When it comes to designing an office space, you want to create an atmosphere that fosters productivity and satisfaction. Employees need to feel good while they’re at work, as this will motivate them to get things done with enthusiastic glee. Making the office feel like home is a great way to achieve this. It’s a lot easier said than done. You need to make some clever design choices to influence how your employees think and feel. Below are some good examples that are worth checking out.
1. Brighten up the artwork
Just about every office you come across is going to have art on its walls. It’s not that management is particularly fond of the visual arts and wishes to share their tastes, but rather it’s all about making the office look a little bit nicer. Empty, white walls aren’t a very good look for any professional setting.
Much of the art that’s put on office walls won’t be all that special. You’ll probably see some flea market paintings and a couple of relevant photographs from professional gatherings in and around the office. Basically, whatever keeps the walls from being empty will suffice in making the cut. Why not switch things up a bit and create a livelier and more interesting atmosphere with some quirky artwork? Brighten things up, so to say.
Instead of having a bunch of small paintings or photographs across one of the office walls, try hanging a very large and colorful piece of art that takes up most of the wall. Something like a Jackson Pollock piece would look great in any contemporary office setting. You don’t even have to aim for actual copies of paintings, either. These tend to get expensive, even if they aren’t original. You can always print it out in a large format and hang it on the wall as if it were an original. Who’s going to tell the difference, anyway? Just get an attractive frame to go with it and you’re going to enjoy your new artsy piece.
2. Add some warmth to surfaces
Offices are often designed using sparse and generic details. Floors are left to be completely clear and without any patterns or add-ons that might improve their look. You’ll see a clean parquet floor that stretches from the entrance to the very last wall on the opposite side of the office. This leaves them feeling cold and uninteresting, even if the heating is cranked up. It might be time to add a little figurative and literal warmth into the office through some floor details.
While rugs might not seem like very important details in the office, they can serve as an integral part of the visual aspect of the workspace. Provide a cozy atmosphere for your employees and coworkers by adding the occasional rug. They’re attractive details that can really bring a room together.
When it comes to choosing the right kind of rug, there are some factors to consider. For one, the rug needs to be more durable than your average kind of rug. This is because there will be lots of foot traffic all throughout the office. It’s going to get dirty and shabby a lot quicker due to the influx of employees and clients. This is why a tougher rug would be the preferable choice.
Try to aim for some very colorful models. Rugs help bring extra flavor to the color scheme of a room. Have your rugs match the general aesthetic of your office, while also looking a bit more textured and richer. It’s going to make them worth looking at.
3. Allow for personalization
Not every design choice should be left to the whims of management. There are certain parts of the office that could use a little input from employees. for starters, their desks should be mostly up to them. This is where employees spend a great majority of their day working. You can expect them to be at their desk for around eight or nine hours every day.
If every single desk in the office looks pretty much the same, people are going to get tired of sitting at their own desk. It doesn’t help that they have to look at it for half the day, but a generic view makes it feel even worse. Adding a couple of personal touches might brighten up people’s days and inspire them to enjoy their job a little bit more.
Encourage employees to decorate their own desks with some personal details. Make sure to emphasize that they aren’t limited to the occasional photograph or small trinket. They should make the desk look as interesting and personalized as they please. If they want to add some gift shop trinkets or quirky artwork on their desks, why stop them? As long as it’s not interfering with anyone’s work, it’s pretty much fair game. Family photographs and children’s drawings are great motivators for parents. As long as it puts a smile on their face, it’s worth putting on their desk.
4. Keep snacks on hand
Working all day can really work up an appetite. Sometimes, lunch feels like it’s a little bit too far away. While you can expect a lot of people to have their breakfast before they come into the office, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people just aren’t early birds and they don’t get the worm first thing in the morning. Being hungry while working isn’t good for productivity, so why not encourage some light snacking during work hours?
If your office allows for it, you can have a snack bar in the lounge, where employees can go and grab a quick bite. Anything from sandwiches to pizza could be available, as long as you have someone to make them. You don’t need a professional chef to run a snack bar in the workplace, either.
It might be a bit of an excessive solution, so why not get a vending machine instead? Vending machines are very popular around offices and they provide employees with some light and tasty snacks. Whatever provides them with a small calorie boost is going to do the trick. If possible, aim to stock your snack bar and vending machines with some healthier options.
5. Install appropriate lighting
Light is one of those things management treats as an afterthought. However, it’s one of the most important elements in any workspace. Lighting helps provide visibility and this allows employees to focus on their work.
You might think that lighting doesn’t really matter all that much when employees constantly work on desktop computers. After all, the monitor provides the necessary light, right? If you’ve ever stared at a computer screen at night, you’ll know that it strains eyesight. In much the same way, having inadequate lighting in the office can also strain employees’ eyes.
The lighting needs to be evenly spread throughout the office. You can’t have parts that have minimal visibility and parts that have normal visibility. Everything should be evenly lit. The kind of lighting you use is just as important as keeping it evenly spread out. Fluorescent lights have long been a popular choice in office environments, but as any employee will tell you, they aren’t very pleasant to look at. They provide questionable visibility, which is why they might not be the optimal lighting choice.
LED lights are currently considered the gold standard of lighting options. They provide ample visibility while also being pretty easy on the eyes. A set of LED lightbulbs might cost you a lot, but there are some additional benefits that come from using them. They use a lot less energy than other types of lightbulbs, meaning your power bills will go down after installing them.
6. Make resting easier
Employees are often expected to keep up the same quality of work for around eight hours straight. As any employee will tell you, this simply isn’t feasible. After a few hours, the mind tends to wander off and focus drops. Working without rest will only produce results up to a point, at least until you hit diminishing returns. This is why it’s crucial that employees get the rest that they need to regain their focus.
Employees should be utilizing their lunch breaks to the fullest extent. For most of them, this means having a nice meal in a quiet place, away from work. Some will head out to the closest park or enjoy a nice cup of tea in a close-by café. However, they might not have to leave the office to get their tranquil rest. You could help by making the office lounge an even more relaxing place to spend time. Add a couple of comfortable chairs and sofas to the room to make it more appealing to employees.
Install some speakers and put on a bit of relaxing music to create a comfortable atmosphere. If employees can relax and catch their breath in the lounge, they’ll be able to get some quality rest during their break. This will allow them to collect their thoughts and keep their focus. After a refreshing break, they’ll be able to get back to work with more motivation and energy than before.
7. Get coffee on the table
Coffee is arguably the most popular drink in the world. People all across the globe get to enjoy the slight stimulating effect of this delicious roasted bean every morning. It’s the drink of choice for getting ready for work. It’s likely that just about all of your employees enjoy a good cup o’ Joe every morning before they get started with their work.
Providing them with some good coffee would be a step in the right direction. You’ll find automatic office coffee machines in most workplaces because they allow employees to make a batch of coffee without much delay. Nobody wants to spend time waiting for water to boil to cook their own coffee. It’s a waste of time, especially when you have work to do. Getting coffee straight from the machine is a lot more convenient and it saves time. Plus, employees won’t have to wait in lines to start making their coffee.
The kind of coffee you get also matters. Most coffee machines will have different settings for different types of coffee. As long as you provide it with the necessary ingredients and refill it from time to time, it will make the exact kind of coffee that an employee prefers.
8. Add a touch of green
You would be hard-pressed to find an office that doesn’t have a plant or two. You can find leafy plants like ferns strewn throughout corporate environments left and right. They might look nice, but that’s not even the primary reason why plants are introduced to office spaces.
Plants provide a very relaxing sight for employees and managers alike. Studies have shown that having plants present in your workspace can dramatically increase productivity. How does this work, exactly? Nobody is sure about the exact mechanism behind the phenomenon, but plants do have a relaxing effect on everyone around them. They’ve been shown to relieve tension and feelings of anxiety. This is something that obviously positively influences employees in office environments. Introducing a couple of leafy green plants to your office would be very beneficial for everyone involved.
Let’s not forget about the cleansing effect that plants have. They are basically living filters for the air around us. An office that closes its windows throughout the winter will feel a lot less stuffy when there are some plants in the building. Not to mention, plants can be pretty attractive additions to the décor. They have interesting shapes and colors which go well with just about any design.
There are many decorative and practical elements that your office can benefit from. Anything that influences how employees feel will have a positive effect on the whole office. As long as you put in the necessary effort to research new ways to increase comfort in the workspace, you’re going to see some good results come of it.