Posted 29.01.2020

Seven Features of a Great Office

Did you know a well-designed office can increase employee productivity by over 25%? A well designed environment helps a person focus, collaborate + execute tasks at a higher level than those working in poorly designed surroundings.

Read on to discover our top seven design aspects to consider in your new office fit-out:

1. Different Environments

Different environments lend themselves to different tasks, fact. People need to be able to move within their workplace to find spaces that lend themselves to their current workload – whether that’s collaborative spaces for teamwork, or quiet spaces for focused, solo tasks.

Does your office reflect that of a modern space, and could a change boost morale as well as productivity? There are a number of spaces that could be adapted through great design to give employees what they need to complete their day-to-day workloads as efficiently + happily as possible.

2. Lighting

A Gloomy dark workplace didn’t help anyone, ever!

Lighting is one of the most important factors for modern day workers and not getting it right can be damaging to your business. Lighting can affect a persons ability to complete a task, improve well being and affect our abilities to think creatively – it’s also heavily linked to mood, morale, fatigue + even depression.

Natural light is so important when it comes to illuminating your space and is proven to improve employee well-being + reduce stress, however it’s just as critical to get the artificial lighting right in the areas natural light just doesn’t reach.

3. Places for People

Let’s be clear, people like being with people, and the best ideas, creativity + stories come from when people collaborate to get the best from one another.

Is your office set up to let people connect + collaborate? There are three types of space that balance cellular and collaborative working that you should consider in your office design:

  • The Collision: These are strategically located communal spaces where people can get food, drinks + socialize when they run into one another. These types of spaces help people navigate their day by allowing them to relax, recharge + connect when convenient to their schedule. These creative gathering places should also create an experience that is distinct from the rest of the workplace.
  • The Huddle. Although collision spaces are typically the largest drivers of collaboration culture, they rarely provide the distraction-free focus space critical for thinking through problems and innovating,. Small huddle spaces with a mix of screens, whiteboards and flexible seating options not only support small-group brainstorming sessions but also easily adapt to solo “me time” types of work.
  • The Flexible. Mixed-use,​ ​mixed-scale,​ ​and mixed-personality​ ​rooms​ ​and ​furniture​ ​clusters allow users to approach their work creatively. ​Spaces​ ​with their own personality, such​ ​as workshop-like​ “maker” spaces or home-style living ​rooms,​ ​inspire​ ​non-traditional​ ​modes​ ​of meeting,​ ​sharing,​ ​breaking​ ​+​ ​testing. ​​​These​ ​flexible spaces​ ​also​ ​empower​ ​users​ ​to​ ​modify​ ​the​ ​space​ ​to meet​ ​their​ ​immediate​ ​needs.

 4. Colour Palettes

Surprisingly or not, the colour palette in your office environment could be affecting your employee’s productivity.

Therefore, thought should go into the colours you select for your offices. But what exactly does that mean?

Most people associate bright colours with energy, but it may not represent the right energy. For instance, it’s proven red increases the speed + intensity of emotions. Red makes us feel as if everything is urgent, which leads to anxiety + worry – not ideal for a productive office environment. But it does work well for sales, which is why retail outlets use the colour red in their sale + clearance signs. People see the signage and think, “I must have this now!”

Intense hues like gem-coloured greens + blues are great for energy but that’s not helpful if you work in an office where there’s a lot of thinking involved. For example, emerald green could help you lose focus.

It’s important to remember though it’s not just the colour that affects your mood + behaviour, but the intensity (saturation) of the colour that affects you as well.

5. Temperature

Although maybe a surprising inclusion in the list, room temperature is so important to get right. It’s true that with the right temperatures in your working spaces, your workers could become happier + more productive. Still, this leaves open the question: precisely what is the right temperature for your office?

The ideal temperature depends on many factors including the building, the people and the tasks completed by your business. It might be as simple as coming to a happy medium or providing people with sweaters or blankets.

6. Storage

The introduction of space saving initiatives and the move towards agile + flexible working has created new issues in how we store work materials. Cluttered offices and poor storage facilities create obstacles to employee performance levels, directly impacting your business by slowing productivity + increasing the margins of error. Further to this it can impact employee wellbeing by leading to higher levels of stress, while also weighing negatively on the company image. When planning an office fit-out it’s important to consider how you select your storage furniture + how it is incorporated into the design of your office space.

7. Biophilia

Biophilia refers to the fact that as human beings, we have an instinctive bond with nature + our natural surroundings. Biophilic Design takes this bond and works to apply it to spaces where we live, shop, relax + work.

Here are ways you can start to introduce natural design into your workplace:

  • Access to natural light and views of the outside matters: Reseach shows that natural light and views of the outdoors have a major impact on employee wellbeing, productivity and energy levels.
  • Utilise available outside areas: If your company is fortunate enough to have an outdoor space (roof, balconies, garden etc..) use it properly. Add some comfortable seating and tables so staff can work outdoors when the weather permits as this access to natural light + fresh air has numerous benefits including increased productivity, creativity and wellbeing..
  • Incorporate natural features like wood and stone: Including these natural features + textures can help to mimic the outdoors and really does follow the ‘bringing the outdoors indoors’ mantra.
  • Include plantlife in the workplace: Perhaps one of the simplest and most obvious solutions, but including plantlife in the workplace can increase oxygen levels and subsequently improve concentration levels
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