinets can also create a sense of privacy for employees.

Be Flexible with Work Zones

The concept of not having a set desk (or hot desking) is a growing trend that works well in small office spaces. Consider placing different seating types around the office to give employees a change of scenery. This dynamic work environment can help with burnout and productivity, and unconventional work spaces can even boost collaboration and creativity among employees. Encourage employees to work in nontraditional areas so they see the entire office space as their workplace, not just the place they dock their computers.

Use Office Planning Software

You’re not an island—take advantage of software for small business organization and management! Office planning apps like Asana and Microsoft 365 can help keep your company’s internal communication and task management organized and accessible. You can also use software to help determine a layout that can maximize your small office space. Many office floor planning tools and apps offer basic functionalities for free. See effective arrangements or try different layouts without the inconvenience of rearranging everyone’s workspace over and over again. Hiring a professional can be a good option, but taking advantage of free software first could save you money in the long run.

Grow Up—Not Out

While you may not be able to add square feet to your office floor plan, there are plenty of effective ways to organize the space you have by thinking vertically. Often, walls are not effectively utilized in work spaces. From vertical shelving and office wall organizers to functional office decor, make the walls work harder so the rest of your office doesn’t have to.

Buy Space-Saving Office Furniture

Big, bulky furniture can overpower a small room. Today’s offices are trading in clunky, heavy office furnishings for lighter, more modern options. Opting for small corner office desks, extendable tables, and expanding chairs can help clear up space and encourage free-flowing communication and teamwork. Desk options like adjustable risers or standing desks give employees the ability to sit and stand throughout the day—which can promote comfort, encourage movement, and boost productivity. Another furniture hack for a small office is to choose exposed-leg furniture, as being able to see under desks and chairs creates more visual space in the room.

Go Minimalist

Sleek Minimalist office. Photo by Instagram user @area3design

Photo via @area3design

Simply having less items is one inexpensive idea for making your small office look bigger. Embracing minimalism in office interior design is no different. Choose modern office decor that reflects the culture of your office and inspires your workforce—instead of cramming your workspace with bland photos and unusable trinkets. Less office decor means you can focus on key decoration pieces that incorporate color theory and mood-boosting paint colors to promote productivity and happiness in your workspace.

Add a Break Area

Designating a space for socializing in a small office space may seem unimportant or impossible when it feels like there are too many people packed into the area. However, as employee breaks lead to higher productivity, having a space where people can decompress is in any company’s best interest. Create a break room if you have the space, or simply designate a corner in your office for unwinding. Provide comfortable seating, a refrigerator for lunches, or even a small coffee or snack bar. This can be a great place for breaks, to collaborate with others, or to get creative juices flowing.

Incorporate Biophilic Interior Design

Small office spaces looking for a design style to promote creativity and reduce stress should consider embracing biophilic office design. Incorporating natural elements like wood floors, steel beams, or small fountains can bring a sense of the outdoors into your work environment. Bring houseplants into play by placing them on top of desks—or even create a living plant wall to lower stress and improve focus during the work day.

Let In Natural Light

Looking for an easy, built-in way to optimize a small office? Just look for the nearest window! Natural light can make a small office feel larger in addition to bringing life and vibrance into the room. Exposure to natural light can even make your employees happier and healthier, improving your overall office environment. To get the most out of available windows, cluster desks in these areas. Incorporate mirrors around the office or use reflective surfaces on the walls to further amplify natural light and open up a room. If your office space doesn’t have many windows, mimic the light through LED lights, lamps, and warm colors to help brighten the space.

Encourage Employees to Work From Home

If you’ve tried all the office organization tips and ideas in the book and still find that the space you have isn’t enough, a hybrid or remote work schedule can help you stay in your current office longer. Encouraging employees to work from their home office a few days of the week frees up cramped office space and gives them more flexibility. There may be times when everyone is needed in the office—and some employees may not have room to create a home office—but if you can free up a desk or two during the week, your office will seem bigger. Plus, employees will appreciate the ability to create a space that’s best optimized for their focus needs.


If you’ve tried out these small office organization tips and still find you’re out of room, renting a storage unit with Extra Space Storage could be an affordable and convenient solution. Find small business storage near you!