Employees who work in cozy offices tend to have better productivity, multiple studies have shown. A perfectly-designed office impacts positively on employee morale and health, which in turn reduces absenteeism and lack of commitment. Try the 6 tips below on how to brighten and open up your office space in your next remodeling project.
1. Proper lighting
Adequate lighting is one of the factors with the greatest influence on the mood and, by extension, productivity among employees. If you have ever worked in a poorly-lit office, then you will understand how frustrating it is to read small texts in such conditions. You also have had to deal with constant headaches and eye strains that come with staring at the computer all day in a dimly-lit cubicle. You definitely don’t want your employees to go through that horrific experience.
On the flip side, working in an office that has excessively bright lights can be detrimental to the employees’ visual health. That is why you should ensure that your office has a light balance of natural and artificial light. The more natural light from the windows, the more stimulated your employees will be. Ensure that your windows are large enough to let in as much sun rays as possible.
2. Inject some productive noise
There are people who actually find background noise therapeutic. Such people are very productive when working in acoustic, open workspaces. But then there is a group of people who can only work productively in total silence. So, how do you take care of these two groups of people? The best thing to do is to install natural, white sounds such as waterfalls, rain sounds, or ocean waves in the office. These noises are not as disturbing as generic playlists. Employees who want to listen to their own playlists can have a separate cubicle, just like the few who dislike white sounds.
3. Tweak the layout
Traditionally, there were no open-plan offices. Everyone was confined in cubicles. And although this isolation plan made people work with zero interference, the lack of human interaction significantly reduced employee productivity. Then came the open layout office plans and excessive human interaction brought many unintended consequences. For example, people spend a lot of time chatting, there isn’t much privacy, and everyone feels like the boss is watching at all times, which isn’t a good thing.
Clearly, cubicles and open plan offices have their fair share of positives and negatives. Instead of implementing one option and eliminating the other, it is best to have them both. Ensure that your office plan includes quiet enclosed spaces where employees can fully concentrate on work without the bosses watching. Also, ensure that there are open areas where colleagues can brainstorm and collaborate.
4. Modernize the office kitchen
Kitchen remodeling should be top of your remodeling priorities for the simple fact that people cannot be productive on empty stomachs. While at it, invest in office kitchen appliances, vending machines, microwaves, and any other appliance that employees can use to source for, warm, or prepare food. And in case you haven’t been preparing food for the employees in the kitchen, maybe it is time you reserved a small kitchen space for that. That is if you don’t want the employees to be eating junk food all the time. Note that junk food is unhealthy, it caused fatigue and makes employees feel unenergetic in the afternoon hours.
5. Add some green
To reduce the levels of carbon dioxide gas and other volatile organic compounds in the office, it is advisable to use green and other environment-friendly building materials. Note that poor office air quality can blunt employee energy levels and, in extreme cases, cognitive function. Also, ensure that there are good ventilation and enough air-filtering live plants in the office.
6. Proper insulation
Office temperature is as important as lighting. People who are close to the AC are far too cold while those close to sun-warmed areas are far too hot. To solve this, the best thing to do is to switch off the AC and after the ideal temperature is attained. To ensure that the ideal temperature stays as-is for long, ensure that your office has proper insulation.