Who says creative interior designing is just for homes? The office is the business’ home and needs the same attention to interior design. In fact, creative designing could be even more important for offices because studies show that the designing and planning of offices has a direct impact on productivity.
Take office plants. They don’t just look good. They can help boost both productivity and morale. A green office communicates a caring attitude towards employees, making the office a more enjoyable and comfortable place to be. Spruce up office spaces with greenery and you’ll actually see higher productivity.
Strategic zoning is another consideration. Why not designate specific areas where people can talk and collaborate, other areas for concentrated work and separate relaxing zones for a quality break? Which also brings us to the question: to have cubicles or not to have them? Cubicles do little to improve morale; they lead to lower levels of trust and communication. An open office plan, on the other hand, encourages human interaction and underlines transparency. Shared office spaces force communication among people and a constant exchange of knowledge. It has been found that people are both mentally and emotionally engaged in their jobs in an open-office setting and contrary to what some might think, it does not distract and take away from productivity. If there are security and privacy concerns, a cubicle or two can be incorporated in a largely open plan. The layout of the office should be carefully planned. There should be enough space between desks and no desk should be placed in an awkward spot (such as next to the photocopier or near the restrooms). A new trend is to do away with a desk per person and have one long table for each team. This encourages collaboration and interaction. You can even have a rotating seats policy which encourages flexibility. We are creatures of habit and tend to take the same spot at the table every day. Moving people around actually helps them think differently and also discourages accumulation of clutter around one’s work space. Ergonomic furniture is another key element. Think adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs for maximum comfort. How much time do people spend at their desks every day, day after day? It pays to provide comfortable chairs with plenty of elbow room.
High ceilings enhance the feeling of space. Warm colours are conducive to social interaction. The design should make maximum use of natural elements. Make use of natural lighting wherever you can. Fresh air helps clear the mind (if the interiors must be totally air-conditioned make sure there are spaces open to the environment where people can take a break to clear away the cobwebs of the mind).
Designs that break away from convention and have the right elements are conducive to high achievement. Each company’s needs are different. There are constraints such as space and location. But a little imagination and a touch of daring can change the look and feel of the office and make it more inviting not just for employees but visitors as well. The design of the office reflects the values of the company and also how it values its people. Make sure your office is aesthetically appealing, sensitive to people’s needs and conducive to productivity.
People spend more time in their offices than in their homes so it makes sense to design a business home that they love going to every day.