The 1960’s blueprint for row upon row of desks and poor lighting is over. When did you last have a great idea simply sitting at your desk from 9-5? The fact is, employees today need stimulation, interaction and diversion in order to create a more productive workspace.
The design of an office space has never been more important. Employees are expecting more and more from their employers and their workspaces. In order to retain your staff, and more importantly, motivate them, you need to have a long, hard look at their working environment. Here are a few areas to give you inspiration for a more efficient and productive working space:
1. Activity based working
Consider allowing employees to choose their working environment. Hot desks, standing/leaning work stations and meeting rooms without chairs are all great ways to get teams moving and interacting. Living room style work spaces can work well, consider cushions and bean bags rather than desks and chairs.
2. Room with a view
Research shows that having a view makes an employee’s workspace more productive. If a scenic view isn’t possible, consider bringing the outside in. Plants and greenery not only improve air quality, but have also been shown to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Why not allow employees to get involved in the process of choosing plants and where to put them.
3. Regulate temperature
The most common environmental complaint for workers is the temperature. Consider placement of vents, location of temperature controls and the ability for you or your employees to control the office temperature. Also the placement of windows is important when considering temperature change throughout the day.
4. The importance of natural light
If possible, every employee should have access to some natural light. Being able to gaze out the window while you’re at work fosters a sense of free and creative thinking, plus offers vitamin D which so many of us need. Eight hours spent under fluorescent lighting isn’t healthy for anyone. New lighting options include compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs that more closely mimic natural light, so investigate the different options available and the cost to implement. If possible, give employees the option to light their own workspaces or offices with indirect light, through lamps or other lighting fixtures. Indirect light is much softer and more soothing.
5. Add a little colour
It’s amazing what a little paint can do to create a productive workspace. Psychologists have spent decades analyzing the effects of different colours on people and their productivity, much of which has been validated over the years. Keep this in mind when considering what colour to paint the walls:
6. Inspire collaboration
Consider the materials used for your walls – chalkboards, whiteboards, touchscreens and glass are all a great way to encourage interaction and engagement amongst your employees, think of brainstorming on the spot!
An inspired space that your employees feel excited to work in will make them happier, healthier and ultimately more productive.