By now, we’ve all read that office happiness directly correlates to productivity. But, does everyone understand that if employees are physically uncomfortable, work will suffer while they shiver in their dark and drafty offices or seek the sweet spot in their clunky 20th-century desk chairs? Perhaps the issue is that management doesn’t understand the modern office design conundrum. Rest-assured, there are simple office design and decor solutions that will open the office for brisk and comfortable business.
When you update for improved productivity, be sure to include a generous line item for ergonomic chairs and sit-and-stand desks.
Before you do anything, make a plan. Don’t jump head first into rearranging and redecorating only to find that your office building can’t accommodate the large acoustic panels you’ve purchased or the collaboration furniture you’ve ordered is PERFECT, but won’t deliver until six months from now. Be sure you do your homework, plot, and strategize. If your office can afford it, hire an interior decorator. Leave the job to an expert who does this for a living.
What Needs Redesigning?
There are beautiful modern and efficient lighting options available, but several studies have shown that productivity increases when there is a proximity to windows, especially when there is a view of nature. In other words, put your people where you would put your plants. But also, don’t get rid of the plants. If natural light isn’t an option, consider ceiling lamps that mimic daylight.
More and more employers are taking note that an afternoon power nap is just what the manager ordered.
No Pain, No Pain
The uncomfortable (and most likely unattractive) furniture needs to go. You can retrofit it or recycle it, but if you wouldn’t use it, don’t make your employees. Outdated desks and chairs lead to poor posture, which leads to serious health consequences. When you update for improved productivity, be sure to include a generous line item for ergonomic chairs and sit-and-stand desks.
More and more employers are taking note that an afternoon power nap is just what the manager ordered. Employees without enough rest under their belts are more reactive, less creative, less logical, and less empathetic. Don’t have space for naptime nap pods? Invest in some chic chaise lounges and include a small quiet area where employees can chill out for a quick 30 minutes.
Perhaps the most significant oversight in your “modern” office design would be forgetting you need to be plugged in.
Don’t Forget IT
Perhaps the most significant oversight in your “modern” office design would be forgetting you need to be plugged in. If you’re ordering collaborative, ergonomic, and executive office furniture, you better be as sophisticated as you’ll look.
Talk to the department who can make or break your business. IT will know how close you need to be to printers, WIFI, electrical outlets, etc. Do this BEFORE you purchase anything.
Second Thought, Don’t Forget Anyone
Don’t assume you know what suits everyone in your office. Talk to the employees about their wants and desires. There are those who want open spaces and those who prefer library-style nooks. Jane might like to listen to acid jazz and John might not know what this is or want to find out.
Form a planning committee and begin fostering goodwill before the first community table has delivered. Definitely involve John.
Redesigning anything can seem like a massive undertaking because it is. It’s an even bigger task when you’re doing it to ensure people’s well-being. Allow increased productivity to be your motivation, find inspiration in the opinions of your employees, and remember to water those plants.