Are you wondering how to create an office space that keeps your staff happy, healthy and focused? Businesses often focus their office interior design on impressing clients and visitors, but they are increasingly realising the benefits that come from creating a positive work environment for staff. Employees are a company’s biggest asset, so designing an office that keeps them motivated and stimulates their creativity is the best thing you can do for staff retention, productivity and profits. We’ve outlined 7 design tips to help you boost workplace morale.
1. Balance open plan space with the need for closed spaces
Open plan offices need to be carefully implemented because different people need different environments to maximise their potential comfort and productivity. Open plan offices work well for collaboration but when an employee needs to focus, they can become frustrated with constant distractions and less likely to socialise and collaborate with their coworkers. To create more privacy for employees, businesses can install office partitioning systems, quiet areas and rooms to do individual work. To foster a positive atmosphere, adapt the workspace to the employee, not the other way round.
2. Use glass as much as possible
Glass has the power to introduce natural light and increase transparency, making it one of the single most important materials in any office. It helps to create a clear space physically and psychologically as it makes the office space look larger and encourages free thinking. From a biological perspective, the light helps with happiness, energy, and morale. Interactive Space installed plenty of glass walls in financial consultancy Accuracy’s new office design, which included a series of glass-enclosed flexible meeting rooms and touchdown workspaces.
3. Be environmentally-friendly
The modern day population has a marked interest in the ecosystem and has started taking steps to minimise negative human impact on the environment. Some of these steps include avoiding the use of products and materials detrimental to ecological balance, and recycling and reusing products wherever possible. It is likely that a high percentage of your employees will appreciate any commitment your company makes towards sustainability from recycling toner cartridges and batteries to using ecological cleaning products. Companies that genuinely and actively promote these values will impact on your current and future relationship with your staff by boosting morale and respect.
4. Bring Nature into the office
The psychological benefits of bringing nature into the office have been extensively researched. Businesses can take advantage of these benefits, which include creating a healthier and calmer workplace, by allowing plenty of sunlight into the workplace and placing plants throughout the office. More designs include integrating nature into the office furniture and artwork. Helix Property, UK property management service providers filled their reception area and atrium with live planters, including in the back of seating. The modifications include the installation of a moss wall. Likewise, NTT Data UK focused on its eastern origins by installing individual pebbles to highlight other features and give the space just the right amount of Japanese influence without losing its modern London identity.
5. Provide informal breakout spaces
The contemporary office breakout area has become a popular phenomenon that has multiple uses. It allows staff to relax, gives them an informal collaboration space and offers a chance to socialise. This space could take the form of a bar area, tea point or kitchen, or even a sitting area in the lobby that is fitted with comfy couches where people from different departments can brainstorm free from the constraints of traditional meeting rooms. These areas can help give staff places to escape their normal surroundings and prompt fresh ideas or just help them to de-stress. The communication group EDC have incorporated plenty of unconventional office areas that contribute to their overall “shabby chic” aesthetic, including leather sofas and picnic tables on faux grass. They also have an area next to the main open-plan workspace that has books and table football.
6. Install artwork
Art is more than aesthetic and it can have a positive physiological impact on the brain. This is why art is used in occupational therapy around the world; it can help reduce blood pressure while improving a person’s focus and outlook on their job or about life in general. Cutting-edge art installations represent a progressive company, which conveys a positive message to staff. Art can also be personalised to reflect a company’s brand or values. For example, Angel Trains installed a black walnut curved panelled wall with pigeon holes displaying models of the train carriages built by the company.
7. Install interactive walls
People are inherently visual so interactive walls are a popular way to keep staff engaged at all times. They can provide a continuous brainstorm session with staff from different departments being invited to add ideas at any time. Or perhaps if they are in communal spaces they can be used for suggestions, messages or maybe even jokes and observations. Glass, blackboards, and whiteboards all have special, erasable writing utensils and cork boards or cork walls can be used for pinning images. These walls help build relationships and connections that would be limited if only paper was used and it helps ideas become contagious.
If you would like help with designing an office interior that boosts staff morale, please contact Interactive Space.