For business owners, particularly those that haven’t adapted for the modern worker or workplace, the influence the office has on its workers isn’t a common consideration. Most often, it’s actually the impact this can have that isn’t realised. For instance, colour has a huge effect on how people feel, yet many offices stick to beige colours!
Studies show that certain office features have a negative impact on the motivation and productivity of workers. Boxed cubicles can cause feelings of isolation, bad lighting can result in headaches and uniformed offices can feel too rigid. The good news is that there are achievable ways to change things to improve things for staff.
6 ways to innovate your office to increase worker happiness:
1. Create natural light
Humans are happiest when near nature, but it’s not always an option to add more natural daylight. If budget allows, remove solid wall partitions and add glass office partitions in place. Glass wallsallow for natural light to reach more of the office, resulting in an improved mood.
2. Allow staff to add personal memorabilia or some form of decoration to their workspace
A small potted plant, a jar of sweets or a family photo can make workers feel more comfortable at their desk; it transforms the desk into a space that’s theirs.
3. Make offices less static
This could be by introducing movable walls which allow for the expansion of teams, and adding standing desks, enabling staff to adjust and ensure they aren’t in the same position for 8 hours.
4. Introduce bright colours
As mentioned above, bright, ‘happy’ colours can have a significant impact on mood. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be implemented in the workplace. Ingrid Fetell Lee researched how being surrounded by colour, as well as soft shapes, improves the mood – and lives – of individuals. As most of our time is spent in the workplace, it makes sense to start here.
5. Clear space
Whether it’s a small or big office being transformed, space can be optimised by ensuring that only what’s required is present. Clutter, such as the accumulation of boxes and piles of paperwork, can be a source of distraction for some workers. If space is available, a cloakroom or a dedicated area where coats and bags can be stored would help to clear space around each workstation.
6. Improve the lighting
Dim or low lighting can have a big impact on work output, causing employees to feel lethargic or unmotivated. It can also have an impact on health, sometimes causing eye strain and headaches. Office lighting, if done well, can create a welcoming ambiance.
An office redesign can be a significant financial outlay, and some businesses may feel that there is a risk as the improvements it will make can’t be presented in quantitative data. However, employees will be very thankful for it, and visitors and interviewees will be likely to remember the office design and how it made them feel.
More importantly, those who are happy in their job, and who feel like their happiness is valued by their employer, are more likely to stay!
To discuss your office layout ideas and to find out more about how Applied Workplace can help you, get in touch with our friendly team on 01202 577 776. For a price for glass office partitions, use our free quote calculator.