Office Design Tips for Happier Employees

Contributed by editor on May 04, 2019 - 12:35 AM

Your business and brand are growing and innovating, but does your office embody what your company stands for and does it provide your employees with the space and resources that they need to work at their best?

A work environment that encourages productivity, inspires connections between employees and transforms the working lives of individuals should never be underestimated. As businesses begin to see the benefits of updating office spaces to reflect a dynamic and multi-generational workforce, it’s crucial to ensure that your brand isn’t the one getting left behind. Whether you’re a new start-up or a company that’s been around for a while, there are several things that you can do to get the most out of your office design. Check out these top tips to get started!

#1. Create an Agile Work Environment:

An agile work environment gets rid of the old-fashioned way of confining employees to their own space. Gone are the booths and separate offices; instead, employees are provided with the flexibility to work in a variety of spaces, supporting a wide range of needs and interactions.

#2. Encourage Connections:

Building a connection is a basic human need, and friendships in the workplace can lead to boosted productivity and better teamwork. Make a central hub a focal point of your workplace’s design, such as a kitchen or a break room where employees can come together to chat and get to know one another.

#3. Make a Good First Impression:

Don’t just focus on your current employees when it comes to office design. The way that your office is laid out will also play a large part in the impression that it makes on new hires when they attend for an interview. And you want to get the best talent working for you, so create an open, friendly reception area that showcases who you are as a brand and invites new hires to step in and learn more about you.

#4. Embody Your Brand:

Sometimes, it’s the little things such as the colour palette that you choose for your walls, carpets, and furnishings that will make all the difference. Go for design and décor that embodies your brand and reflects your company culture and the type of work that you do.

#5. Safety First:

Don’t forget about the practicalities of your office design, too. It’s just as important to consider employee health and safety when redesigning your office – from ergonomic furniture options to making sure that cables and wires have somewhere that they can be safely tidied away to avoid tripping hazards.

#6. Consider Employee Mental Health:

The environment in which we work can have a huge impact on our mental health – in turn, affecting our feelings, attitudes, performance, and even connections in the workplace. And, it comes as no surprise to most that employees who feel that their employer cares about and is actively helping with improving their mental health tend to be happier, more satisfied and productive at work. There are several things that you can do with your office design to support employee mental health. For example, have a human-centric lighting system that improves employee well-being and mood – the greater the exposure to natural light, the better.

#7. Encourage Screen-Free Time:

Staring at a screen all day isn’t good for anybody, so create your office design in such a way that employees are encouraged to take regular breaks from using their laptop or PC. Break out spaces are a great idea as they help to regenerate employees and give them somewhere to sit and take a short break. Even better; put the break spaces a short walk away from the office stations, to encourage employees to get up and move around more during the day.

#8. Ensure There’s Enough Space Per Employee:

When coming up with your office layout it’s important to ensure that you are providing each employee with enough space. As a general rule, this should be a minimum of 11m3 per person. Check out this company if you are worried about not providing enough space for your employees – their innovative, space-saving office designs will help you provide just the right amount of space without compromising on workplace quality. And, if your company plans to grow in the future, don’t forget about including enough extra space for the new hires that you plan to bring on board.

#9. Keep it Clutter-Free:

Just like in your home, clutter and mess in the workplace can make it a difficult place to work and focus. So, come up with an office design that utilizes space-saving and smart storage solutions so that clutter can be kept to a minimum. In addition, make sure that all employees are aware of the benefits of having a clutter-free workspace for both their mental health, work productivity, and safety. A workplace that is clean and free from distractions leads to a more efficient and productive workforce.

#10. Bring Nature Indoors:

Nature is a human need and there have been several studies proving that people who connect with nature on a regular basis tend to be happier and healthier, both mentally and physically. So, if your office is based in a city or a busy town, bringing some nature indoors can make it a much nicer place for everybody to be. Humans have an instinctive need to connect with nature, so some indoor plants and trees will make your office a more pleasant place for yourself and your employees. And, including nature in the workplace has proven to boost productivity by 15%.

When it comes to boosting productivity and happiness at work, it’s not just what your employees do or how they are treated that plays a part – the physical office environment is a bigger factor than you may realise. By providing employees with a workspace that reflects their work, offers them flexibility, encourages short breaks to boost productivity and fosters strong workplace connections, you will see a boost in employee motivation, productivity, satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

What kind of office design works best for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. 

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