To say that offices are becoming more creative with their internal spaces would be an understatement. Every day we seem to be alerted to new and exciting features – all of which are implemented with the sole aim of enhancing production.
This is the reason behind today’s post. We will now mull over five ways you can change your office’s furniture, and ultimately make your team’s productivity levels soar through the roof.
The power of posture
It can sometimes be difficult for businesses to justify expense on new office seating, but considering the fact that poor posture can prompt all sorts of ailments, which ultimately prevent your employees from working, this should be one of your top priorities.
Most office seating including mesh, fabric or leather chairs will have some ergonomic features to ensure that everyone’s posture is taken care of. Some have more bells and whistles than others depending on your needs – and of course your budget. Regardless of a person’s shape or size, the chair can be adjusted to make sure the user fits comfortable in the chair. Ultimately, those sick days for back pain should dwindle significantly.
The rise of sit/stand desks
In a similar vein, something which has risen considerably in popularity over the last few years is sit/stand desks. This has mainly been derived from the emphasis on healthy living; with countless studies showing just how dangerous sedentary lifestyles can become.
Sure, you might not fancy standing at your desk for the entire day, but if you just try it for the odd hour here and there it can add something different to your routine, whilst benefiting your health in the process.
Break out areas aren’t just for slacking
Some companies historically viewed break out areas for employees to avoid work. Well, these days it’s been proven but they can be godsends for productivity. Some employees will venture out to them when they have a need to solve a problem, and just want to get away from the normal office chatter. Others might simply relax there, which may reinvigorate them to return more productive.
Suffice to say, attitudes on these areas are changing, and a lot of businesses are moving towards them.
Lighting up the mood
If you are based in something of an underground den, with white lights panning down onto everyone, it’s hardly the most motivating environment to work in. Sure, some office spaces might be restrictive when it comes to natural light, but if you can make sure you have as much as this available as possible you will make life for your workers much better. Failing that, turn to some more homely light fittings, which at least make it feel as though your office isn’t based in some form of hospital wing.
Using greenery to your advantage
If you have an outside area, you’ll already know exactly how well this goes down with your team during the warmer months. If you don’t, try and bring the outside indoors.
It’s again something that can really prompt a more pleasant environment and ultimately, this will be the thing that keeps your staff productive.
Investing in quirky office furnishings can help your business reap rewards in a number of ways.
Discount voucher company MyVoucherCodes has recently moved into a 10,000 sq ft space after being based in a serviced office, and the company decided to make the interior a little different from the norm.
‘To be more than just a good company, you need to provide a motivational, inspirational environment,’ says CEO Mark Pearson. ‘We found a lovely shell near London Bridge but we needed to transform it. We wanted to make it unusual and unique but practical and fun.’
The company opted for quirkiness, including a mini-garden and oasis, featuring real trees, plants and grass, green areas of carpet and hand-carved wooden seats. ‘When you walk into the room it’s calming and cool – ideal for HR when you have heated moments and troublesome issues that need ironing out,’ says Pearson.
A major theme for the interior was ‘internet mapping’. ‘We thrive on geekiness, techiness, wires and fibre-optics. Coming out of our lift shaft we’ve got wires painted up the wall – multicoloured cables; we wanted bright colours and to have different colour-themed rooms.’
The interior also reflects the aspirations of the company. ‘We’ve got images of London skylines and international skylines as one of our goals is to take the company international,’ says Pearson.
The overall effect is a morale-boost for staff. ‘Everyone’s asking if they can take their partners and friends around the office, which is a mark of pride in their workplace and can only be good long term. Also, potential candidates can visualise themselves working here. Office design can be the little thing that wins you some key staff.’
Architect and interior designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh says, ‘An office environment should enhance productivity for all users, which means the employees as well as company directors. At the same time, it also needs to represent the company in terms of its identity and spirit.’ She says that there are two main considerations for a successful office design: the image given externally, i.e. to clients and other visitors, and the satisfaction of the users, mainly employees.
‘The design helps to communicate the underlying values of the company, and any office that respects and enhances the workspace for employees also enhances productivity, the happiness of employees and the success for everyone.
’Cost can be a deterrent to funky designs. However, Mahmoudieh says, ‘If you design an office with the future in mind it will last longer, as well as improving work productivity and quality. Over time, this repays the additional cost.’