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Business owners are always looking for new ways to get the best out of their staff. One thing that could easily be overlooked is the influence that office interior design has on employees’ happiness and productivity. Many people spend more time in their workplace than at home, and so it is vital that their surroundings are inspiring and, most importantly, comfortable. Revamping a workplace seems a mammoth task, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, with good planning and a clear focus on some vital points of office design you can achieve the best workplace possible. Below are four key elements of office interior design that will help ensure you get it right. One of the most important things to consider when looking to style a work space is the layout. In recent years, many business owners have foregone tight and enclosed desks in favour of an open plan configuration. This allows for interaction and collaboration amongst employees, as well as decreasing feelings of isolation. Whilst there are countless benefits to an open plan workplace, it is important to recognise that this will not suit everyone. Some personalities require quiet spaces to focus or for personal meetings. Employers should strive to achieve a good balance between socialisation and privacy for their staff. One way to achieve this is to have areas dedicated to socialisation within the office, for example lounges or break rooms. These spaces should be away from private offices and meeting rooms in order that workers desiring quiet will not be distracted by their colleagues. Workplaces should be efficient. Employers should consider their layout based on how people work. For example, place those who often collaborate on projects close to one another, and if there are staff members who make regular trips to another department, it makes sense for them to be located in close walking distance. Lighting has a huge impact on people’s emotions as well as their work ethic. Evidence shows that a lack of natural light leads to low productivity as well as tiredness and, in some cases, illness. Employers should aim to include windows as part of their office interior design. Large windows let in a lot of sunlight, which provides employees with vitamin D. This leads to a positive impact on their mood and in turn increases productive capacity. On top of this, views of open spaces can inspire creativity, another valuable benefit of investing in natural light. Colour is known to have a significant effect on productivity. Bland colours are uninspiring, whereas colourful spaces are proven to stimulate thinking and creativity. Pick colours according to the effect you wish them to have. Blues will promote a calming atmosphere and work well in areas devoted to relaxation; yellows fuel imagination and are particularly effective in high-paced working environments; reds are brilliant for keeping attention. Paint can be an inexpensive way to achieve brilliant results in an office revamp. Other ways to incorporate colour in a workplace include artwork and furnishing. The importance of furnishings in offices can be overlooked. Many business owners choose standard desks and chairs with little concern for their employees’ comfort and wellbeing. However, with evidence now showing that sitting for long periods of time is more harmful to one’s health than a lack of exercise, employers should shift their focus to prioritising the health of their staff. Standing desks, orthopaedic chairs and other ergonomic furniture options are easy ways to ensure the comfort of workers. On top of this, decorating spaces beautifully with artwork and plants can promote relaxation and increase happiness. (Although employers should be careful not to clutter working areas.) Clearly, the key to successful office interior design is prioritising employees’ needs and desires. Business owners will likely notice that consulting with their staff in conjunction with focusing on the key elements listed above produces a more enjoyable working environment for everyone. Employing a professional office design and build company will alleviate the stresses that come with revamping a workspace, as well as ensuring the process is cost effective. Daniel Freeman is a consultant for Buildgen, a company specialising in integrated office design and build. Builgen has garnered a reputation for excellence in office interior design by combining solid design and construction management, a commercially-proven project development process and unique application of a 360º service. They provide the perfect blend of creativity and efficiency.
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