Your office design can make a huge difference to your employee’s productivity, your organisation’s ability to retain and attract key talent and the impression that it gives to clients and suppliers alike. Here we share with you 5 simple tips to improve your office design:
Bring The Outdoors In
The growth of biophilic office design has become increasingly more popular and put very simply, they are office spaces that incorporate nature into the design and tap into a human being’s innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.
There are a number of elements to biophilia – these include natural light, greenery and wildlife – think potted plants, living walls, fish tanks and access to natural areas such as courtyards and roof terraces.
Scientists from the University of Exeter recently undertook a study to investigate whether plants can have a positive effect on the workplace. Their results suggested that plants make staff happier and more productive and can also “increase productivity by 15%.” They added that the implementation of plants “significantly increased workplace satisfaction, self-reported levels of concentration, and perceived air quality” for their subjects.
Maximise Natural Light
Natural light is also a key element of biophilic design and we covered the importance of natural light in the workspace in an earlier blog post.
A study designed to examine the impact of daylight exposure on the health of office workers from the perspective of subjective wellbeing and sleep quality concluded that the “architectural design of office environments should place more emphasis on sufficient daylight exposure of the workers in order to promote office workers’ health and wellbeing.” Their results showed that workers in windowless environments scored lower when judged for role productivity and sleep quality, indicating that light really does impact us and our ability to be productive.
Incorporate Informal Areas
Most workers spend a big percentage of their time at desks or in meetings, looking at computer screens or presentations. Whilst it may sound counter-productive to encourage employees to spend time away from theirs desks, it can make a huge difference to productivity, wellbeing and creativity.
Informal break-out areas are an excellent way of encouraging this – a well designed break-out space can foster huge levels of creativity and collaboration amongst staff that may normally not interact otherwise.
The use of quiet areas for staff to make private calls, have one to one meetings or simply relax for a few minutes can be hugely popular. Also, utilising communal areas where staff meet such as tea points can be beneficial – many companies incorporate games areas where staff can compete against each other. These areas can all be places where staff can meet for informal meetings, have lunch together and exchange ideas and thoughts.
Improve Your Ergonomics
There is nearly nothing that can harm your employee’s health and productivity than bad use of ergonomics. Poor posture can lead to back pain, headaches, neckaches and even fatigue. It is therefore critical to ensure all your employees have the correct equipment to support their daily activities.
Show Off Your Success!
One of the hardest things to achieve in a successful office design project is to integrate the company’s culture, values and beliefs into the overall office design scheme.
This can be done in several ways – graphics and branding can be used to highlight the company’s core values and areas such as the reception area can be used to showcase business awards and trophies. This can be relatively unexpensive to implement but will reinforce your company to visitors and staff alike.