08 May Why Office Design Matters, And What You Can Do to Improve Your Space
When we think of great office design, big names come to mind: Google, Apple, Airbnb and Uber with their high-tech offices and bonus sleeping pods. However, you don’t need to be a multimillion-dollar, multinational company to reap the benefits of intelligent and appealing office design.
Studies have shown that physical environment is the most significant factor that affects an individual’s ability to focus, meaning that a well-designed office is critical to getting the most out of your employees. Clients, or potential clients, will also base their opinion of your company partly on the appearance of your office.
For example, if you are a well-established accounting firm, you want clients to be impressed by your professional look the moment they step through the door. A creative agency, on the other hand, will want to demonstrate their creativity to potential clients through their office environment.
Also bear in mind that prospective employees will Google your company, and will either be drawn to or deterred by the look of your office.
Additionally, appropriate office design represents your values and company ethos to clients and employees alike. Whether you have a commitment to being green or to supporting local business, your office environment should represent this.
Employers wanting to boost productivity, morale and creativity among their staff, as well as wow clients who visit their office should consider the following tips:
The physical layout of your office interior should be dictated by the needs of your company. Are you a collaborative and creative enterprise where employees need to be able to converse with each other? Or are you perhaps an energetic sales team that needs partitions between employees so as not to disturb each other? Whatever your needs, discuss this with a professional interior fitout company.When designing your space, consider providing communal areas where employees can relax and socialise. A coffee or snack station, or even a recreational room, is sure to boost people’s mood.
Natural light is the best form of lighting you could provide for your employees. Natural light is known to boost both mood and productivity, with researchers at Northwestern University finding that those who work in offices with windows sleep an extra 46 minutes every night, leading to workers that are better rested and more productive.On the other hand, poor lighting can cause eye strain, fatigue and headaches.Design your office in a way that capitalises on natural lighting, or if this is not possible, install lighting that is not glaring. Desk lights that allow individuals to adjust the lighting for themselves is a particularly good solution.
Ergonomic office chairs are popular, but there is so much more you can do to ensure the productivity and comfort of your staff. Ensure that monitors and keyboards are placed at a comfortable height, and provide headsets for those who need to make a lot of phone calls.
Incorporate décor that reflects your company and promotes creativity. A boring environment is not likely to stimulate the minds of your employees or inspire company affinity among your staff.Choose décor that complements your company, such as motivational posters, art pieces or artistic furniture. Keep it traditional if you are a law firm, or trendy and bright if you are a graphic design agency.An appealing environment is sure to make employees excited to be at work, and feel more connected to the company.
PlantsOffice plants can sometimes conjure up images of dentists’ waiting rooms, making some companies reluctant to use them. The benefits of plants in the office are often not known, or are overlooked by business-owners and managers. In reality, plants are incredible at filtering the air and reducing stress, creating a healthier environment for your employees. Scientists at the University of Exeter found that plants can aid concentration, increase productivity and boost well-being by 47%, making them a necessary feature for all offices. Choose a plant that does not require direct sunlight or frequent watering, like the snake plant, spider plant or even succulents, for a healthier and happier work environment.
Allow for Ideas
If you want to harness all the amazing ideas that your employees have, provide them with an easy way to jot down their thoughts. This could include whiteboards, walls that can be written on, or just plain old sticky pads. This allows employees to revisit their ideas later, instead of forgetting them or becoming distracted on the job.
Keep it Simple
While all the above tips are well worth incorporating, remember to keep the environment simple. A cluttered, overly-decorated space can be overwhelming for employees and come across as unprofessional to clients. Physical clutter can also lead to mental clutter, making it harder to focus and stay organised.
There is so much more to the physical environment of your office than whether it is open plan or not. By considering factors such as lighting, air quality and décor, and tailoring these things to your unique team, you can ensure maximum productivity and job satisfaction, while also impressing clients and prospective employees.