Guest blog by Regina Del Rosario. Regina is from Arch Offices. With a solid background in conducting interviews with multiple candidates to identify the one with the most potential. Hired over 100 applicants for positions in dozens of industries and campaigns, at levels ranging from interns to upper-level management.
The environment your employees work in plays a big part in defining their daily productivity. If your office is filled with uncomfortable furniture, has poor lighting, or doesn’t have enough spaces for movement, it won’t only affect their ability to focus, but it will also take a toll on their emotional well-being.
As business owners, one of your biggest responsibilities is to provide a workspace that will allow your staff to be the best versions of themselves. Luckily, improving their productivity and maintaining their well-being can be done easily done through the power of design. If you’re planning to make adjustments in your office soon, here are some tweaks you can make to ensure maximum comfort and efficiency.
1. Experiment with Different Layouts
When choosing the layout of your office, you should keep in mind that the spaces you choose would shape employee behavior and, eventually, your company culture. Before you start making decisions on who goes where, you’ll need to consider several factors, such as working styles, nature of tasks, and communication requirements.
The needs of each department should guide you in the process of creating a practical layout. If your employees always need to stay in touch with each other, shared tables, open spaces, and close seating arrangements will encourage collaboration. Meanwhile, you can still help your employees focus on individual tasks by adding cubicles or quiet rooms.
2. Install Community and Team Boards
Community boards are a great way to ensure that everyone’s informed with any announcement. Whether it’s a client win, a birthday celebrant, or a company update, it’s a convenient way to get your message across without repeating yourself over and over again.
If you don’t have anything important to discuss, you can still put your board to good use by adding inspirational quotes or images. In addition, don’t be afraid to get creative! What you post on your board may give your employees an energy boost.
3. Go for Ergonomic
If your employees are required to be in the office for 45 hours a week, keep in mind that they’ll be sitting on a desk for most of the time. When shopping for furniture, you need to make sure that the pieces you’re investing in are ergonomic.
Tables must be at the right height, and chairs should be easily adjustable. These features can make all the difference in their comfort and can significantly reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, ligaments, and nerves) problems in the future.
4. Make People Move
Staying fit in the workplace can be a tough challenge for many. The time and energy of your employees are limited, so they may not be able to follow a consistent exercise routine in their weekly schedules.
To make matters worse, they spend most of their time in the office just glued to their desks. Other than taking a toll on them mentally, this can also pave the way for posture problems and different kinds of health issues.
Healthy employees are one of your biggest assets. Conducting wellness programs from time to time may help, but creating opportunities for movement will always be a more sustainable option. Placing the water dispenser, fridge, and copying machine on different sides of the room are some ways you can encourage them to get off their desks.
5. Add a Touch of Home
Make your office a place your employees can confide in. Whether it’s pictures of their families, collectible figurines, or paintings, you should encourage your employees to add a personal touch to their desks. It doesn’t only make their spaces more appealing; it also provides emotional comfort by giving it a homey feel.
6. Designate Areas for Rest
One of the easiest ways you can promote productivity is to delegate areas for rest. Hectic deadlines, demanding clients, and the unpredictable stress of daily office life can get the best of your employees. Most of the time, all they need to get back on track is to unwind for a few minutes.
Having spaces for rest is just as crucial as having spaces for collaboration. Whether it’s midday blues or other personal matters, an area where they can enjoy casual conversations and vent their feelings to a colleague can help them get through the tough bouts of work.
7. Let Light In
Lighting is arguably the most important element in office design, but it’s also the most overlooked. Dim office spaces can be very harmful to your employees as it makes them prone to eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue.
Poorly lit areas can also affect them emotionally since darkness tends to bring a lazy or gloomy mood. If windows are limited and natural light can’t cover the whole space, buying full-spectrum lightbulbs should be enough.
8. Stick to a Particular Color Scheme
People unconsciously associate colors with certain moods, feelings, and emotions. They may feel calm if an area is in a shade of blue, or they may feel energetic when a room is painted yellow. Color can affect moods and emotions, so it’s essential to have a good grasp of it to inspire positive behaviors.
Paired with the right lighting, your office space will definitely have a much brighter vibe with the right colors. If you aren’t sure about what you should stick to, you should find the time to do some research on color psychology. In case you want a safe option, you can opt for palettes that are in line with your company’s branding.
9. Prioritize Air Quality
Being indoors doesn’t automatically mean that you’re free from the dangers of pollution. The cleaning materials you use for your bathroom or kitchen contain different kinds of chemicals that may be harmful when inhaled. Installing air conditioning units with filters can reduce indoor pollution, but you can enhance the air quality in other ways, as well.
Aside from making sure that your office space is well ventilated, you should also invest in indoor plants. It can absorb toxins and pollutants and is known for the ability to boost the mood and concentration of people. If you aren’t a green thumb or if plant maintenance is a bit difficult for you, a humidifier is a good and accessible alternative.
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