An office needs to be that rarest of environments; comfortable enough to encourage productivity while also utilitarian enough to be a place of work. It’s really quite surprising how little focus so many businesses place upon constructing offices that enable these two points. Those who do choose to invest in good office space soon find themselves reaping the rewards. Studies suggest that employees can become up to a third more effective when working out of a well configured office; a startling figure that few companies can afford to ignore.
Even large open plan offices should allow for a degree of personal customisation. After all, who would like to turn up to work every day to face the same grey space? The advantages of allowing personnel to make adaptations to personalise their workspace have been known for many years – even making provisions for small features such as plants and pictures have been shown to have a constructive impact upon overall productivity. Try to make provisions for staff to have a say in the layout of their office and significant features such as colour schemes and seating arrangement – it can be rather surprising how passionate and involved employees can become.
Be well rounded
Those with many years of experience working in offices might have noticed a trend over recent years. Rather than office furniture such as chairs and desks being designed in strict straight lines, almost all contemporary furniture is now complete with rounded edges. Such office feng-shui has been proven to encourage individual thought due to such curves being psychologically associated with pleasure and reward. Rounded furniture allows for staff to have a more expansive view over their office and encourages professional collaboration. Even if it might sound like mumbo-jumbo, the fact is that it can’t hurt and sure makes an office a nicer, more welcoming environment.
Use colour, space & lighting wisely
Drab, monotone colour schemes imply a drab and monotone workplace. Be bright and use colour schemes that work well with imaginative lighting. Books have been written about which colour scheme works best for each department but whatever happens try to avoid plain dull colours. Red has been shown to encourage warmth and personality – ideal for sales teams, whereas purple has a mellowing influence that might benefit stressed out office managers!
There’s a world out there, why not let it in?
I’m sure that pretty much everyone will remember being scolded at some stage of their lives for gazing out the window ‘day-dreaming’. The truth is that windows are essential for providing a view and that office workers will even subconsciously take a second to gaze incredibly frequently. This ought to be encouraged, as too should plants and flowers be brought into the office to remind us all that flora and fauna is still out there. Nobody wants to feel like a desk-jockey – use nature to your advantage.
Mess = productivity?
Most office managers dream about walking into their workplace on a Friday morning to be met with structured employees studiously keeping their desks clear of clutter. Quite simply this is a mix-up in priorities that needs to be addressed. It’s easy to neglect or forget exactly what an office is meant for by making excessive demands on structured order – working in an office isn’t about structure and discipline, it really is a centre of collaboration and mutual support. How many times have you heard an employee with an apparently chaotic desk space complain that they can’t find an essential document because it’s been ‘tidied away somewhere’? Everyone works differently, and it’s essential to understand and appreciate this to make staff as effective as possible (untidy as it might appear).
In conclusion it’s wise to keep an open mind when designing and outfitting an office – and it’s an equally sound decision to consult with the experts. Cattaneo Commercial offer Office space in Surbiton with a great eye to facilitating good business practice.