Office space design is constantly undergoing change and evolution to find the optimal work environment to boost productivity and reduce stress. In the last few decades alone we’ve witnessed the radically shifts from cubical design to open-plan, from highly professional environments to more relaxed spaces with amenities designed to help destress and unwind.
Creating the right work environment in your office is essential if you want to increase productivity and protect your employees’ health. Employees that are comfortable and relaxed in the workplace are more likely to produce quality work.
Here are five ideas to help you renovate your office space and boost productivity:
Green Up The Office
Moving your office to be more ‘green’ both in colour and footprint will make a difference to both your employees and the environment. ‘Going Green’ has been shown to have a positive effect on employee morale. Eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean cutting back, though, a few small changes can make a big difference.
Plants are an obvious contender. Research shows that just a single green plant in a workspace can have a significant impact on stress, anxiety, and depression. Other good ways to reduce your ecological footprint are switching out lights to LEDs or CFLs, turning off devices when not in use, and keeping printing to a minimum.
Improve The Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the science of making the workplace comfortable and minimising some kinds of injuries. Many adults spend upwards of 50% – 70% of their day sitting at a desk, so making your employees seating and working location comfortable will go a long way to improve productivity.
Start with the chair: a good office chair will provide good upper and lower back support and be fully adjustable. Back pain can be a lifelong nuisance, so providing good support to prevent slouching or hunching is essential. Also consider the placement of monitors, keyboard, mice, phones, and other desktop items. Items should all be within easy reach without requiring repeated, excessive turning. Finally, a good ergonomic keyboard and mouse will help prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Renovating The Bathroom
The office bathroom design is often disregarded in an office renovation, but studies show that a new bathroom is one of the most impactful places you can improve to increase your overall office morale.
Begin by thinking about the colour and materials. Light colours are good at creating a feeling of cleanliness, but they also show up the inevitable dirt and grime. Select materials that are both easy to keep clean, but aren’t susceptible to staining. Another element to think about is fixtures. Commercial bathrooms are prone to using commercial fixtures which tend to have a cold and industrial feel. Seeking out fixtures with more warming, the homely aesthetic will encourage staff to feel more relaxed.
Incorporate a New Colour Scheme
The colours we are surrounded by having a profound influence on mood and mental state. Bland, utilitarian colours risk making people feel disconnected; dark colours such as black on the other-hand create an atmosphere of authoritarian regimes, whereas bright and vivid colours can be distracting. The key is to find balance.
Natural, earthy blues and greens are great at stimulating creativity and evoking feelings of optimism, while yellows and oranges create feelings of happiness, warmth, and energy.
Include a Breakout Space
A breakout space provides a dedicated area employees can go to relax, unwind, and destress. They also aid in promoting employee socialisation and collaboration. A good breakout space should be segregated from the primary work area, but easily accessible to all employees.
Deciding on the right type of breakout space for your company will depend on the working environment and type of work. A busy, noisy workplace may benefit from a quiet breakout space where employees can sit peacefully to get away from the buzz. A highly individual-focused working environment, however, where employees spend a lot of time working alone at their desk may benefit more from a fun and interactive space they can go to mix with others.