On average, we spend around one third of our life at work. It’s unfortunate, then, that in some offices the actual environment employees are expected to spend so much time in is an afterthought; a bland coworking space designed to be functional rather than comfortable.
Offices like these aren’t just uneasy on the eye, but can directly impact our health and wellbeing. In fact, it’s been proven that offices designed around employee needs can boost both productivity and satisfaction at work, making it a no brainer to put your workspace interiors to the fore.
Below, we look at some of the ways office space can affect company culture, as well as how employers can build positive, long term relationships with their staff through modern office design principles.
There’s no doubt that the office way of life is changing, with a more laid-back, collaborative style of working taking over the isolated ‘cubicle culture’ of times gone by. As millenials are going to make up the majority of office staff in just a few years, it’s important that working environments reflect this. Providing an open plan office space that feels inclusive is key, as well as offering other forward-thinking solutions to make the day-to-day feel more collaborative.
Hotdesking is becoming more and more the norm, making it easier for employees to work closely with a range of people rather than always sitting next to the same colleague. It’s one of the great advantages of an open office layout, which can encourage people to move from desk to desk through the week.
Breakaway areas also encourage collaboration, as well as fun features like football and pool tables. The more dynamic you make the space, the more likely employees are to interact with each other, forming the close bonds needed to achieve truly excellent team work.
If your office space is engaging and creative in its appearance, it makes sense that your employees are more likely to feel motivated and productive. Colour is an important tool to use here, as different shades can impact on our concentration and even our levels of creativity. Thinking carefully about the purpose of each shared workspace in the office and how its interior design can work in harmony with, and also promote this is key. Using intriguing art on the walls and incorporating interesting features such as sculptures can create a dynamic, inspirational atmosphere that benefits all.
Nobody wants to return to the drab, beige interiors of the 80s, which is why it’s so important to stay up to date with the latest trends and lines of thinking in office design. For example, some of our most popular offices in Manchester make clever use of colour, and our Oxford Street office adds interesting finishing touches to all of its meeting rooms and lounge areas for energetic spaces that foster creativity.
Health and wellbeing
Not only does a well-designed office interior improve productivity, it’s also important for employee health and wellbeing. Taking a holistic approach to design, with plenty of natural lighting, greenery and ergonomic furniture, has a notable effect on employee mood. In fact, research shows that having plants in offices can reduce stress, increase productivity and even bring down sickness and absence rates!
What’s interesting is that the Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Report found that 93% of workers in the tech industry said they would stay longer at a company that offered healthier workplace benefits. While it’s easy to interpret this to mean things like gym memberships and free fruit to snack on, it helps to remember that environment also plays a significant part in the wellbeing of staff.
Trust and inclusivity
You might assume that instilling feelings of trust in your employees comes solely from the opportunities you offer them and the way you interact face to face. But office design and facilities can also make your staff feel more valued and respected. Small things like making the space dog-friendly and creating private areas that eliminate feelings of being ‘watched’ or ‘micro-managed’ can all go a long way in letting your staff know you trust them. This is likely to lead to a more positive environment and, in turn, a happier, more productive workforce.
We spend so much of our lives at work, and yet reports indicate that almost all employees feel there’s more to be done to make their workspaces better. With this in mind, and considering all the benefits of thoughtful office design, it’s time for employers to take notice.
Staff who feel they are being listened to are likely to feel happier at work, so any company looking for long-term success should aim to make this a priority. That’s why our office spaces are designed to bring you first-class working environments that incorporate both beautiful aesthetics and wellbeing-first functionality.