Workplace conditions directly affect employees’ productivity, well-being and engagement.
If your office layout causes strain, stress or strife, your business will suffer. Try these eight office design tips that will boost morale:
1. Consider your layout.
Before setting up or redesigning your office, factor in your company’s culture, personalities and budget. Would an open office space lift spirits—or cause a revolt?
Survey your employees to gauge their preferred working styles, and try to accommodate the majority. If you don’t have enough money or room to give everyone their own space, you may want to invest in standing desks—or allow your team to work remotely.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are 15 creative office design ideas to consider.
2. Create opportunities for movement and mental breaks.
If you don’t offer employees formal breaks throughout the day, you should. “Mental” and “movement” breaks help our brains recharge and recover. Taking small breaks throughout the day can boost employee productivity, reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
When designing your workplace, prioritize providing space where employees can stretch, walk or get a bit of exercise. Help create a lively culture that discourages sitting all day long.
3. Be mindful of colors.
Before you choose which hues to use, consider these insights from Psychology Today:
- Green: Seeing green has been linked to more creative thinking.
- Red: People seeing others in front of red backgrounds generally find those other individuals are more attractive than when they see them silhouetted against other colors. Seeing red has been linked to impaired analytical reasoning, though, making it a bad option for offices.
- Violet: People link a grayish violet with sophistication.
- Yellow: Many people dislike this color.
- Blue: People are more likely to say blue is their favorite color than any other hue. That makes it a safe choice. Seeing blue also brings trustworthiness to mind.
4. Soak up natural light.
If your office is like a dark cave, you could be harming productivity.
In a study titled “Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life,” researchers compared workers in offices with and without windows. “The extent to which daylight exposure impacts office workers is remarkable,” said study co-author Ivy Cheung, a neuroscience doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. “Day-shift office workers’ quality of life and sleep may be improved via emphasis on light exposure and lighting levels in current offices, as well as in the design of future offices.”
If you’re unable to install more windows in your workplace, you can use mirrors or reflective furniture. In whatever way you can, amplify natural light. You can also purchase full-spectrum lightbulbs that mimic natural light.
5. Cultivate greenery.
6. Showcase art and personal items.
The art you display says a lot about what your company values, represents and stands for. If your walls are bare, why not liven them up with meaningful, uplifting pieces?
Also, allowing employees to personalize their workspaces can lower stress and put them more at ease.
7. Designate office zones.
- Collaboration zones, such as a break room.
- Fun zones, such as a game room.
- Quiet zones, where people can nap or work without distractions.
8. Swap and upgrade amenities.
Survey your employees to see what might make their lives a bit easier—or healthier.
Replace the unhealthy snacks in vending machines with more nutritious options. Upgrade your coffee station. You might consider offering services such as on-site child care.
Sometimes, seemingly small perks can make a world of difference for morale. So, frequently ask employees which amenities would be meaningful or helpful.
A version of this post first ran on the Calendar blog.