The workplace is changing. Today’s modern office setting needs to continually adapt to emerging trends in human productivity and values. To encourage an efficient and upbeat morale within the workplace, an adaptable design strategy can help your business understand and accommodate the various needs of individual employees in a setting that inspires community culture, cooperation and overall team happiness.
Before you immediately start painting and refurnishing your existing space, take a moment to discover what kind of space you want to create. Sit down with your employees and ask them first-hand what they would like to see change. The results may surprise you, and help making design choices for productive office spaces an easy, enjoyable transition.
Inspiration/The Space Itself
It’s no surprise that many office employees tend to be unsatisfied with their physical workplace. When people are expected to spend nearly as much time at work as they do at home, employers, designers and owners need to provide a motivating space that helps keep the Monday Blues at bay. Give your employees that opportunity to engage in collaboratively designing a physical space that embraces open-mindedness. Get their feedback on functionality, aesthetics, location and comfort.
Colour studies can help reveal many invaluable truths that can influence office productivity, and can even assist in stimulating a desired mental focus. Red for example, are often associated with higher focus and task accuracy. Blue is calming and relaxing, and is associated with mental control and clear, creative thinking. Yellow can promote alert clear-headed decision making. Orange boosts self-esteem and a zest for life. Use various colours throughout the workplace to instill different internal motivators in your staff. You can also use colour to reflect and increase the positive effects of natural light.
People need space, and the trending concept of an ‘open-office space’ is quickly declining. Without question, employees need to be able to access each other’s expertise and knowledge easily – but having a space to retreat to can also promote a focus in individuals that an open office can nullify. It can be easy to become distracted, and stressed as a result of not being able to hear yourself think, so creating private workspaces can benefit the office environment by allowing people a moment of solitude throughout the workday. By giving your staff and colleagues their choice of environment, you’ll encourage collaboration along with a sense of ownership over a specific space. Consider building and implementing ‘neighbourhoods’ within the workplace using basic urban physics so people can develop a sense of geography, community, and a sense of privacy.
Access to Nature, Views & Daylight
The psychological benefits of having access to nature, green spaces and natural views is integral in implementing good design strategies for a modern office space. The performance benefits include improved opportunity for collaboration and communication, positive influence on recruiting and retentions, and alignment in key workplace initiatives. Psychological benefits include stress reduction, increased innovative thinking, background noise management, and increased motivation and production. Not to mention, having physical plants and green space within the office can account for improved air quality, increased humidity, and reduced levels of carbon dioxide, mold and bacteria in the air.
Discomfort can cost your office its productivity. A lot of time and effort should be placed on researching applicable ergonomic design for employee comfort. Things like chairs, desk height, keyboard trays and even appropriate phone use contribute to employee comfort and health. Make sure your employees can come to you with design strategies regarding comfort so they can be as efficient and as focused as possible.
These simple suggestions can do wonders for implementing good strategic design within your office space. By integrating views of nature, embracing the study of colours to engage different thought and focus processes, and making sure your employees are comfortable and able to have appropriate privacy, you can drastically alter the positive productivity of your space. Engage with your office community and brainstorm some collective ideas for improving the physical and mental space you occupy each day. Increasing the happiness and enjoyment of your workspace can be an immensely enjoyable – and profitable – process.