Many people don’t really understand the value of good design. They think design just means making something look pretty. This is not remotely true.
Good design will generally be perceived as beautiful, but being beautiful doesn’t make something good design. Good design is often beautiful in the way a well-designed car or car engine has visual appeal.
At least some portion of the appearance of beauty is a side effect of having done something well. Yes, you can also paint it a pretty color, but good design is more than skin deep. It is about more than picking pretty colors or materials.
Good space design can cut costs. If things are stored near where they need to be used, this will cut down on money spent on employee time and effort to get things from storage before they can even do their work.
If you don’t have an efficient layout, that should be one of your top reasons for rearranging how the space gets used. Time is money. The more time is frittered away due to inefficient layouts at work, the worse your profit margin will be.
Another benefit of efficiency is getting more out of the same square footage. Efficient storage and less space devoted to low value walkways helps make the most of the space you have.
This can help prevent or delay an expensive move or expansion. Physically moving is not only disruptive and costly, it can lose loyal customers. People will often go someplace else rather than figure out where to find the new location for your business.
Efficiency is probably the most obvious way that space design impacts the bottom line, but it’s hardly the only way it does so. There are many more ways that good design — or lack thereof — directly impacts the bottom line of a business.
Good design can reduce on-the-job accidents. This impacts uptime for your business, insurance costs and employee retention. More accidents is never a good thing and the last thing you want is a reputation for being a place with a lot of accidents.
Good design can help employees enjoy the job. This will help with employee retention.
It’s expensive to replace employees regularly. Cutting down on employee turnover can help enhance your bottom line.
But there are more benefits to keeping employees for the long term. It helps build in-house knowledge of the history of the business. It helps make sure people know not only what to do, but why we do these things and what goes wrong when we don’t do it that way.
Keeping employees around for longer is a proven strategy for enhancing profit margins and helping a business weather the inevitable storms of the business cycle. The wealth of knowledge held by long-term employees counts the most when the chips are down.
Good space design can help attract better quality employees. If you are competing for skilled employees, you need to recognize that they can go where they choose to go. Many will turn their nose up at a space that lacks good design.
The last thing you want is to be the business that develops talent in house, only to have those employees go elsewhere. There is a cost involved in training employees. If they don’t like the job site, they may leave as soon as they are able.
One way to avoid becoming a business that trains the employees of competitors is to be a place people want to work. Good space design is an important part of being a good place to work where people look forward to coming to work.
If you think it’s frivolous to put time and money into good design, think again. In the long run, good design will more than pay for itself.
Someone once said: If design isn’t profitable, then it’s art. In other words, it’s not design at all.