For us 9 to 5-ers, a dingy, unappealing office area can soon become our least favourite place, and those dying plants, mundane blue carpet tiles and regimented cubicle desks don’t exactly scream productive workforce. Believe it or not, the area you work in, where you sit and how you sit can all affect productivity, creativity and overall happiness of staff, so that innovative office design you’ve been putting off for ages may be more important than you think…
Keep your options option
Employees love choice, and whether it’s what to eat in the canteen or where they want to sit and finish that report, you need to give them at least some choice and flexibility. Agile working spaces are becoming increasingly common – they provide a more informal and friendly feel spurring communication and creativity within your workforce, as well as saving space. By allowing employees to choose freely where they sit at lunch, at work, in meetings, or whatever they’re doing, you are giving them the freewill to unleash their creative mind. Of course, some people may well want their own desk filled with picture frames of their cat… and that’s fine too. Keep your options open and let them decide.
Different businesses expect different things from employees, so it’s important your layout is apt for your workforce. For formal and ordered tones, use furniture with squares and rectangles, with ceramic and brick textures. For a more creative feel implement patterned upholstery, wall coverings, drapes and wood; these promote intuition and flexibility. If you fancy a chilled out and relaxed feel, integrate water, glass, crystals and mirrors. Whatever your layout, always aim for consistency above anything else. Consistency looks professional, and if your working environment is professional, your workforce will feel professional too.
Office design isn’t just about the layout and the overall ambience of the office can be totally ruined by a poor colour scheme. Orange and green (although perhaps not together!) are a great choice for productive working spaces. Orange supposedly promotes creativity, happiness, enthusiasm and communication (perfect for a working environment) whilst green spaces promote harmony, growth, safety and peace. Stick to a theme and, again, aim for consistency throughout office spaces – mismatched colours and furniture can be off-putting and distracting, remember, you want your employees to be proud to work in such a lovely environment…
It’s not just where you sit, it’s how you sit too…
Having the perfect office design doesn’t just stop at the surroundings however; it’s a good idea to promote good posture to employees in order to reach maximum productivity. Straight or ‘good’ posture promotes positive thinking, and can even help us to recall more positive memories. Even those with the best posture can’t sit down all day however – encourage staff to take short breaks from the desk, especially if only for lunch, so they can return revitalised and ready to go!
This Guest Post is written by Adam Young at Ashley Charles lettings and estate agents in Reading. Specialising in residential sales and lettings. You can see their range of services here