How to improve the productivity, health and happiness of teams through interior design choices
While a company may be thriving and growing at a fast rate, the overall output, innovation and growth can all be bottle necked by the simple setup of their offices. While this may seem of indirect relation, the layout, colour scheme, facilities, culture and climate can all lead to lower or even deteriorating standards and practices in the offices. On the other hand, a well structured and designed office is so well setup that the workflow seems to move naturally and fluidly through the halls, offices and walkways. There are a few key steps to finding the correct choices when deciding a plan or design for an office space (that even we adhere to), including:
Naturally the most important aspect of any workspace should be its functionality as its most important to ensure that workflow and the relationships between individuals and departments can continue and also grow. Refurbishing should always be done with a clear goal in mind, whether that be to expand current operations or show a shift in company culture; ultimately it is done to increase profitability through efficiency and so making sure operations can run smoothly should be at the forefront of the design.
What does your business need?
A customer involved office should have a different layout to an office for just the team. A customer involved office needs to include not only the team but also the customers in mind, putting them at the forefront of the design so that every first visit leaves a lasting impression. However a solely team based office should feel more cosy and homely. Getting the right balance of a relaxed yet productive environment is a tough balancing act, but if done well can have both immediate and lasting results.
Acoustic and visual privacy
Again, a correct balance must be struck as an extreme will hinder productivity, for example closed off cubicles for complete office privacy may mean employees are able to (and may feel inclined to) focus a lot more on work with little to no distractions, however this will lead to bottle necking creativity in most cases with no collaboration. However the complete opposite effect will occur with a completely open space where too many distractions will detriment output. By strategically placing acoustic barriers, audio and visual distractions can be minimised with still the sense of openness to nurture communication between individuals and departments.
Colour inspired productivity
Palettes and colour schemes give a room and/or office a personality and can even promote certain moods. For example, yellow has connotations of happiness, excitement and creativity whereas green is calming due to its links to nature. Red implies blood pressure and so is suitable for areas of physical activity and white can generate a sterile and clinical feeling (which actually hinders workflow). These different moods which can be artificially created mean that certain areas can have their functions subtly enhanced.
New furniture, lighting and/or communal areas
Revamping furniture not only allows for employees to enjoy the benefits of the new fixtures such as more space or ergonomic capabilities, but can also get them excited about using their new workspace. Lighting can have a huge impact, if overdone workers can feel tense and on edge, too underdone and they lose energy and become too lax. An expert opinion on overhead lighting structure is absolutely necessary and giving each individual workstation a variable lamp can give them each control of what light level works best for them. If you are going to invest in any part of your office space, the first port of call should be the communal areas used by the whole office, as this would help build team spirit and would indirectly increase space efficiency as these spaces would be used as impromptu meeting spaces for teams or individuals.
Creating opportunities for employees to stretch their legs
Putting high use items in communal areas such as photocopiers gives people the chance to take little breaks throughout their day and get small impromptu interactions with others in the office. While this may seem like a nuisance, it has actually been found to overall increase workplace satisfaction and creativity to be able to have a reason to get up and stretch legs every now and then, and increasing interdepartmental collaboration.
A splash of paint
The quickest and cheapest form of revamping can be down with a simple lick of paint. By revitalising walls of their dated style and/or colour for a more modern take or mural, employees will feel reinvigorated themselves and as stated above, the choice of colour can have a large impact on workplace attitude and climate, which can reinforce or notably change the company’s brand or style direction.
This is not an exhaustive list and there are plenty more reasons why some layouts trump others. To view case studies of where Stirling Interiors helped companies realise their dream for their office, click here.