In today’s challenging business environment, business owners and management tend to spend a lot of time chasing the bottom line and consequently end up neglecting employee wellness and the impact that the physical work environment has on motivation. Although research has proved time and again that a well-planned and aesthetically pleasing office is essential for retaining the best staff, promoting creativity and enhancing productivity; employees still find themselves working in uninspiring and isolated conditions. Perhaps it’s time for a change? If you are considering an office design revamp, it may be well worth considering these 5 suggestions for getting the most from your business and personnel.
1. Consider Office Design
By including simple elements such as good light, fresh flowers, comfortable furniture and interesting wall art you can produce a homely environment and a relaxing office atmosphere. It is also important to create an efficient office layout as this tends to stimulate open-dialogue, imagination and creativity. Home-like office amenities such as coffee machines and water coolers further help invoke a feeling of comfort. You may also want to consider adding team spaces that mimic family culture in the form of a lounge and kitchen. These areas should be easy to access in order to encourage open interaction between team members and take usability best practice into account for convenience.
2. Create a Background Buzz
Most employees prefer to work in collaborative, fun and lively environments and the addition of background music, art and plants will bring this about. Research has shown that offices devoid of distractions like music can be very empty; even toxic and that employees who listen to music while working come up with better ideas and work faster than those who don’t. Art in the form of impressive photographs or paintings lower stress levels and inspire innovative ideas while plants do not only enhance the aesthetics of a space but also improves air quality and the mood of employees.
3. Allow for Personalisation
Each and every employee has their own unique taste and preferences and to make them feel appreciated it is good to allow them to decorate whatever space they have to reflect their individual identity. Personalisation gives employees a sense of ownership and helps them overcome the negative effects that the absence of privacy in the office might have on them. Provide adjustable desks, temperature control and a variety of lighting options as a starting point. Little novelty items like fun stationery and stickers on their desks can really brighten things up and improve employee motivation and commitment.
4. Get the Team to Make Decisions
Getting employees to participate in office design improves team cohesion and makes individuals feel like they are playing a meaningful role in the company and its purpose. Research has found that employees who have input into office design are often more confident and effective at work than those not given a voice. Employees spend a great amount of their time in the office and for this reason, their specific needs have to be met. Ask employees what they think about the current office space and which of its features work well or not. Let team members suggest the layout, colours and lighting for the new office space and allow each of them to provide a wish list of amenities to be included.
5. Downtime at the Office
Comfortable break-out areas with cushions, rugs, cosy couches and entertainment will enable employees to catch up and relax during much-needed breaks. Consider facilities like games or a gym for daytime use. Outside areas such as courtyards and roof terraces do not only provide a great space for a breather but is also a terrific alternative meeting place.
It is clear that modern office design should aim to remove all barriers to success by creating a highly engaging and fun atmosphere where employees can be more creative and productive. The business will, as a result, benefit from having inspired people who enjoy coming to a workplace that provides them with the best tools for doing their work. For more information on creating an inspiring office, give the Ukhuni design team a call today.