Many employees spend most of their working week behind a desk in an office, and this can cause problems for both the employee and the employer.
Offices can be high stress environments that can put unnecessary pressure on employees, which can reduce their productivity and efficiency. If you want your business to boost the morale of its employees and reduce the percentage of absenteeism, then you need to take time in designing an office that can become a welcoming space for employees. To find out how to create the perfect office environment, read on for some of the top tips when it comes to building an office as a first time business.
Firstly, to maintain the professionalism and smart look of your office for years to come, you should invest in high quality flooring such as laminate floor that is not easily damaged and that can withstand the pressure of the amount of people within the office each day. Having a laminate floor can be a great option for big businesses as it is both hardy and resistant to scratches and other issues, is cheap and easy to install, and looks incredibly modern in an office space. However, you should consider varying the material that you use for flooring throughout your office, with brighter colours perfect for outside reception areas where guests and visitors may first arrive and create a first impression of your business and brand image. You should also consider using carpets and rugs for quieter areas such as meeting and conference rooms, as well as relaxation areas, as these diminish the sound from other areas of the building.
Many job roles rely on collaboration in some respect, such as group projects, decision making, or work meetings. In order to encourage your employees to be collaborative and work as a team, you should build your office to accommodate for the needs of groups and make sure that communication is made simple. You can do this by creating a break out space which can be filled with more casual seating options such as sofas and beanbags and which help your employees to be comfortable when discussing plans with other colleagues. You should also consider the positioning of these break out spaces, and positioning them in an easily accessible location such as the centre of your office will encourage more employees to make use of them and streamline the layout of your office. You should also create an area of the office which can be filled with conversation and noise and which supports colleague interaction- this can be centred around a café or other entertainment area to allow colleagues from different areas to communicate and form a bond.
Another way through which you can make your office welcoming, make your employees more active, and support the needs of your employees is by considering creating open office space. Although you may have some problems with noise levels in an open office, this breaks down the barriers between employees and allows for communication and collaboration, as well as making sure that everyone feels a part of the team. Open plan offices normally consist of rows of long desks with computers rather than cubicles or hubs which separate employees and make it difficult to communicate with others. To diminish any problems with noise which could potentially create stress to those sensitive to it, you should consider the advantages of sound-proofing your offices, having quiet areas were people are able to have some time to concentrate on important solo ventures, and offering noise-proof headphones that allow people to shut out the hustle and bustle of the office if they are in need of concentration.
If you are not a fan of open offices or want to have different areas in your office, you should think about the opportunities and advantages that varied spaces allow for. Varied offices are perfect for businesses that have a vast amount of employees with different roles and needs working within the same office. Varied offices consist of different areas which are tailored to the needs of individual roles and which can be used consistent with the specific task at hand. These tailored offices ensure that specific needs are met and that each employee has the equipment that they need to succeed in their role, whether that be a laptop and computer or a large open space for designers and other creative workers. Not only this, but separate workstations give employees different locations which can provide them with new information and resources. By building these varied spaces, you are allowing your office to be entirely flexible for whatever purpose it is needed for, and for a variety of job roles and different types of employees.
To make your office space a bright and welcoming environment for everyone, it is important that the space remains as uncluttered as possible. Clutter and disorganisation in an office can increase the stress levels of employees as well as increasing the loss or compromise of sensitive documents. To combat this, you should not only transfer all of your data onto easily shareable platforms such as the Cloud which can be accessed by every employee at all times. You should also install ample storage space in your office to make your office more spacious and decluttered. Filing cabinets work well for many offices and you should make sure that you match these with an efficient organisational system. If your employees have separate workstations, you should think about adding pedestals to each workspace which have beneath the desk storage solutions so that employees can stow away their personal belongings. Lockers are also a good option for personal storage as they help to remove personal belongings which may become distractions or health and safety hazards but still make sure that your employee’s personal belongings are accessible.
Another way to help to motivate your employees within your office is to consider the use of your colour scheme. The colours used in your office can help to boost certain moods, create the right working atmosphere, and employ a certain amount of employee psychology. The use of neutrals in office can sometimes feel clinical and limit the creativity of your employees, whereas bright colours such as yellows and greens and vibrant and exciting, which helps to motivate your employees an improve their mood. However, if you are looking to reduce stress through the colour of your offices, blue is the best colour for this as it has associations with relaxation and can help to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere that can reduce the stress of your employees. Not only this, but blue is also associated with problem solving, and so it is perfect for areas of your office which need focus.
If your office does not have enough natural lighting, this can leave employees feeling a lack of motivation and an increase in negative moods. Natural lighting can help to boost employee productivity as the natural light cycle can improve employee’s sleep, increase the amount of vitamin D that they are receiving throughout the day, and help employees to stay energised through the morning and into the afternoon. To make sure that there is enough natural lighting in your office, you should use open designs that have no physical barriers which can block light, and try to make sure that desks are positioned next to or in direct view of a window. You should also introduce mirrors and other additions which can reflect light back into the room. If you are not able to increase the amount of natural light that your office receives, for instance, if your office is overlooked by other buildings, then you should consider the type of artificial lighting that you are using. You should aim to install soft lighting rather than strip lights as this can help to boost the natural light entering your office without your employees noticing that the light is wholly artificial.
To boost the level of employee collaboration inside your office and allow there to be a separate space where employees can go to work as a team without distracting others or losing concentration, you should consider building separate meeting rooms. These should be at the side of your large interior office and should have all the facilities appropriate to the needs of a meeting, such as a laptop and projector for presentations, and ample seating arrangements that make group discussion easier, such as oval tables. You may also want to have meeting rooms for different types of meetings such as small internal meetings, large conferences, and exterior phone calls and conferences, which will have all the gadgetry needed to connect with others. Having separate meeting rooms will encourage your employees to work together and collaborate on ideas with a tailored space for them to be able to do this. If you do not have enough space for this, you should seek to rent meeting rooms outside of your usual office space.
To help employees feel comfortable in their office space and make sure that they know that their contribution is valued, you should think about allowing employees to help with the design of the office. For instance, a simple way to do this is to allow employees to decorate their personal area or cubicles with what they want and what they feel would motivate them best. This can help to both boost creativity and motivation in the workplace by allowing employees to make their space brighter and create an environment which allows them to get the best from themselves on an individual level. You should also consult your employees when it comes to décor, and ask them to weigh in on important decisions such as the colour of the workplace. You can also help them to contribute towards your design by asking them to create or produce artwork which you can hang around the office and which promotes your company’s ideals and brand image.
Space in an office is of vital importance, and you should spend a lot of time focusing on how to open up the space within your office. If your office feels crowded and cluttered, this can greatly increase the levels of stress that youremployees are subject to, and increase the pressure that they may be feeling. You can help to maximise the space of your office by avoiding placing large pieces of furniture in the centre of the room that may decrease the amount of walking space there is and even cause safety hazards. Raised furniture is also a good option as this increases the amount of visible floor space, creating the illusion of the office being larger than it truly is. You should also consider the benefits of simple solutions such as going wireless, as this will decrease the amount of space-consuming wires that are littering desks and the floor.
If your office is smaller than you would like for the amount of employees that you have, you should find some of the best ways to tackle smaller spaces. One of the best ways to do this is through hot-desking as this reduces the amount of desk space that you will need but at the same time make sure that every employee has a workstation and the correct facilities to do their work when they need to. You could also consider options such as remote work, where you can communicate with your employees via the internet. This enables your employees to do the same work, but the only difference is that they will be able to do this from any location, rather than your office. You could also consider renting extra office space that will allow you to increase the total size of your office space and make sure that everyone has a pleasant and welcoming place to work.