Your employees cannot reach their full potential in your company if they are not happy working there. It’s crucial to optimize your workspace so that your team is their happiest, healthiest, and most productive during the week.
Let there be light!
First, let’s get into the importance of natural lighting. Unless you’re a vampire (no judgment here), humans are drawn to natural light. Being cooped up in a high walled cubicle may seem to be effective for concentration, but it’s not actually good for your employees in any other respect. Studies show that daylit environments increase employee productivity and comfort, and provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms. Take down those high cubicle walls that block sunlight. There’s a reason why an “open workspace” is a highly sought after perk. Don’t let your employees be disconnected from the outside world. A patio with WiFi or a walking trail outside will do the body good! If you don’t already work in a space that favors natural light, consider designing your environment to accommodate large windows that let the sunshine it’s brightest during the workday. Your employees will thank you for it. In addition to productivity, natural light improves your mood! Consider the importance of natural light in your breakroom if it isn’t possible to maximize the sun’s benefits in your main workspace. Furthermore, give your employees control over where they work so they can move to a well-lit area if needed. If all else fails, consider a skylight.
The Importance of Design
The design of your workplace has more of an impact on your employee’s than you think. When you put some effort into the workspace’s appearance, your team will appreciate you for it! Make sure that your walls are a bright color that natural light can reflect off of! In order to really make educated decisions about the colors that you’re bringing into your workspace, consider doing a little research on color psychology. Green is known to spark creativity and increase productivity and pink calms people down. Did you know that? These are all things that most do not consider when preparing their environment. Essentially, when looking at paint chips, if you look at a color and it makes you uneasy or anxious, it’s best not to trap your employees in a room full of that…
In continuation of design, the decor that is in your space speaks volumes about your company culture and the team members that inhabit the space. Fun, interactive decor is the best way to go. Encourage your employees to decorate their desk any way that they want to in order to work their best. (Maybe even give them $100 for their desk?) Since their desk is where your team member will spend most of their time, allow them to truly customize it and make it their own.
Design Tips and Tricks
For the general rooms, area rugs are an excellent way to switch up an environment and really add that sense of organization to a particular space. For the walls, consider decorative clocks that your employees will be drawn to look at because they are pretty, not because they are counting the seconds until 5 pm.
On the other hand of design, consider office plants all throughout your workspace. They purify the air and add that natural vibe to your environment. Flowers with pops of color work wonderfully. Succulents don’t need too much attention, making them the perfect office plant. Furniture is obviously another key component in your office design that has a huge impact on employees. A comfortable workstation, whether this is a cubicle or an open desk is crucial to your team’s success. Make sure that every piece of furniture that your employees will interact with is ergonomic and that they can be occupied for long periods of time. Maybe even consider sit/standing desks for your employees.
Make sure that your work/life balance is encouraged in-office as well with a “fun room” or break room extension that has fun activities for your employees to take part in during their downtime. Here are some elements of the most successful companies’ break rooms for inspiration. You want to be sure that your employees’ can have an easy to access escape from the stresses of the workday. Encourage socialization without bounds in this room as well! This way, the main work area will be free of distractions.
Speaking of distractions, Cornell conducted a study that concluded that happy music can help your team concentrate and collaborate. Most people work with their earbuds in anyways! Why not have an “office DJ” of sorts and play music out loud for the office to hear? Have employees switch off on DJ duties so that they can take ownership of the playlists for the day/week. This allows your team to take part in choosing tunes that everyone will want to listen to, encourage them to take requests as well. If you’re not sure how playing music will play out with your team, try a trial day of ambient music aloud (but soft) then ask for input. For some employees, this could be a distraction. They prefer their own tracks. That’s okay!
Take all of these things into consideration as well as suggestions from your staff on what would make the workplace a better place to be. Does your office have perks you’d like to show off? Let us know in the comments!