When we think about typical offices, the mind often conjures up images or grey cubicles, grey walls, strip lighting and an additional smattering of grey – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today, more and more workspaces are designed to aid concentration, increase productivity and de-stress workers. After all, we all know we do our best work when we are happy. So what kind of office layout ideas could you as an employer use to get the best out of your staff?
It’s not a cave
Nobody likes cabin fever, yet many offices still choose to call dimly lit rooms home, to save on costs. It has long been known that natural sunlight is one of the best ways to stimulate the brain and prevent fatigue so it’s important to ensure that any work areas have clear access to windows. The more natural light you have filling your office, the happier your employees will be.
Tidy office, tidy mind
When people think of the term ‘tidy’, they tend to describe offices that are free from mess – but clutter can often be a little less obvious than you think. So what denotes clutter? Is it simply unemptied garbage bins? Or maybe stacks of paperwork piled up on desks, as opposed to being filed away?
While these all ring true, people often forget about exposed office wiring, the LAN cables running from desk to desk waiting to get caught on your footwear; as well as extension cables that were only ‘temporary’ solutions but soon became a part of the furniture. Hiring a professional to install stealthy wiring solutions that stay out the way and out of mind can clean up an office with great success.
Of course, it’s not just inanimate objects that cause clutter – if a worker wishes to move around the office, the simple lack of clear paths between destinations is often perceived as messy by the human brain. Nice, spacious routes between departments and desks prevent offices from creating mental obstacles that hinder productivity and prevent a worker from feeling lost in a maze.
Tend to your employees’ mental and physical health
The pomodoro technique has long been used by prolific workers to remain focused on their work-based projects – the idea of taking regular breaks between short intensive sessions of creative output. Of course, it’s not always easy to relax when you sit at your workstation, sometimes you need a change of scenery and that’s why you need break-out spaces.
Of all the great office layout ideas, designated rest areas are one of the most important to get the best out of your employees. A place where they can sit with a coffee, or take a 10-minute break to chat with their co-workers, is vital to ensure a sense of community in the workplace.
Another aspect of contentment often overlooked is the use of quality furniture. That bulk purchase of 100 super-cheap office chairs may seem a great financial decision – but in the long-term, an employee with back and neck pain will not be as fruitful as an member of staff who gets to sit comfortably with the necessary physical support.
Open up your office
While certain tasks can be aided with the seclusion that comes with a private office, studies have shown time and time again that the human brain is most effective when provided with outside stimulation. Offices who have removed cubicles report a more social atmosphere, as well as increased courtesy between workers such as lowering the volume of their voice while speaking on the phone.
Open plan offices also foster greater communication – in layouts where managers work behind closed doors, more introverted employees are less likely to want to knock on an office door to clarify issues or seek advice from their line managers. Ultimately, it’s much easier to wander over to your peers when they work in the same room as you.
Remember where you work
What sets your office apart from the similar company down the road? In an employee’s mind, are these two different office buildings interchangeable? Research has repeatedly shown that employees who feel ‘part of a brand’ are prouder of their company than those who don’t, so consider adding some company branding to make the room feel a little more specialised. The greater a worker feels part of the company, the more successful they will be in their role.
Another blank wall?
The phrase ‘staring at a wall’ has long been a colloquialism used to describe boredom. Instead of leaving a wall blank, try investing in digital wall prints – with a huge variety of images and landscapes in a vast range of sizes, digital wall prints can not only help morale, but support the reinforcement of your company’s branding while adding the ability to use colour theory to improve efficiency in different areas.
Remember to listen…
An oversight many management teams make is to undervalue the importance of employee feedback. After all, if the employee feels better working under circumstances and surroundings you have the ability to facilitate – why would you ignore that? After all, a greater business yield is only produced if those who do the work are happy.
Looking for some excellent office layout ideas in Manchester and surrounding areas?
We help with office design and fit out in Manchester other locations nearby. Feel free to get in touch with us for a no-obligation chat on 01606 333 150, or use the contact form on the right of this page.