How Companies Can Achieve Better Office Design
Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by The Office Zen Master — No comments
With wellbeing in the workplace continuing to dominate discussions, there’s greater emphasis on the importance of happy, relaxed environments for staff. After all, your employees spend eight or more hours in the office every day, so it’s vital to ensure the office environment nurtures wellbeing and encourages productivity. Office design is one the biggest factors that influences employee wellbeing, so here’s how to create a workspace that benefits employees.
Avoid open-plan offices
Thankfully, many employers are starting to realise that open-plan offices belong firmly in the past! Despite around 8 million employees in the UK working in open-plan offices, there’s tons of research that demonstrating a significant drop in productivity. What’s more, employees suffer physically, mentally, and psychologically in these open-plan environments.
Incredibly, staff who work in open-plan offices are interrupted as often as every three minutes! Not only that, but some take up to 20 minutes to get back into their flow. As such, it’s worth meeting a designer to learn how you can create an office environment that benefits staff, instead of hindering their productivity.
Natural light and ventilation are key
You wouldn’t want your home to lack natural light and the right amount of ventilation, so why would this be the case for your office? Studies have found that there’s a direct correlation between exposure to natural light in workplaces and quality of life. They also show that employees who work next to windows get more sleep than those who don’t. Amazingly, workplaces that provide staff with access to natural light see between a 3% and 40% increase in productivity and sales. Therefore, it’s vital that employers select an office space with plenty of windows to invite daylight in.
Install break-out spaces
The best-designed offices include break-out spaces. They’re an easy and immediate way to improve a working environment, allowing employees to escape from their desk and remove themselves from stressful situations (and the computer screen). They can reduce stress levels and help employees to avoid getting burnt out. When they come back, employees are more productive and more focused on their work. Break-out spaces are also ideal for meetings, offering a relaxed and creative environment for staff to brainstorm ideas.
Say goodbye to meeting rooms
Businesswoman Arianna Huffington is renowned for scheduling meetings in the form of a walk or hike, rather than sitting in stuffy, formal meeting rooms. Apparently, she realised that some of her very best ideas came to her while walking. Like Arianna, more and more employers are saying goodbye to traditional meeting rooms and welcoming alternative options. Meeting rooms no longer have to be actual rooms—they could be break-out spaces, parks, or coffee shops. A change of location can relax employees and inspire creativity, encouraging the free flow of ideas.
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