A crucial part of ensuring your employees are productive, and your staff retention rate is as high as possible, is to create a comfortable work environment. If workers can enjoy their time in the office, they’re less likely to experience stress or burnout.
If this is your first time designing an office space, and you’re wondering how you can optimize it to meet employee needs, you’re in the right place. Here are some office design ideas that will help you create a suitable working environment for yourself and your staff members.
Leave Fixed Workstations in the Past
If you’ve ever seen a workspace with cubicles and assigned desks, you’ve likely been to an office that uses fixed workstations. The first step to making your office more comfortable is to switch to an open plan design instead, with designated spaces for specialty activities like video calls.
Fixed workstations make employees feel isolated from the people around them, while an open space design encourages collaboration.
Additionally, in many cases, cubicle workstations lead to boredom and monotony. Though the idea is to avoid distractions, it can actually result in employees developing a poor attention span.
With an open-plan space, the staff is encouraged to work with their colleagues when needed. Furthermore, you can also include a space for relaxation, where workers can stretch their legs and recharge while on a break.
At the same time, ensuring you have some private areas is essential. Remember, not all employees work the same way, and some may prefer the privacy of cubicles, either permanently or when working on labor-intensive projects. Additionally, privacy is necessary for employees engaged in activities that can disrupt others, such as video calls or projects that require a lot of space.
While open-plan workspaces are great for collaboration, one of their biggest drawbacks is that they can lead to an increasingly noisy workspace. As mentioned above, this is particularly a problem for projects that require a lot of focus, during calls or during meetings with only a few team members.
Though private spaces can help with this issue, they aren’t always effective at completely blocking out outside noise. With the help of noise reducing room dividers and other noise-dampening partitions, you can avoid disruptions without isolating your staff members from one another. Installing a noise-reducing solution allows you to have private, quiet spaces that are perfect for those who need peace and quiet to focus or to have private conversations .
Canceling out the noise going in and out of different sections in your workspace makes it easier to talk about confidential projects in the office. You don’t have to worry that the people outside the space will be able to overhear your discussions, just as you won’t be interrupted by the sound of their movements.
Design the Space to Boost Your Mood
Add elements to your workplace design that are meant to boost your employees’ moods. For example, effective use of color can contribute to employee happiness and increase worker productivity. Hanging artwork on the walls can also help make a space feel more vibrant.
Other ways to create a mood-boosting space design include bringing the outside inside by adding plants and other natural elements to the space and allowing your staff to personalize their workspaces. You can also offer employees perfumed candles or essential oil diffusers, as their preferred scents will create a more pleasant atmosphere for them to be in.
Additionally, as mentioned above, you can consider creating a space where employees can relax and recharge during their breaks. This space can include comfortable furniture, such as beanbags and couches. You should also consider including more comfortable office furniture for staff as well, including adjustable desks and single sofa chairs.
Even something as simple as providing brightly colored markers for the whiteboard (versus the traditional black and blue) can enhance people’s moods.
Ensure a Comfortable Temperature
One thing that a number of people forget when designing a comfortable workspace is the temperature. After all, if a space is too hot or too cold, the discomfort will affect employees’ productivity, no matter how well-designed the rest of the area is.
The perfect temperature for your office will depend on a number of factors, including where you are located and general employee preference. Consider holding an internal vote or discussion to find out what temperature your staff prefers, and adjust the thermostat to the average number.
Creating a comfortable work environment boosts overall productivity and positivity in a company and helps make your business a sought-after place of work. The right atmosphere is known to help reduce staff turnover and increase output, all of which results in real financial benefits beyond the wellness benefits that you and your employees will see in your work lives.