The goal of running a successful business is to make a profit and excel in your field, and to do this you will need your employees to work hard for you.
To facilitate this, you must have an office environment that is as conducive to work as possible. But what actually makes a good work environment? Read on to find out.
We have all heard the stories from friends and acquaintances about people that have got stuck in a broom cupboard, or a windowless office with no natural light at work.
But this is a really poor show in terms of a work environment, as we all need natural light to function at our best.
In fact, studies have shown light is linked with up to a 40% increase in productivity in the workplace, as well as 6.5% decrease in absence. That is why ensuring that enough natural light comes into the office should be on the top of your priorities list.
This is, of course, easy if you can choose the building that you will be renting. As you can just pick a modern property with floor to ceiling windows like the one in the picture, as long as your budget allows.
However, when you already have an office that doesn’t let in as much natural light as you would like, what can you do?
Well, one way of dealing with this is to get skylights installed. These can be less expensive than changing around the layout of the building in other ways in an attempt to get more light in.
You may also wish to consider devices known as Solar Spots or Sun Tubes. These allow natural light to penetrate into a room or office, even through a dense barrier such as a roof or a wall.
Talking of space, this is another factor to consider when aiming for the best environment for your workers to be in. Having everyone all crammed up together in one area isn’t a great idea, as it increases noise. Something that can make it hard to concentrate for some people.
The office furniture you choose can have a huge effect on the feel of a space, and how suitable it is for work. It definitely needs to be practical and fit for purpose, but that doesn’t mean that can’t be aesthetically pleasing as well.
In fact, the right furniture can help to create the perfect atmosphere for your employees and the correct impression when clients come to visit you.
So it’s important that the items you choose are not only designed to be comfortable and ergonomic, but that they look smart and professional as well.
Colour in office decoration can be something that is a little controversial. Some folks think that everything should be as neutral as possible in a business environment. While others use the odd pop of bright, primary colour to add a little fun and interest to their surroundings.
In case you do decide to include colour in your office design, remember to keep to the following rule. Bright colours matching the company logo can work really well to create a more updated look around the office.
But always balance them with a lot of clean white on the majority of the walls and surfaces. Otherwise, you may have an environment that is too overwhelming to concentrate in.
The cleanliness of the office space is also something that is vital to making it a conducive place to work in. To assist with this, ensure that the layout and the design of the office aren’t too complicated. As that means it’s easier for the cleaners to get into every nook and cranny.
Also, remember that cleanliness isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. You have an obligation to your employees in providing a safe environment for them to work in.
Remember too that workplaces can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Something it’s best you protect your employees from wherever possible, as exposure to them can increase work absence, and cause project delays.
To open plan or not to open plan? That is the question that has plagued managers when designing office environments for years.
Open plan spaces are often a lot cheaper to execute because there are only the desk and dividers to purchase. Instead of having to ensure everyone has their own little office with a full furniture suite inside.
But does it work well in terms of encouraging effort? Well, an open plan office does make it easy for one or two managers to check that everyone is focused on what they should be doing.
However, it also increases the opportunity for conversation between employees. Something that is useful when they are working in a collaborative team. Although, it may not be so great if they use it as a way of chatting and not getting on with the task in hand.
Break out spaces
Having space where folks can go when they need to step away from their computers and desks for a few minutes, is a fantastic idea.
In fact, you may go as far to say that it’s positively conducive to encouraging a better quality of work. This is because we can only work for 20-25 minutes at a time without a break.
Otherwise, our accuracy decreases and we can lose focus. So it may be valuable when designing your office space to provide your employees with somewhere to go like break room with a pool table or a video game.
Lastly, don’t forget greenery. Plants are universally loved and they are especially valuable in an office environment if there are no natural views from the windows.
So use potted plants, and shrubs dotted around the office. As these will improve the air quality overnight, and they can also give a softer, more natural quality to the environment.
This is valuable as it is something that can help folks keep calm and be more focused on their jobs. Resulting in better productivity and profits for your business, in the long run.