Great Designs: Office Design Tips to Increase Staff Happiness
The term 'office design' means a great many things to a lot of people. To some, it's the idea of a vast, open-plan space that can fit as many desks and workstations in as possible. To others, it represents the chance to build something fresh, with a variety of spaces, furnishings, and elements that can not only help to create a vibrant, multi-purpose environment, but one that can help to define a brand and make its staff happy too!
In our latest Interiors blog, and part of our Great Designs series, we take a look at a number of simple office design tips that you can incorporate in order to boost staff happiness. Let's take a look...
Variable Workspaces: Formal & Informal Work Areas
An often overlooked element in office design is the use of space. Typically, employees are all but thrown into one primary pool, with only the elite of the team having the option of a private office space. That doesn't necessarily mean that everyone should automatically qualify for the corner office (a solution both impractical as well as impossible), but some employees peronality types and work styles aren't always best suited to an open-office layout.
So, how do you counteract this? Look to incorporate a variety of "different spaces: open and enclosed, multilevel offices, lounges, soft seating areas, conference rooms and break rooms" says Mark Bickford for Sodexo Insights. This will help you to create a multi-purpose work environment, and an office space in which everyone has a suitable place to work within their own comfort zones.
Tip: Office partitions can be a simple yet effective measure for the seperation and/or creation of new spaces, and break-out areas can be a particularly useful device to help promote social interaction amongst colleagues.
Flexible workspaces can promote staff happiness
Bonus: Check out our Blog >
Break-Out Areas in the Workplace: Law, Necessity or Business Strategy?
The Office Environment: Temperature & Colour
It may not come as much of a surprise, but one key issue that niggles the majority of workers is room temperature. Never you say! But of course, some employees like it hot, and some like it cold. It's a difficult task, but one that must be resolved in order to keep everyone at both ends of the spectrum happy! Business News Daily - Chad Brooks says, we should "Try to find a middle ground: While difficult, try to get your employees to agree on a temperature setting that is acceptable to everyone. To find out what that perfect setting is, tell them you'll set it at a certain temperature for a few days and tweak it as needed until a happy medium is found." Get the basics right, and the rest will follow.
The temperature of an environment can also be manipulated by introducing warmer colours. If your walls are pure white, or a dull and lifeless shade, then it may be time to introduce some colour to liven up the space. It's scientifically proven that warmer hues such as yellows, oranges and reds can increase positivity, bolster creativity and incite passion amongst employees, but you have to be careful, too much colour and it can go the other way!
Tip: Try our Office Colour Psychology guide for more information on how the various hues affect us, and how best to incorporate them into your office space. Remember, even one little old wall painted in a different shade can make the difference.
Bright colours can boost positivity levels
Bonus: Check out our bBog >
Office Colour Psychology: What Colour Scheme Does Your Office Need?
The Biophilia Benefit: Bring the Outside In
It's been mentioned across the web numerous times that we all need to reconnect to nature. We all spend so much of our time indoors, glued to our screens - big and small, but of course we have to, as it's a big part of our job right? This doesn't mean that we have to leave the outside where it is though. Oh no! We can quite easily (and intelligently) bring it back in!
By introducing potted plants and green walls, you not only give yourself a visual reconnection to the natural elements, you also bring in elements that help increase the quality of oxygen production, in turn reducing fatigue and giving you that much needed energy boost to plow through your workload. Ambius UK's Specialist Plant Doctor says that "Working in an office with plants can also improve air quality which can lead to better decision making. I think we all know from experience that bad decisions can lead to stress!"
Tip: Biophilia is the key to natural reconnection. Even a simple desk plant, perhaps a low maintenance cacti can make the difference, clearing the mind and reducing your stress levels in the process.
The biophilia benefit - natural elements reconnect us to where we once came
Bonus: Check out our Blog >
Workplace Well-Being: The Effects of Biophilia on Office Design
If you can create a multi-purpose, well-balanced and nature infused work environment that caters to all personality types, then you're on to a winner. It's a tough job to balance all of these different elements, but luckily you have us to help. Take a look through the rest of our blogs to gather more inspiration and top tips, and get in touch to if you want to make your staff a little happier via our FREE office space planning service.
We shall leave you with a final thought, and one that is oh so true... "A design isn't finished until somebody is using it." - Brenda Laurel, Office Image Ltd., and more importantly, is happy within it! Until next time.
Post by Adam Bissmire-Mullen