When it comes to talking about business growth, the usual topics of conversation centre around cash flow, company values, targets, technology and the quality of staff. However, one factor that often gets disregarded is how the office actually looks.
In a recent study, 25% of employees who took part said that the interior of their office was hindering their performance. Over half of those who took part also said that their performance would improve if their office was designed to fit their needs. Even potential employees look to office design before considering the job offer. And 33% of workers said that office design can significantly impact their decision on whether to accept a job offer or not. There is something you can do about it, though.
Give some thought to improving your office interior and the office furniture, accessories, storage, art and audio that can help brighten your working environment.
Introduce Collaborative Work Spaces
If you can manage it, give your employees more than one space to work from. The very best offices have a mixture of environments, spaces and zones which cater to different tasks. Putting yourself in a new space with a different look and feel literally shifts your brain and helps you stay focussed. That’s why many offices offer a variety of environments to work from; office desks, conference and boardroom tables, canteens, breakout areas, collaboration areas and even lounges.
Cecil Nurse suggests anchoring the office with a large, multi-functional conference table Frame Plus, Huntsman, Diagonal Street, Tao or Diamond, with smaller zones around the office for people to work away from the hustle and bustle of the desk. You can also introduce a variety of chairs for a bit more personality, including design classics such as the Egg Chair and the Classic Lounger & Footstool.
Amp-up the office break-out zones with soft furnishings or meeting pods such as Campus, Take-Five, Kensho Poufs a Cove Pod and Table.
Light Up Your Lives
A study published in “The Responsible Workplace” recently found that natural light exposure in workplaces led to happier workers, less absenteeism and increased productivity. So, if you boast the luxury of windows, embrace them. Paint your walls a natural colour and let the light reflect around the room. If not, there is still a plethora of lamps and lights out there that can create a warm and inspiring feel to your office space.
Use Music to Set the Tone
A study by researchers at Cornell University found playing upbeat music in a work environment increased co-operation between team members and improved decision-making. Meanwhile, Music works has conducted a fair bit of research into this contentious area and their results indicate that music delivers clear employee benefits including improved accuracy, a rise in productivity and making people feel more relaxed. Above all that, though, music makes the working environment a lot more enjoyable to be in – and it helps avoid the excruciating silence that a lot of employees have to work in.
Bring In A Little Art
High-quality signs have a profound impact on the first impressions of potential customers, employees, visitors and business partners. Yes, exterior branding and interior office signs are extremely important for establishing a strong brand image. But, in order to provide a touch of personalisation to an office, a sprinkling of contemporary art will help create a warm and inclusive atmosphere that generic posters or company incentives won’t achieve.
Consider Smart Storage
Create an active workspace; declutter desks, leave pads or paper in reach and keep stationary, accessories and filing neat, tidy and in order.
Bring A Little Of The Outdoors Inside
Not only will plants make your office a bit prettier and more pleasant to be around, but they’re especially good if you’re deprived of windows. Research in the USA found that plants not only make a room more oxygenated, but also improve worker concentration and productivity. Basically the results are massively in favour of offices that have large standing plants in communal spaces or, better still, those that have plants on their desks.
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