One of the biggest mistakes a lot of business owners make is to not consider the design of their office or workspace. Why is this such a big mistake? Well, for starters, your office space is likely to be a big part in the forming of first impressions by visiting customers and clients, but perhaps more importantly, it can have a direct impact on how efficiently your employees work through the day.
On average, employees who work full-time will spend 1800 hours in the office annually. If it isn’t a nice place to bel; if it is designed inefficiently; if it doesn’t meet their need effectively, a lot of those hours will be wasted and many more will be used far less productively than they possibly could be.
Okay, so how do you improve the productivity of your office? here are a few design ideas to bear in mind:
Find out your employees’ needs
When it comes to the interior of the building, before you do anything else, you need to take the time to work out how the space is used by your employees and what changes would help them to work more productively each day. For example, if your employees do a lot of collaborating throughout the working week, an office filled with immovable cubicles is hardly going to help them reach peak efficiency, whereas an open plan space would certainly make their lives easier. So, set up some cameras or get down on the office floor for a week or two and observe all the comings and goings. Once you have done this, you will have a good idea of what’s needed in the space, but it may be a good idea to ask your employees their views before you go ahead and start making changes.
Let in natural light
Natural lighting is so important for any office space. It is known to boost the happiness levels of employees, not to mention their levels of productivity throughout the day. So, if it is at all possible for you to do so, make sure that your office space has lots of big windows. You should also aim to place desks, cubicles, and other workspaces as close to these windows as possible.
Don’t have much natural light? This isn’t necessarily a problem, There are lots of great office lighting solutions that mimic natural light, and which are less likely to give your employees headaches than those awful fluorescent lights that seem to be so ubiquitous in modern office spaces.
Perfect your paint choices
It may surprise you to know that the color of your office space can have a significant impact on the mood and motivation of your employees, but numerous studies have shown that to be the case. It seems that natural shades such as forest green and sky blue can increase focus and efficiency, while warmer shades like yellow and orange are good for boosting creativity and innovation.
Due to this, it makes sense to choose the color scheme of each part of your office carefully, For example, you may want to paint the space of employees who need to get through a greater volume of work blue to encourage efficiency, whereas the room where your creative workers are located would be better painted yellow if you want them to come up with their best ideas.
Focus on the facade
A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking that the exterior of the building isn’t important to the productivity of the employees, and sure it may not be the most important, but it does still matter. After all, people want to work in a nice place. They don’t want to drive up to a rundown, dingy building each morning – that can be pretty demoralizing. Of course, a poor exterior can also make for a bad impression of your business, so it is very important that you spend some time on the exterior design.
Rain sheet cladding and metal panels are a good way of doing this, but just make sure you learn ways to improve cell signal in metal & concrete buildings if you go down this route as a poor cell signal in the office is hardly going to boost productivity! As well as revamping the building itself, take time to have the windows regularly cleaned and place a few plant and flower pots around the entrance for a pleasant start to the morning.
Powered by plants
Plants are not just attractive to look at – they offer a connection with nature, and since nature has been shown to reduce stress and boost productivity, it makes sense to have a lot of them in your office space. If you fill your space with plants, not only will they help with efficiency, but they will also help to clean the air and muffle sounds, which can also have a positive impact on your employees. Just remember to choose low-maintenance plants or you could end up needing to replace them very often which would not be a very efficient use of your annual budget!
Create a gallery
Okay, so you may not have the business budget to buy a huge number of artworks, but if you’re serious about improving the efficiency of your employees, you should splurge on a few nice pieces of art. Why? Because having art in the workplace has been shown to boost both productivity and creativity. Art lifts the spirits and makes the workplace seem like less of a drudge, which can improve happiness and contentment levels in employees, which, in turn, can help to increase efficiency.
Top tip: local artists are often an excellent source of affordable art that resonates with employees, so be sure to check them out first, Corporate art suppliers may be slightly more convenient to use, but often, their art is not quite as inspiring which can somewhat reduce its effect.
Cramped, crowded office spaces are rarely the most productive. It’s really hard to focus on the task at hand and do your best work when Dave at the next cubicle is coughing his germs all over you or you can hear Anne three seats down having a heated discussion with a supplier. That’s why you’re going to want to maximize the amount of space you are able to give to each employee. This may be difficult if you only have a small office space to work with, but even simple things like rearranging the location of your office furniture can make a huge difference, so play around and see what’s possible.
When it comes to office design, food provisions are often an afterthought, but if you want to see your employees’ productivity soar, you really do need to start thinking about food facilities at the design stage, Instead of squeezing in a few unhealthy vending machines, try to clear a space for a healthy fruit and water cart that is easily accessible, very visible, and which will encourage your employees to eat a little better, at least when they are at work. After all, a healthy employee is a more productive employee.
Any good office design should include ergonomically designed furniture for the simple fact that it is more comfortable, more supportive, and less likely to cause aches, pains, and other injuries to employees. I mean, if employees spend a large amount of the day feeling uncomfortable, they are hardly going to do their best work or get as much done as they would be able to otherwise, are they?
A lot of businesses have a policy of no personal stuff in the office. It’s easy to see why this is the case because it could lead to employees bringing in appropriate items to keep on their desks, but it could also be a big mistake. You see, when employees are allowed to put up photos of their family or place a cute little mascot on their desks, it boosts their morale, lowers their stress levels, and makes them feel more comfortable in the office. All of these things have a positive knock-on effect on productivity. Just make sure that you set up a few ground rules so that no one brings in any tasteless or offensive trinkets and you should be good to go.
Designing your office space for improved productivity is a process, and you may have to invest no small amount of time and money into it, but at the end of the day, it is something that is well worth doing. After all, the more productive your employees are, the more money your business can make, and the better able you will be to compete with other businesses in your niche. You don’t even have to do it all at once – start by making the simplest, most affordable changes like adding in a few plants or allowing employees to bring in personal items, then build on things from there. Pretty soon you’ll have the perfect office design for productivity!