Employees spend a vast amount of their waking hours in the office environment, and work output is affected by the design surrounding them.
A work environment can help to positively influence ideas, creativity, passion, hard work and create a relaxed, fun environment.
Times are changing
While in the past, office space has been mostly functional and practical for business owners, the increased focus on the mental health of employees is helping to alter this.
Large tech companies like Facebook and Google can be seen to have championed the need to work on aesthetic of the office space for the greater good of their employees.
For businesses on the cutting edge of technology, the need to incentivise the working environment is not a new concept. But other sectors are following suit, with increased investment in a cooler work environment for staff. It can reflect the company brand, culture and outlook and help customers feel that the business is flexible, adaptable and forward looking.
Redesign as motivation
It makes sense to make the working environment dynamic and enjoyable for employees who spend most of their time within those walls. For employers struggling with motivating employees, an office redesign could be the key.
The old adage ‘first impression counts’ is important when it comes to the general view of an office space, and not just for employees. A well-designed, functional and stylish work environment improves productivity and has the added advantage of leaving a positive impression on potential employees and customers.
Inviting potential business partners, clients and employees into your office should be a positive experience. Their first view of the space you choose for your business, employees and team makes more of a difference than you might think.
Incorporate social media in design
Creating some beautiful, artistic space in your office can encourage employees to become social media brand ambassadors. Without directing positive shares of work life at your company, giving employees the creative space to enjoy can mean an organic appreciation of your workspace on social media platforms ranging from Instagram to Snapchat.
It’s no longer possible to avoid the impact of social media on the world of business, in almost every sector. Recognising this and incorporating it into your workspace could mean a natural growth in your social media profile.
Include outdoor space
Every employee needs fresh air at some point during the working day. Encouraging people to take time away from their desk and workstation can pay off in terms of increased energy levels and enthusiasm for work.
A stuffy, airless environment isn’t good for anyone, and providing well designed outside space will encourage the team to breathe the air, take a moment and refocus.
Having an area for lunch outside, for example, can also encourage team bonding. Giving people a space to relax and enjoy each other’s company away from the hustle and bustle of the working office is a positive step that every business owner should take.
Have plenty of private space available
Open plan offices can encourage team work and the flow of creative ideas, but they can also make it feel there is no privacy available.
Everyone’s ability to cope with background noise and distraction varies, and it’s likely that some employees will be craving some peace and quiet. Having secluded, separate rooms or spaces available for employees to get their heads down is essential.
Adapting the open plan space to cater for everyone’s requirements may seem tricky, but the inclusion of separate spaces for privacy could be the solution.
Ideas for improvement
If you feel your office space needs a shake up to better encourage employees, here are some ideas that can be implemented quickly:
- Include inspiring quotes or text on available wall space.
- Create private areas for quiet time.
- Provide breakout areas for employees to relax in and get to know colleagues.
- Watch the lighting – make sure it’s bright enough.
- Decorate with light colours to lift the environment.
- Depending on your resources, create some outside space.
– Richard Carr
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