What makes the perfect office
What makes the perfect office, one your whole team will love? We have all seen lots of images of amazing workspaces on the likes of Pinterest but can it be made a reality?
Ask 10 people what makes an office design great and you’ll get 10 different answers, from the right lighting and seating plan to desk ornaments but there are a number of key factors that are universal, elements that when considered with thoughtfulness and carried out correctly will ensure that your office space will encourage job satisfaction, collaboration and have a profound influence on your team’s creativity and productivity.
When choosing your office design architecture, steer away from solid floor-to-ceiling walls, or even half-wall cubicles, whenever possible. Instead, opt for glass partitions — or no partitions at all. This open-concept office design promotes a collaborative and engaged workforce.
Past office design paradigms allocated space based on title. The president and vice-president of the company had the biggest offices. Senior sales staff had smaller offices, managers yet smaller offices, and so on down the ranks. In recent years, though, the tide has turned. Businesses are realizing that it’s more effective to allocate space based on the time a person spends in the office, not their title. In fact, upper management may spend more time out of the office than in, so their workspace is wasted the majority of the day.
Incorporating a multipurpose workspace concept into your modern office design to promote solo and collaborative work of all different kinds could be very beneficial. Large tables can be used as flexible workspaces that allow for a variety of work, from writing to research to drawing which can be used to be done alone or in groups as the need arises.
A cramped workspace is not fun for anyone. While it doesn’t have to be overly spacious, gone are the days of little cubicles and compartments that make employees feel stressed, restricted, and like they’re in a confining cage. Open up the area so you and your staff can enjoy the space freely and move around without the constant fear of bumping into desks and filing cabinets. Also, an open office space makes for more open and easy communication.
When it comes to storage, there is a lot of room to have a bit of fun. Even though many offices are becoming paperless, you still need somewhere for pens, notebooks and other tools for your job. Using cleverly designed or attractive units can instantly brighten your mood and make you want to keep them tidy and useful.
A well-designed office communicates volumes about the business to your clients and customers. A pleasing, organized, modern office interior design promotes confidence and speaks of success to those who experience it, so plenty of storage is vital. The benefit of having well-organised storage is that it saves a considerable amount of time, and being able to securely maintain and instantly locate valuable documents and equipment allows employees to invest more of their time in being productive and reduces the stress of having to search for what they need.
Hiding Clutter is just as important as storage for the same reasons. Modern workers rely on electronic devices to get their work done and the cords that power and charge those tablets, printers, copiers, laptops, monitors, and phones can seriously clutter workspaces and hinder productivity.
Going wireless is one excellent solution. But for those devices that haven’t cut the cord yet, find ways to keep that snarl organized and out of the way. If at all possible, conceal the cords in the wall, under the floor, or along the backs of furniture.
The impact of light in the office has been thoroughly researched, so it’s an important consideration for designing an office, in fact, lighting is one of the most critical aspects of any office environment. Gone are the days in row upon row of white fluorescent lights. We now know that the human body responds better to natural light. That natural light improves your team members’ moods and helps them stay focused and productive for longer periods of time.
You have probably already heard that natural light is important for your health. As well as your daily dose of vitamin D, natural light helps you to get a good night’s rest by helping your body clock reset each day and it improves your mood by helping to release serotonin, the happy hormone.
However, as lovely as a bright office is, you also need to avoid unnecessary glare or too much fluorescent lighting, it can cause eye strain and headaches. So, even if you cannot get the coveted desk by a window, make sure you consider how much natural light you have access to at work.
Lack of lighting can affect your productivity and energy levels, so it makes sense that there should be plenty of light surrounding the work area. Natural lighting is best, but if you don’t have that, then make sure there is ample overhead lighting in the office to avoid any dull or poorly lit corner spaces. Opt for blinds over curtains, so your staff has more control over the amount of light and shade.
NATURAL MATERIALS & PLANT LIFE
Natural accents like plants, exposed concrete and wood floors, reclaimed wood desktops, and painted steel are simple ways to bring the outside in. These touches have the added benefit of making team members feel more comfortable. And when they’re more comfortable, they’re more focused, creative, and engaged.
If the natural light in your office is really great, build a vibrant indoor plant garden. Having live, indoor plants add to the overall aesthetic and provide a calming element to any space. Office plants can make a big difference to the space; they give it character and have even been shown to increase happiness and productivity. There’s even the suggestion that plants reduce stress. There’s nothing sadder however than dead office plants. Remember to water them and follow the care instructions.
Plants are a calming presence and will certainly make the office seem a little more natural, which could be especially helpful if you work in a tech-heavy industry or work in a location that isn’t near to many green spaces. Using them as a way to greet clients in a waiting room or to decorate a shared breakout area is also a great idea.
ALLOW FOR PERSONALITY
A sleek and minimalist offices look great in glossy magazine spreads but enabling staff to add personal touches to their space can help boost productivity. After all, it’s all about comfort, if you have to spend 8-10 hours in a space, then photos, artwork, plants, and other items can help make it feel more relaxed and, in a tangible way, connect work life with other parts of an employees life. But keep in mind, there is a balance, too much clutter could distract from the task at hand.
Everyone has a different preference when it comes to noise in the office. Some are blessed with ninja-like focus; they can work in an open plan office with a radio playing and colleagues chatting and planning projects around them without too much stress, but some might feel a noisy office can not only be distracting, but stressful if you are someone who requires peace and quiet when you’re working. The best solution is to provide options. Have breakout spaces and areas that invite lively discussion – for work or break times – and allow people to complete their work in quieter and more focused environments, with headphones if necessary.
At this point, you’ve likely already heard about the dangers of sitting at work—to be fair, you’ll need to sit at some point, but designing for movement around the office is key.
Create a conducive workplace that fits your company culture. There’s a time to stay in one place and focus—you might opt for open seating, private offices, or a mix of nooks and crannies—but getting out and walking, running into colleagues around the office, and breathing some fresh air are all necessary for a healthy workspace.
When designing an office, it’s your job to encourage behaviour without dictating it. That means creating spaces where people can bump into each other where they might not normally, on the way to the kitchen, meeting rooms, or even the bathroom. For example, you might want to keep water close to people but bathrooms far away.
When designing an office, or any workspace, you’re contributing to a key element of the employee experience. Your work will directly impact the productivity and purpose of your team, in a space, they’ll spend much of their waking hours occupying. Mantra Living can help you create a workspace that is both beautiful and productive, which will represent your business values. We have all you need to design an office that is a joy to work in from iconic Italian designer, Colombini Casa. So contact us and we will help you have the perfect workspace.