The office is not the most popular destination in the UK at present, as the remote working revolution continues unabated in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. Incentivising employees to wilfully return to the office is difficult, not in the least as statistics continue to demonstrate that remote work seems to have no negative impacts on productivity.
However, for some businesses and industries, working in the office is a necessary evil for at least some. As such, making the office as welcoming and productive an environment as possible is key for the business owner, to provide optimal conditions for employee wellbeing and quality of work. What are some key ways in which a business might redesign their office for aesthetic and practical benefit?
Natural light is an extremely impactful provision in any office space; sunlight, direct or indirect, has a powerful effect on wakefulness and activity, where artificial lights can introduce a number of problems. Those problems run from simple discomfort to ocular issues and even migraines. By arranging desks and communal areas around natural light, you enable workers to benefit from heightened energy and mood levels.
There are also undeniable links to be found between office colour scheme and worker comfort. Bright, deep primary colours are often unsettling, whether being unsightly or painful to regard or simply heightening the wrong moods. Muted, soft colours are much more likely to inspire harmonious feelings, and they can be incorporated throughout the office with ease – from the walls and partitions to the reception furniture and beyond.
No office has suffered for incorporating some foliage in its design. Just as flowers and houseplants bring a great deal of life to our homes, so too can they do so in the office. Bouquets of fresh-smelling flowers like sweet peas can bring a multisensory experience to waiting and meeting areas, while shrubs and trees around office desks can break up the office and inject spikes of natural colour.
Seating and Meeting
In most administrative office environments, workers will spend the majority of their day sitting down. The seats they use should be comfortable, at the very least! Ergonomic seats reduce the risk of musculoskeletal issues in staff later down the line, and increase the amount of time they can sit working before they move or re-adjust.
On a less direct level, comfort can also be ensured by thinking about the places where workers may sit. Communal seating should be a priority to enable social engagement, and such communal seating should be comfortable to boot.