The environment people work in plays a big role in how they feel about and approach their work.
Which one do you prefer?
- An office where the air is fresh and it’s never too cold or hot, and you have enough privacy to focus but can reach co-workers easily.
- A sublevel office with no natural light where you can’t have privacy because all of you are crammed together.
It makes sense to improve the design of an office space so that employees can work efficiently and feel good while doing so.
Here are a few tips on designing your office so that people can easily collaborate and work together without getting on each others nerves.
1. Choose the right colors
Specific colors have the power to evoke specific moods. Whether you’re picking out furniture, artwork or paint colors, try to pick colors that are uplifting, motivating and inspiring.
- While white is a safe foundational color, it’s okay to choose an option that evokes a sense of happiness and inspiration.
- It’s just important to choose the right shades.
- Try to avoid gray or overly dark tones because if not used properly, it can be associated with feelings of sadness and depression.
- Colors like yellow and green are associated with creativity, positivity, and productivity. Yellow is also a very optimistic color.
- Blue inspires trust, hence why so many big brands are using it.
Knowing this, it’s a great idea to infuse those options into the office decor. If you’re not well-versed in how to make colors work well together, it might be best to hire an interior decorator to take care of the job.
2. Provide comfortable and ergonomic furniture
When you’re thinking about the design, you don’t want to solely focus on how everything looks. It’s also important to consider how everything feels.
If the chairs are lovely yet uncomfortable to sit in, you’re going to have a lot of employees heading to the chiropractor in a few weeks.
If you have employees who are sitting for long periods of the day, consider purchasing standing desks to encourage circulation, movement, and optimal health. The best option would be to get those desks that easily transform from sitting to standing, and high-quality ergonomic chairs.
If an employee could use a leg rest for their feet, that’s a great addition to include within each office unit. These smaller details might seem insignificant to the bigger picture, but remember, all these help your employees stay healthy too.
This directly impacts your bottom line. If an employee is uncomfortable and suffers health issues because of the environment they work in for eight hours, it will reflect in their work and satisfaction. This is why it’s wise to be mindful of comfort.
3.Create a culture of respect
It’s also important to consider the fact that people who are working within an office space should work well together. Collaboration can only be successful if everyone sees eye to eye on how things get done around the office.
This means that interruptions should be reduced to a minimum. If people need time to work alone, they should be able to do so.
If they need to collaborate with others, they should be able to do so without bothering everyone else. Glass walls are great because they create the semblance of an open floor plan yet they still provide a high level of privacy.
You won’t be able to hear the conversations that are happening which will quiet the distractions.
4. Pick the right layout
Open floor plans might seem like a no brainer option for collaboration, but the result is the opposite: people end up getting thrown off task and annoying each other because you can’t really focus on the task at hand with so many people around you working on different things.
Right now, cellular office layout is the preferred option, and ranked as one of the best ways to design your office or productivity and collaboration.
- Instead of open plans, the cellular layout is a mix between cubicles and bigger spaces that can accommodate any type of work
- Cubicles are reserved for deep focus individual work
- Larger spaces accommodate teams working on a project together so they can move around easily, but are isolated from the rest so they don’t disrupt others
Always pick a layout that will improve the organizational aspects of your business, but also ensure the layout you choose helps employees do their job well.
How do you know whether the cellular layout would be a good pick for you?
This all depends on what your business is about and how people are working – do they collaborate a lot? Do they need some quiet time? Do you have teams that do very different tasks? Then this type of layout might be a good pick.
5. Recognize the importance of lighting
Natural light helps reduce eye strain caused by computer and mobile screens, and the more people use technology, the more they long for breaks from it.
Having an office infused with natural light and good views helps in overall employee wellbeing.
You better take advantage of natural light when it’s there. When the days are gloomy and dark, however, it’s essential to have a good lighting scheme because that’ll help the employees get over the hump of a long afternoon or a sleepy morning.
Avoid fluorescent light bulbs – they have a negative impact on mood and productivity. Instead, consider lighting options that are unique to each office pod – indirect light seems to be a good option for most offices.
As you work toward implementing these tips for a better office space, consider including your employees. If you can get their feedback and input, they will know you have their best interest in mind.
If your employees see you including their voices, it gives them a sense of belonging and importance, and they’ll bring their best to the workplace on a regular basis.
If you can’t do a major overhaul, that’s okay. Start small. Take it one step and day at a time. Before long, you’ll be able to look back and marvel at the significant changes within the team, the design and workplace productivity.
This article was written by Ashley Wilson, a digital nomad and writer for hire, specialized in business and tech topics. In her self-care time, she practices YouTube yoga. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys trying out new food. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.