The layout and design of an office can greatly impact how your employees work. A small, cluttered space can lead to stress, depression and a lack of productivity. Instead, you should have big, airy spaces, natural light and an organized system that’ll stop rubbish from piling up. You might need to first do a massive declutter. In which case, hire a skip bin and make a fresh start
Your surroundings and environment affect your mental and physical wellbeing. To keep your workflow, well, flowing, and to have a productive office environment, your employees enjoy, mull over the office layouts that are bound to keep the office happy.
What are the Top Frustrations?
Before you make any changes to your current workspace, it’s crucial that you understand what may be bothering your employees. Ask them directly. However, the usual issues consist of:
- A lack of space
- Bad air quality and flow
- Lack of visual privacy
- Lack of sound privacy
- Unpleasant colors and/or textures
- Noise pollutions/distractions
- Lack of natural light
With only 33% of workers actively engaged at work, it’s time for you to make changes to your business environment. Here’s how.
Establish the Space You Have to Work with
There is no point trying to cram everything into an office that is far too small to accommodate it all. Rather, you should determine what takes more priority. Be realistic, speak to a contractor and interior designer, so that you can make use of the space to hand.
Offer Private and Collaborative Workstations
People work in different ways. Some flourish when on their own, in a quiet environment, while others enjoy the company and light chatter of others. Plus, teams will need to collaborate every now and then, so it’s important to have a space dedicated to such working habits.
While employees may want to have an assigned desk, keep the collaborative desks free so that teams and departments can sit there if they want. Ensure your workers have company laptops so that they can move around freely.
Work with the Light
Natural light is essential. It can help relieve stress, dial down depression, increase productivity, and help your workers sleep better at night. Ensure you have windows large enough to omit the daylight and keep from workstations being replaced in dark corners of the office.
Have a Break Room
If feasible, create a break room that allows your workers to unwind, eat and socialize away from their desks. It is not healthy for them to sit at the desks during lunch. There is no room for them to relax or keep from working. You need to limit stress as much as possible, and after a break from the computer and a little chat and fun with co-workers, they can return to their workstations feeling completely refreshed.
If you can, include:
- A couch
- A table
- Enough chairs
- Today’s newspaper
You could also add some luxurious extras, such as:
- A pool table
- Bluetooth speakers
- Foosball table
- Vending machine
Include an Outside Area
Fresh air is incredibly important. Not only can it make a person feel calm, but it can also help them separate work from their lunch break. They can forget about anything that may be bothering them for an hour or so.
The area doesn’t have to be huge, and neither do you have to grace your employees with a woodland forest. However, ensure that there is a small patio area with comfortable benches to hand. To create a tranquil area, a pond with a relaxing water feature can help with relaxation, while an outside BBQ area could help with socialization. You should also have a section for employees who smoke so that they can unwind with a cigarette without bothering non-smokers.
Discuss the Furniture
An office must harmonize functionality with style and comfort. You want your furniture to look good, but it must also support your employees and keep them from injury. It is your duty of care to look after your employees, so invest in high-quality furniture that will keep them from neck and back pain.
Do Employees Have Requirements?
Before you spend a lot of money on furniture that may not be needed, ask your employees whether they have any requirements. Do a few workers need a desk that allows them to stand up because they suffer from back pain? Perhaps your entire office finds their chairs uncomfortable.
Speak to them one on one, or have them fill out a survey. When you have the results, see what the general consensus is. While your budget may not be able to permit each and every employee to have their own specific brand of chair or desk, you will be able to make a difference by implementing ergonomic furniture.
Back-related issues will affect 80% of Americans at some point in their lives. It is, therefore, crucial that you look after your worker’s health by investing furniture that encourages proper posture, limits neck problems, and minimizes pressure on hips.
Ergonomic furniture does not have to leave your office looking dull, either. Instead, ergonomic furniture has a modern air to it, so the office can continue to look contemporary and stylish while remaining functional.
Desks that Stand
As previously mentioned, there are desks that allow workers to stand up. This is a great way for workers to alleviate pressure from their hips and improve their posture. Other health benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Improved mental health
- Lower blood sugar
- Reduced back pain
- Greater life expectancy
Don’t Forget the Electronics
Modern offices will be in abundance of electronics. You will find laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones and even servers dotted around the place, so make sure you not only store them properly but are able to keep your office looking smart.
To help keep your server safe, use a server cabinet configurator. With laptops, have a place for people to stack them or a draw to place them in at the end of the day. Keep wires neat so that your limit tripping hazards. By investing in the correct equipment, your employees will be able to work more efficiently. Plus, they won’t become frustrated with electronics that are in the way or do not function properly.
Be on Brand
The office is the one place you can showcase your brand and tell people exactly what you are about. Have your company logo on the wall in the reception area, and again in the office. You can have the office’s color scheme in keeping with your logo, and if you are a modern company, your furniture can reflect this with clean edges and cool colors.
You want your employees to feel part of a team. By encompassing them in an environment that allows them to be proud of the business they are working for, their productivity will soar.
Include Your Company Values
Firstly, ask what your company values are. Do you want to show how much you care for the environment, or are you hoping to resonate with millennials? For the former, you can have a green and clean color scheme, with plenty of plants and eco-friendly furniture. However, for the latter, you can include millennial pink, gold accents and even have fun by painting one half of an avocado on the wall.
Have the Company Logo on Display
As mentioned before, your logo should be on display. Not only so your employees can resonate with it, but because it can help reaffirm your company values and appeal to customers.
Don’t Overlook the Psychology of Color
The paint you choose could seriously harm the outlook and vigor of your employees. Be sure to select a color that not only matches your company but also help with your employee’s productivity.
Colors with a Calming Influence
Stressed employees do not make a calming environment. Neither will this help with productivity.
- Blue is the common color associated with calming emotions. The color can offer trust and strength, which is what a lot of people are looking for when working with a company. Brands such as Dell, Oreo and Twitter use the color blue, and they are well-loved brands across the globe.
- White may seem boring, but it offers feelings of balance. Keep your employees calm and neutral with white walls and white furniture. The likes of Apple, Wikipedia and Puma all make use of white, helping them remain modern and balanced brands. This also helps them seem trustworthy, too.
Colors that Promote Productivity
- Yellow is considered the happiest color. It is warm, can raise people’s moods, offers clarity and optimism. Brands such as Nikon, UPS and IMDb all use yellow.
- Orange is friendly, cheerful and full of confidence. However, you may want to refrain from large volumes of the color orange. The likes of Nickelodeon, Amazon and Fanta keep their fun edge with the color orange being heavily present in their logos.
- Pink/purple can bolster creativity. Therefore, for collaborative workspaces, having them located in a pink or purple room could be helpful. Think Barbie, Cadbury and Syfy. All of these offer creativity and imagination.
Colors to Avoid
- Red is a bold color that is associated with passion. While you want your employees to feel passionate about their work, it is also associated with rage and anger.
Stock images courtesy of gettyimages.com