A pleasant working environment can have a significant impact on your productivity and overall mood at work, and a badly thought-out working space can have the opposite effect. We all know the feeling of watching the clock, waiting for the day to end, but this can be made so much worse when you’re surrounded by ugly interiors. 

A pleasant working environment can have a significant impact on your productivity and overall mood at work

Here, we take a look at some of the most loathed office decor themes of all time – and why they must be avoided at all costs!

The dark and the dingy

Dark and dingy offices are far from conducive to good work or happy employees. Poor lighting is not only off-putting for potential clients and recruits, but can also contribute to health issues among your staff. These can include things like eye strain, with your employees’ bright laptop screens juxtaposing unhealthily with low lights.

To counteract this, let as much natural light into your office as possible by fitting clear, breezy window treatments as opposed to heavy and opaque ones. It’s also worth investing time into researching some clever small office design ideas if you’re working with a space that errs on the ‘cosy’ side. These can include introducing plenty of mirrors to open up the room and increase natural light. 

Dark and dingy offices are far from conducive to good work or happy employees

The headache inducer

The young, trendy office manager’s attempts at creating a ‘funky’ office space can often result in garish decor that looks more like a children’s playroom than a professional workplace. 

To avoid this mistake and get your colour scheme right, start by considering what atmosphere you want to induce. Does your company veer on the side of informality or strict professionalism? Do you want to communicate invigorating energy or an oasis of calm? 

Next, take a look at a colour wheel, remembering that opposite colours on the wheel tend to match each other. This should help you avoid those gaudy, headache-causing colour clashes.

Don’t overlook neutral colours, either, which don’t have to be confined to grey, white and black. Shades of brown and pebble tones can imitate natural colours, leading to a healthier, more relaxed workplace

As a rule of thumb, steer clear of particularly gaudy colours and patterns. Too many clashing shades can make concentration impossible and can lead to an office that looks and feels unprofessional.  

The utilitarian extreme

Minimalism is all the rage these days, and simple office decor can look clean and modern. It can also help to keep your office free from distracting clutter and mess. 

But it’s key to remember that if your office space is too minimal, it can come across as boring and soulless. This can prevent your workspace from feeling like somewhere designed for actual people and day-to-day living, which is bound to rub off on your employees. 

If your company’s vibe is professional and chic, then neutral colours, hard lines and uncluttered desks are the way forward. But be sure to brighten the place up by putting some quirky yet clean prints on the wall. Scattering colourful, exotic plants around the office can also make for a brighter, healthier office space.  

Minimalism is all the rage these days, and simple office decor can look clean and modern

The fluorescent lighting nightmare

Fluorescent lights are cheap and durable, meaning they’ve plagued traditional offices for years. The problem is, while fluro lights are one of the more affordable options, they can also incur a range of health problems for your workforce. 

Humans have evolved to work in sunlight hours, with the sun producing a full range of visual light. This spectrum promotes a range of health benefits such as better concentration, good mood and general productivity, while the small and artificial spectrum of fluorescent light has the opposite effect. Aside from delivering an artificial aesthetic, too much exposure to fluorescent light is linked to poor quality of sleep, eye strain, anxiety and seasonal affective disorder. Fluorescent lights also have a tendency to flicker, which gives off a distinct deserted hospital feel. 

When considering which office space to rent, opt for something with as much natural light as possible. If you can’t increase the amount of natural light in your workplace, consider using incandescent lights, as these tend to give off a larger range of light and don’t flicker.  

Fluorescent lights are cheap and durable, meaning they’ve plagued traditional offices for years

The seventies throwback

If your workplace looks like a set from a Tarantino film, it’s time for a rethink. An office space that looks tired, has cheap or out-dated appliances or plain old fashioned decor can lead to employees feeling undervalued. 

Making sure you’re up-to-date with the latest decor trends and mod cons, on the other hand, is likely to instill confidence and productivity in staff. It’s all about letting your employees know that you appreciate their being there, and that you really do care about their comfort at work.

Whether you’re looking for a new serviced-office space, or want to revamp your current one, avoid these pitfalls to make sure your team is happy, productive and satisfied at work. Trust us, they’ll thank you for it.

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