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9 Features to Consider in an Office Design

It’s easy to underestimate how important design can be to the modern office. While various studies and statistics suggest that the physical environment of an employee is even the leading factor in determining their ability to focus, almost half of the interviewed employers have scotched the wisdom of investing in workplace design, reports Lifehack.

However, were you to effectively redesign your office, you could be rewarded with a productivity boost of about 20% in your workers. You might find that just a few tweaks to that office could suffice for bringing productivity gains, given how useful the following key features can be in an office.

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1. Good lighting

While lighting is among the major factors in preserving focus and sparking creative inspiration in workers, it tends to attract scarce attention and investment compared to other office features.

If you leave your working environment’s illumination gloomy, you could inadvertently irritate your workers and lumber them with fatigue, eyestrain, headaches or even depression.

If you are concerned about the adverse effect that brighter lighting could have on your workplace’s energy bills, consider relocating as many of your workers’ workstations as possible closer to windows through which natural light can shine abundantly.

2. Chair and table

Have you ever settled down at a desk, only to find your efforts at focusing hamstrung by your urges to adjust, stretch or move? It could be because your chair and desk were originally placed rather nonchalantly, and in a way hazardous to easy concentration.

Fortunately, though, your workers can correct that. They should make sure that their eyes aren’t further than 24 to 36 inches away from the computer display. Meanwhile, the top of each worker’s computer monitor ought to be at eye-level or below.

Invest in adjustable office chairs for your employees, allowing them to slightly recline their chair posture, as this could help them to relieve pressure on their spine and pain in their lower back.

3. Room Colour

Surprisingly or not, the colours you have chosen for your office environment – or, perhaps, just inherited with it – could be hindering your workers’ productivity, too.

Therefore, you should be selective with your colour choices. The colour blue, for example, is reportedly capable of improving productivity – though, all the same, you should probably resist the urge to basically bathe all of your company’s working spaces in blue! After all, it could rather overwhelm your employees and so prove an example of “too much of a good thing”.

4. Room Scents

You could consider this, too, a surprise inclusion in the list – but it’s true that, with the right smells lingering around your working spaces, your workers could become happier and so more productive. Still, this leaves open the question: exactly what scents should you choose?

This would depend on the effects you want to bring. Any citrus smell can help wake up employees who arrive still feeling sleepy, while lavender is stress-relieving and pine can make workers more alert. Candles, incense, and essential oils can be good sources of room scents.

5. Noise Level

Overly noisy office space can distract people from their work as well as increase their stress levels, threatening their ability to stay productive. Right now, your workers might use noise cancellation headphones to address this problem, but could there be a more permanent remedy?

You could set aside quiet workspaces for when staying focused is especially crucial. You could also have acoustic screens fitted around a meeting room or communal area – while, in typically bare areas like corridors, adding carpeting could help to cushion sound, an Inc. article advises.

6. Different spaces

Allowing your employees to move from one working space to another as they see fit could benefit their focus through enabling them to quite literally move their brain. Your recruits could easily appreciate the change of scenery, so encourage them to keep changing locations.

Within a single office, the various rooms that could be repurposed as working spaces include a kitchen, eating area, break out room, conference room and possibly even a lounge area. You could even decorate each office region in its own aesthetic theme to further maintain workers’ interest.

7. Storage

Another appealing quality to encourage in workers is creativity – but, unfortunately, this might not bode well for the tidiness of office buildings.

Think about it: whether an employee has a chalk wall, a whiteboard or pads of paper at close hand, they could be motivated to write down an idea as soon as they think of it. Then, the ideas could come thick and fast until… well, the worker forgets exactly where they listed each one.

You could prevent this kind of thing from happening by encouraging the employee to refer back to their notes come to the end of each workday or simply when time is free. The worker can then decide which ideas to discard and which to keep near on or their workstation for later.

8. The natural touch

However sophisticated office technology may become, you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that humans are ultimately biological creatures. Therefore, curbing your employees’ access to the outside world could hamper their psychological and physiological functioning.

We have already mentioned the wisdom of shifting workstations closer to windows, an arrangement that would allow workers to readily enjoy the sight of rural beauty. However, you could bring such beauty even closer by decorating desks with live plants… if you will remember to look after them.

9. Personal and Quirky Elements

While many of the tips we have provided in this article can work well for preventing aesthetic blandness setting into your space, they might not always seem particularly… well, “you”.

Ultimately, your workplace can act as an effective advertisement for clients who drop by. With this in mind, you could set up a feature wall adorned with your brand’s logo and colours – and, if your company would suit it, opt for such quirky touches as vintage or kitschy accessories, an Inc. article advises.

Now, all of this could initially, to you, seem very great in theory… but, in practice, prove difficult to enact. After all, you could fret that, by allowing yourself to run a little too wild with your workplace’s design, you could undermine parts of it that have worked well for your employees’ productivity.

However, whatever your struggles with interior office design, you could task us with helping you to solve them. Our workplace design experts could clue you in on various office design trends and help you to discern which of them, if any, would be ideal for your particular workplace. Please call us on 020 3944 5906 for more details on this point.