Your employees are the backbone of your business or organization. As such, you need to ensure you facilitate a conducive atmosphere for their maximum productivity. This means creating the right work environment with minimum distractions and away from health hazards.
Not many business owners know this, but office design and employee health go hand-in-hand. That means the right office design promotes good health and improves the well-being of your workers, which translates to maximum productivity. Plus, it also reduces the amount of money you have to spend on employee healthcare.
In a bid to reduce expenditure, most companies end up with cramped cubicles with tiny desks for their offices. On the surface, it seems like a cost-cutting measure, but it eventually ends up costing the company more.
Understandably, not many business owners understand the ins and outs of architectural design like they do business. However, that’s no excuse for poor office design because understanding office design isn’t rocket science.
In this piece, we’ll expand on how office space impacts the health of your workers.
How Does Office Design Affect Employee Productivity?
Everyone understands the value of good architectural design, but for office spaces, the value is more than just aesthetic. The right office design does wonders for your employees’ health, mental well-being, and productivity. Here’s how office space design increases productivity.
Open Spaces Increases Collaboration
Employees that work together work much more efficiently and effectively. However, there’s not much teamwork that goes on in cramped office spaces. To work together, all of you need a working area that you can fit.
That’s why open space encourages collaborative efforts between employees. Instead of small individual cubicles, you can opt for a large open space with desks placed side by side.
This setup encourages collaboration and increases team spirit. It’s also a lot cheaper because you don’t have to spend as much money on partitions. Employees that work together are much more efficient and effective.
Break Out Spaces Improve Mental Wellbeing
Your employees need a little breather once in a while for optimum productivity. Break out spaces are areas where employees can get away from their desks and have a break from work. These breaks help employees decompress and recharge for work.
These breaks also make work more bearable and also boost your employees’ creativity. You should consider adding vending machines or even a simple coffee maker to these break out spaces. These spaces provide the ideal opportunity to show your employees some appreciation.
Color Can Influence Mood and Productivity
Neutral colors are the norm for most office because it gives a professional outlook that most companies are after. However, these neutral colors make employees dull and restless during work. So if you can’t use neutral colors, then what colors can you use?
Orange and pink are exciting colors that promote energy and vibrancy in the workplace. They are a huge leap from the boring whites and gray colors that are the norm in most offices. Blue facilitates a more relaxed atmosphere to make your employees calm and peaceful.
Working with non-neutral colors is challenging for a lot of business owners. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online to help. This tool, for instance, can help you avoid clashing and mismatching colors.
However, if colors are not your forte, you can always get professional help. Give your offices a fresh breath of life with some vibrant and unique colors.
Office Plants Improve Air Quality
Most offices are in concrete jungles (cities) with only one or two plants outside. If you can’t have plants outside, then why not bring them inside? There are plenty of indoor plant varieties that are excellent for your offices.
Office plants have a lot of benefits besides their aesthetic appeal. These plants do wonders for your indoor air quality for your employees’ physical and mental well-being. They also make the space more relaxed and increases positivity among the occupants.
Office plants come with a lot of responsibility, so you better be up to the task. You have to place the plants in a place with adequate sunlight for them to thrive. Either that or you can settle for LED grow lights, which work just as well.
You also have to water them regularly, or they’ll die off or look withered. A withered and dry plant does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do for your office. For some extra positivity and fresh air in your offices, get a few office plants,
Office Design and Employee Health: Tips to Improve your Office Design for Your Employees’ Well-being
The main role of office design is to increase productivity by reducing employee burnout. If you want the best office design for your employees, here are a couple of tips to get you on the right track.
Separate Your Public and Private Spaces
Your public and private places should be distinct from each other. This means that although open spaces are great for collaboration, the spaces also shouldn’t be too open. You don’t want your offices looking like halls because it reduces privacy and focus.
You need to strike a perfect balance between solitude and collaboration for the best results. To do so, you have to examine the roles that all your employees play and the type of work they do.
Employees with focus-oriented tasks work better in enclosed spaces with maximum privacy. Others who work on team tasks will work better in open spaces that encourage collaboration. If you adopt this approach, then you will facilitate the most effective work setup for your employees.
Comfort Is King
A comfortable working environment is essential for the utmost productivity from your employees. Today’s office designs aim to bring home comfort to the work environment. Doing so improves employees’ mental state and makes them love their job.
To increase comfort, think ergonomic designs, furniture with soft textures, elegant furnishes, and excellent lighting. This makes the work environment more “bearable” because it’s warm and cozy. It also makes for a great first impression for your clients.
The modern work environment is all about comfort, and you don’t have to go big at once. You can start with tiny elements like your lighting before you move to pricier stuff like furniture. Check out this resource for some excellent furniture options for your consideration.
Don’t Forget About Amenities
Break out spaces are essential for keeping your employees motivated about work. While planning for these spaces, it’s a good idea to think outside the box. Instead of having just a regular seating area with a vending machine, you can have a kitchen area or a gym.
Apart from a kitchen and gym, you could also consider a wellness area, a private phone, and even childcare. In doing so, you’re ensuring that the workplace caters to both professional and personal needs. This helps reduce chronic stress and prevents burnout.
Pay Attention to the Building Systems
While we tend to focus on the visual aspects of our office, it’s important also to give the building systems attention. These systems include air conditioning, lighting, and water systems.
Offices without working HVACs are like furnaces, and it dramatically hurts your employees’ productivity. For building systems, it’ best to get the experts to do your bidding and not just HVAC experts. You can get an interior designer to optimize your offices’ lighting and acoustics.
You need to be extra keen on the building systems if your business moves into an old building. There’s a high chance that the building systems don’t work as they should. The landlord will give you recommendations on the right people to fix the systems, but don’t take the bait.
The best move is to get your own HVAC, lighting, and plumbing guys to repair these systems for you. The landlord might have struck a deal with the expert, and you may end up paying much more for the repairs. Do your homework and find an expert who’ll do any repairs or improvements on the current system at a reasonable price.
Let in Natural Light
Try to get as much natural light as possible into your offices. There’s something about natural light that keeps workers energized and enthusiastic. Plus, natural light keeps the offices from being drab and gloomy.
Getting natural light into some offices can be a very tricky prospect. That’s because not all offices can be located close to the windows. However, that shouldn’t prevent you from getting some natural light into those offices.
Proper design and window placement can make natural light penetrate into those centrally-located offices. This natural light will be a great stress reliever and will also increase your workers’ productivity. Expert interior designers can help workers in almost every office experience the full range of natural light benefits.
Keep Employee Health in Mind When Designing Your Offices
It’s evident that office design and employee health go hand-in-hand, and the ball is in your court. All you have to do now is facilitate the best office design for the wellness of your employees and for the success of your company. Remember, if you ever need any help, you can get the experts to do your office design.
With the right office design, you can keep your employees happy and healthy, and significantly boost the productivity of your company. Office design isn’t the only way you can boost your employee productivity. If you want to learn other ways you can do so or you just want to learn something new, then check out the other pieces on our site.
Interesting related article: “What is Ergonomics?“