It’s the be-all-or-end-all when it comes to location: a good proportion of working people will spend the majority of their lives in the office, their attitudes determining the productivity and consequently, the success of the company.
That’s why it’s critical to make employees feel at home as much as possible, creating a welcoming, laid-back and relaxed office environment where ideas can flourish and collaboration can prosper. Here are a few key pointers to follow when deciding on that all-important office design.
Gone are the days when workspaces were cramped, dark, and secretive – in the modern age, it’s less about keeping the world out and more about letting it in. Higher ceilings, brighter colors, and spacious floors are not only aesthetically pleasing, but creatively liberating, and having a grand entrance with comfy couches, plants, and paintings expresses a sense of being in touch with the outside environment and is more welcoming to co-workers and visitors alike.
Every employee is different, and it’s important to be able to let people express themselves freely and be treated as an individual, as well as letting them bring a bit of their character and life to the office. Family photos, a favourite plushie, desk plants and pencil toppers are just a few of the little things that make a desk feel more personal, and is an important part of creating that comfortable environment.
Considering that humans spend several hours per day sitting, comfort is essential. Ergonomic chairs, plush couches and mobile furniture – chairs and tables with castors – is optimal for comfort, as well as collaboration (no one wants to rearrange a room for a meeting full of clunky, rigid chairs and tables). Being able to move things around lets workers make their space their own as well, which goes hand in hand with personalisation. Keyboards, mouses, and desks should also be customised for better posture. Not only will this increase productivity, but it’s an essential gesture which lets employees know that their health and well-being is a priority.
It’s simple – an aesthetically pleasing office is a happy office. Upgraded facilities, stylish decor and attractive surroundings re-emphasise the importance of the employee’s taste and mood when in a working environment. An office that is sparse, disorganised, and bleak shows negligence towards the employee’s well-being. Having a space that lets in lots of light and offers beautiful views inside and out can sometimes make all the difference when a worker spends a considerable amount of time there.
Going hand in hand with adopting friendly policies like flexi-hours and additional holidays, more businesses are striving to provide everything they can to accommodate their employee’s lifestyle and schedules. Kitchens and lunch rooms should be a place where co-workers can enjoy some social time together as well as grab a coffee or sit down for a meal. Some offices even have gymnasiums, games rooms, and swimming pools with shower facilities. By adapting an office space to fit these needs, matching that work/life balance becomes easily attainable.
This is one of the most essential developments in office space over recent years, as the general public become more conscientious about their impact on the environment. Everything from cycling to work schemes, composting, recycling programs, to sourcing goods from sustainable resources are put into place, and office layouts are optimised to use maximum light from outside, and insulated to keep heat inside. Greywater systems, solar, wind, and geothermal energy, top grade windows, flooring and exterior walls are just a few ways that an eco-conscious design can be incorporated into the workplace.
Co-workers have to spend a considerable amount of time with one another, after all – so building on that sense of community is vital. This draws on added facilities such as comfortable lunch and activity rooms. Never underestimate the power to bond – colleagues who understand one another are able to draw on each other’s strengths and work as an effective team.
AUTHENTICITY AND ORIGINALITY
No one wants to work for a run-of-the-mill office that looks like the next one. Having a unique and innovative design lets employees know that they are truly special, and that they work in a space unlike any other. It’s also an essential aspect of good office branding, letting clients know that they are investing in a distinctive company which therefore produces a distinct, quality product. It’s a win-win all round.
What do you think is the most important factor in a productive and conducive office environment? Will the office interior design affect your work performance or attitude? Share with us your views and thoughts in the comments box below.