Creating an environment that encourages hard work but allows for fun and relaxation to happen is a balancing act. Companies who design their offices with their employees’ wellbeing at the forefront will have a staff that values their company, because you have placed value on them and their comfort at the office. The question is, how do you create that happy medium between maximizing your employee productivity and ensuring they don’t burnout? If your business lends itself to a collaborative, open office type of space, how can you ensure the noise levels aren’t detrimental to productivity? If your industry requires more privacy, with offices and smaller meeting rooms, how do you combat unfamiliarity and loneliness in the office? Taking these points into consideration when deciding on your office design will ensure your employees are more efficient, work harder, and are happier overall. We’ll look at three different ways your office design can contribute to that: furniture, space planning, and lighting and ventilation.
For The Love Of Furniture
Picking new furniture is a great way to improve your overall environment without re-designing your entire space. Ergonomics is often brought up when discussing office furniture and how important it is to employee wellbeing. Choosing sit/stand or treadmill desks to encourage movement and selecting ergonomically-sound task chairs is a great way to both update your furniture and give your employees a healthier option. Having modular furniture throughout your space can also help add to employee wellbeing, as being able to reconfigure their space will give employees a feeling of control over their environment.
All Spaced Out
Separating out areas within your office is crucial when doing the original space plan. Having designated spaces for privacy if you are going with an open-office concept, having collaboration spaces if you require mostly private office spaces, and providing spaces to destress for employees are key to employee productivity. It is also important to keep in mind the placement of these areas; put privacy spaces, like phone rooms or work pods, in quiet corners or off the main corridor; place collaboration spaces, like breakout rooms, in a central spot near most of the office for ease of access, making sure to soundproof them to avoid disrupting other workers. Finally, create little havens throughout the office to encourage small breaks throughout the day: a small putting green, a coffee station, a bean bag lounge, or a paper-crafting table is a great way to encourage a break or inspire creativity with your employees.
Lights & Vents
Natural light and fresh air are great for wellbeing along with productivity in the workplace; the dilemma arises, however, when your space doesn’t allow for large amounts of either without breaking your budget. Small ways to incorporate natural lighting include using glass walls to allow light to pass through offices or meeting rooms into the rest of the space, keeping offices in the middle of the space and open spaces on the exterior, and using film instead of blinds to help with glare. Proper ventilation will go a long way if fresh air isn’t an option for your space; investing in quality HVAC will keep your space well ventilated and save you money in the long run. Outside of natural light, selecting specific color temperatures in your fixtures will also help with employee productivity and comfort in the space. Use brighter, more white light for task lighting, and keep a warmer, softer feel in your breakout spaces. Fun, dynamic fixtures can also help to accentuate a space that isn’t able to have natural light.
Office design can be a daunting task to those who aren’t familiar with the industry. Our hope is that by sharing a few points to start with, you will have a much better understanding of our process when we work together to create a space for you that both encourages productivity and promotes comfortability for your employees.