Today’s workers demand more from their offices than ever before. Collaboration is key, productivity is essential and personalization helps professionals feel less like a cog in the machine.
If your office feels less like a dynamic place of work and more like a bland and boring room with desks and chairs, it’s time to shake things up.
In the right environment, employees are more likely to collaborate effectively, be creative and stay productive throughout the day. Thankfully, redecorating your office isn’t something you have to do all at once (and risk putting your coworkers on edge).
You can take small steps towards making your workspace more conducive to peak performance. Implementing small changes here and there can also help keep stress levels low, which is essential for staying focused.
Use Natural Lighting
Natural light is one of the most underrated aspects of office design. A room with natural light is going to feel less oppressive and more open than a room without.
This can help employees to stay focused and less likely to suffer from stress and fatigue. This is why you often see businesses that have open office plans have windows.
And windows are great sources of natural light. However, if you have a more closed-off office, you can still bring in natural light, but it will be a bit more challenging.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your blinds are clean and not blocking out light. But you also want to make sure that you are not blocking out light from all directions.
Try not to sit facing a wall because you will not get any light from that direction. Instead, you want to sit facing the middle of the office.
Invest In Comfortable And Ergonomic Furniture
While aesthetics are important, your office furniture should be designed with functionality in mind. You want your employees to feel supported when sitting.
Invest in chairs with backs, footrests or other accessories that help keep bodies aligned. It’s also important to look for furniture with multiple uses.
For example, you may not want to purchase a traditional desk for each employee. Instead, purchasing a large, communal table that can be used by everyone can create a more comfortable working environment.
If you’re redesigning your office, think about how people interact with each other while sitting. Having tables that are large enough for employees to sit together will encourage collaboration.
Having couches or chairs that encourage people to sit side by side will help facilitate face-to-face conversations as well as help people unwind after a long day of work.
Companies are investing more in open floor plans and collaborative workspaces designed to foster creativity and collaboration. Investing in large, communal tables will help promote this type of office design and encourage employees to work together. There are other ways you can promote collaboration in the office.
For example, adding communal spaces like whiteboard walls or wall-mounted corkboard’s where employees can pin notes, photos and other items that inspire them. You can also add collaborative tools like online project management software or cloud-based virtual assistants.
Don’t Forget The Breathing Room
It’s important to acknowledge that not every workplace is conducive to collaboration. Certain industries, such as research and development, require more quiet and quiet spaces where employees can feel they have the autonomy they need to do their work.
If your office is quieter and more closed off, it’s important to have spaces where employees can let loose. Open the windows and create areas where employees can unwind, let off some steam and have fun.
Create Opportunities For Movement
If your office has the capacity, you can create opportunities for employees to move throughout the day. Adding exercise balls to desks or setting up standing desks are simple ways to encourage movement.
If you have the space, you can even create a gym or fitness space for employees to use. Some companies, like Pure Health Technologies, have even gone so far as to build a fitness center into their office building.
Creating opportunities for movement throughout the day doesn’t only help employees feel less stressed and more relaxed, but it also increases productivity and attention spans.
Noise can be beneficial in the workplace, but too much noise can be detrimental to employee health. Be sure to keep your office at a comfortable noise level.
If you have a lot of meetings that involve people coming into your office, you may want to invest in noise-cancelling headphones. You can also use noise-cancelling apps if your phone has that function.
You can also invest in soundproofing your walls to keep noise from escaping into other offices. And be sure to ask employees to keep their voices at a moderate level.
Humans are visual creatures, and new visuals can help employees relax. Add plants to your office as they can help clean the air and reduce stress.
They can have a calming effect on the mind and ease anxiety. You can also add colourful posters or wall art. Even something simple like a nature-inspired mural with inspirational text can help employees relax.
If you have funds for refreshment, you can also look into getting an office barista or bringing in iced treats or snacks on occasion. Having a little refreshment in the office goes a long way towards reducing stress and increasing employee satisfaction.
Bring In Nature
If you have the funds for it, bringing in living plants into the office has been shown to greatly reduce stress levels. They can also help clean the air and make your office a more pleasant place to be. If you don’t have the funds to bring plants into the office, you can look into other ways of bringing nature into your office.
For example, you can bring in posters of nature scenes or photos of trees. You can also set up a fish tank in your office. This can help bring a more serene and calming vibe to your office.
The way we work has transformed significantly over the last decade, but many offices remain unchanged. Of course, it’s not just about aesthetics a lot of the changes that can be made to the physical space apply to a virtual environment.
A key factor to productivity is the ability to remain focused, but in an open-plan office environment, it can be difficult to ignore your co-workers’ conversations. Make an effort to create a digital space where you can truly focus and not be distracted by what’s going on around you.
First things first declutter. Start with your desk, removing paperwork and anything else that isn’t crucial to your day-to-day. Bringing in a fresh pair of eyes can also be helpful when decluttering.
Try to keep your desk free of distractions by keeping out only the essentials. Your computer screen should be clear as well. Having a cluttered screen makes it hard to focus on what really matters.
Make similar changes to your computer desktop as well as any other devices that are on your desk. A cluttered computer desktop can lead to distraction as well as a disorganized work environment.
Play Music That Will Get You Pumped Up For Work
Music is another way to keep distractions to a minimum while improving productivity. According to a study, listening to music while working can increase productivity by up to 10%.
It also found that listening to music can reduce stress and improve mood. Choosing the right music can help you get into a productive state of mind. If you’re looking for music to get you in a productive mood, try to avoid anything that’s too distracting or has lyrics that are too complex.
Making your workspace more conducive to peak performance doesn’t have to be a big task. Implementing small changes here and there can go a long way towards helping you and your employees feel less stressed and more productive throughout the day.
However, it’s important to note that it’s not just the design of your office that matters. You have to make sure that you have a healthy work environment too. Creating a workplace that promotes health and wellness will help employees feel less stressed and more productive.