October 27th, 2015
Create an Inspiring Workplace
The way in which an office space is designed can have a strong impact on the productivity of a business. Where objects are placed, if they are easily accessible, whether or not the furniture is appealing and comfortable, and how much an enterprise invests in caring for the area in which its employees spend the majority of their days can make a massive difference to the overall health of the ‘working culture’.
So, how can an executive ensure that their organisation develops and maintains a great workplaces and keeps their employees inspired and productive? It all comes down to flexibility, adaptability, and listening to the requests of your employees. Ultimately, we all just want to be heard, and to feel comfortable to express ourselves. Sometimes, revamping the office and creating some inviting meeting spaces in which your workforce can gather can influence your employee’s loyalty to the company. You might be surprised by how much your office environment can affect your mood, your productivity, and even your health.
Here are a few ways companies can create a more inspiring workplace:
Open up to inspire collaboration
Removing walls between individual cubicles can help increase efficiency and teamwork, as well as improve the overall sense of space. Another way to improve the sense of space is to make use of natural light, which has the added benefit of improving people’s vitality, quality of life and people’s sleep so they can be more alert at work. It also creates a much happier environment than stark, bright lights.
To further inspire collaboration, be sure to set aside some space where employees can work together and share ideas away from their desks. Include comfortable modular seating that can be configured in a number of ways to create different spaces to promote discussion, brainstorming and sharing of ideas.
Focus on wellness
Employees who are healthy are more likely to be happy, relaxed and productive. Redesigning desks, chairs and office equipment with a focus on ergonomics will make them more comfortable and staff less likely to suffer injury. Many companies are also offering standing desks for people to use, as well as spaces for yoga or other fitness classes. Adding plants to the office has been found to increase productivity, attention span, and happiness, as well as reducing stress.
Add space for fun
Increasingly, companies are creating spaces dedicated to fun, with additions like table tennis, game consoles, and even beer on tap (like Californian-based procurement platform Coupa)! While this may seem a little frivolous, it isn’t all for fun; games and relaxation can also have a serious influence on the productivity of the company as a whole. Your company is a team, and creating a space where workers feel like they belong helps them to create a bond between their fellow workers and the company.
Pay attention to colour
Certain colours can help to create a more inspiring workspace. Blue, for example, is known as the most productive colour or the ‘intellectual colour’, as it stimulates our minds. Yellow is known for stimulating your ego and spirits, and making you more optimistic, so it is great for creative spaces. Green offers balance, calm and reassurance. The best option is likely to be a mix of colours, particularly if your company has a varied mix of employees (from accountants to designers, say) who will each respond to different stimuli.
Allow employees to design their own space
Redesigning the aesthetics of the office to make it more conducive to creativity doesn’t necessarily warrant the pushing and shoving of furniture. For many employees, it’s the little things in the workplace that are enough to get the creative juices flowing. Allowing people to design their own space is one of the most important ways to inspire creative engagement in the workplace. This is supported by a 2010 study in Experimental Psychology, which published its discovery that employees able to express themselves in their own working spaces were up to 32% more productive than those who were not allowed to make any design changes to their personal office environments. It makes sense, too – if each member of that team is able to feel at home at work, they will likely be much more loyal and won’t be averse to spending a little more time in the office when they need to.
Redesigning doesn’t have to be a huge task. The underlying principle is that maintaining a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing and fun environment for the people doing the leg-work for your business will increase the comfort of your employees, and ultimately the success and productivity of your organisation overall.
For some more inspiration, take a look at some of the workplace projects from Cafe Culture + Insitu here.