Office designs have radically changed in the last few decades. Architects and interior designers are becoming more aware of how a space effects a person’s well-being. When you conjure up the image of the archetypal office, it contains cubicles and neutral walls, which does not really scream happiness and productivity, does it?

 

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We spend roughly 40+ hours at the office each week. We are likely to spend more time in the presence of our co-workers then with are our partners and children. We wouldn’t design our homes in the same drab way, so why are our offices? Below are some emerging trends we hope catch on and become mainstream.

Open spaces

 

What is one of the reasons behind the success of companies like Google and Apple? They understand innovation comes from collaboration between employees. Open spaces are perfect for that. It is much easier to bounce an idea off a work colleague than trying to attract their attention over a raised wall.

 

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[Caption – Pantone Colour Incorporation into Adobe Workspace Design by Rapt Studios]

Mobility

There are health risks associated with sitting down for extended periods of time, the most prominent of which is diabetes. That is why we are starting to see the encroachment of such things as ergonomic chairs and standing height tables and other ergonomic hacks.

Relaxing Areas

Why would you want an area that promotes not being productive? The irony is, it can actually improve work performance and has been working well in creative industries like advertising for years. Employees need down time. Yes, even during the standard work day. None of us are robots and need to occasionally sit down and relax.

 

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[Caption – Spacious Rest Areas designed by Rapt Studios  for Adobe]

This is why we’ve starting seeing break rooms that have such things as sofas, pinball machines and consoles. They not only good for morale, they refresh employees making them better when they go back to their desk. Another benefit is that people will interact in these rooms and what have we learned about that? It fuels innovation.

Bright colours

Want your employees to be productive? Do you want them to have an increased level of concentration and to be happier?

It’s called colour psychology and it looks at how colour influences human behaviour. Bright colours like orange and yellow help to stimulate  energy and social interaction, while other colours like red may make people more hostile – so probably not the best for those intense meetings with clients and staff members.

Bring the outdoors indoors.

How many times have you heard someone in an office say ‘the weather outside looks wonderful. I wish I wasn’t couped up in this office today’. People naturally want to experience the outdoors in their day to day life. But we can’t have employees going AWOL to enjoy the outdoors during a work day, can we? What’s the alternative? Bring the outdoors inside by placing greenery and plants around the office. It might not seem like a big deal, but this simple measure can have a significant impact on people’s moods. It will also improve air quality, reduce stress and bring aesthetic appeal to the area.

Thanks to Emily Ford for Contributing this piece to our Blog. (propertyinstitute.com.au)

Image Credit – Adobe Redesign by Rapt Studios (raptstudio.com) 

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