New office design trends are cropping up all the time, but workplace design should fundamentally be about keeping your staff happy and engaged with their work. These 5 office design ideas offer a sure-fire approach to boost their productivity.
The debate surrounding the pros and cons of open-plan offices is seemingly never-ending. The truth is, open-plan offices offer plenty of advantages, like reduced build-costs, layout flexibility, and increased collaboration.
However, all that collaborative chit-chat can be distracting, especially for workers trying to focus on individual tasks. In fact, a 2015 study found that chaotic background noise can lead to a 66% drop in productivity levels.
Sometimes people just need to tune out the hubbub and get things done. It’s for this reason that you should provide a variety of different workspaces in your office – quieter, more private areas in particular. These spaces should be decorated and furnished to facilitate this kind of private work, with separators, softer lighting, and soundproofing when necessary.
The option to work in quieter areas can really help your employees produce their best work, so incorporating them into your office fit-out design is a must if you want to maximise productivity.
Lighting is one of the most overlooked aspects of office design, despite playing a huge role in employee productivity. In fact, researchers who conducted a study of the effects of dim lighting on the brain concluded that “dim lights are producing dimwits.” Then again, super-bright artificial lighting can have equally negative effects on employees, especially if they’re staring at computer screens all day.
If your current office lighting falls into one of these categories, then, like an old bulb, it’s probably time for a change.
Making the most of natural lighting is a good place to start. Offices with plenty of organic light enhance workers’ productivity levels and helps them get a better night’s sleep – meaning they’ll be all the more ready for work the next day.
However, unless you’re lucky enough to work in the tropics, you can’t rely solely on sunshine to light your workspace. Thankfully, there are plenty of different lighting solutions available to suit any budget and style, from trendy pendant lighting to LED spot lamps.
When choosing your lighting, keep practicality in mind. Retro Edison bulbs may look contemporary and cool, but they won’t provide sufficient light for most tasks – save them for common areas like kitchens and break-out spaces.
Grey. Drab. Lifeless. These are just some of the words that come to mind when you think of a traditional office. They’re boring, and boring workplaces make for unproductive employees.
Upturn the office stereotype by adding sparks of life to your workplace. Use bold colours to break up neutral walls, introduce some greenery, and consider installing tasteful artwork to inspire creativity. Just don’t go overboard – it can lead to design disasters.
It’s always best to employ the expertise of a professional interior design company during this stage, as they can give your space a real wow factor. However, there are a few basics you can implement yourself if you’re not looking for a full office redesign.
It’s also worth encouraging your staff to bring in photographs, mementos, or small plants to decorate their desks with too – assuming you decide to still have fixed desks. This will liven the place up and create an emotional connection between them and their workspace, encouraging productivity.
Nobody likes being stuck in the same office chair for 8 hours a day. Staying still tricks the body into thinking it’s time to rest and can induce sleepiness. You don’t need us to tell you that sleepy staff members lack the energy to be productive.
Staying static for too long can even lead to severe health issues which could put your team members out of action. Many health organisations, like the NHS, stress the importance of getting up and moving to break up long periods of sitting still.
Bear this in mind when designing your workplace. We’re not suggesting you install a running track, but perhaps consider keeping your desk areas a distance from the toilets, or positioning your kitchen and break area upstairs. You want to try and layout your office in such a way as to encourage movement whenever possible to keep your team awake, healthy, and working productively.
When business owners decide to refurbish their offices, they can tend towards choosing new furniture that’s as cost-effective as possible. However, investing more in stylish, comfortable furniture will pay for itself thanks to your team’s increased productivity levels.
With a poll by AXA Healthcare finding that the average British worker spends 9 hours a day sitting down, providing comfortable, supportive office seating is paramount. The best office chairs will make seat height and the angle of the backrest easily adjustable, keeping your staff comfy and protecting their spine from unnecessary strain.
Modular furniture that can be used in a variety of circumstances is another great way of making the most of your office space and boosting productivity. Kitchen tables and chairs can become impromptu meeting spaces, and break-out areas can transform into spaces for private work.
Choosing the right furniture is an essential element of any workplace design. After all, it’s what enables your staff to work comfortably, safely, and fruitfully.
Office design plays a much bigger role in staff productivity than most people give it credit for. More than just an office building, your work environment has the potential to inspire staff to produce work to the highest possible standard – as well as simply being an enjoyable place to be.
To discover more about the importance of good workplace design, and how it can boost your business’s productivity, order a copy of our fit-out guide today.
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