On average, people who work spend more time at their respective offices than they do at home. Since this is typically the case, it’s important to make your office into an enjoyable space. A well-designed office can increase employee morale, efficiency, and overall attitude.
A well-designed office can also help convey what kind of business you are. If you happen to run a CPA firm, you’ll want an office that looks professional or sophisticated. On the other hand, if you run a marketing firm or a creative agency, you’ll want a fun and creative space. This is important to consider because you ultimately want your office to support the functions of your business.
Lighting is Key
Office lighting should be a top priority when designing an office. According to the American Society of Interior Design, 68% of employees complain about their office’s lighting. Ensuring you have good lighting in your office can lead to healthier employees, improved productivity, and also save your business money on the utility bill.
It’s also important to have good lighting because it can help avoid health problems for employees. Health issues such as migraines or headaches can stem from harsh overhead lighting and hurt an employee’s productivity and motivation.
Additionally, drowsiness and fatigue are byproducts of bad lighting in the office. If the lighting is too dim, employees will naturally become tired and look for ways (other than work) to keep them awake.
The same bad lighting can also lead to poor sleep patterns for employees. To keep our circadian rhythms in order, we need enough natural light to help keep us awake during the day. This helps ensure that we get quality sleep at night, thus giving us more energy during the day.
Colors and Moods
When picking colors to paint your office, it’s important to consider how these colors affect the moods and psyche of your employees. According to a study at the University of Texas, men experienced dismal feelings when placed in an office with purple or orange paint. On the other hand, women experienced the same dismal feelings of depression and sadness when placed in grey, beige/khaki, or white offices.
As humans, we tend to associate colors with how they are most often displayed in our lives. For example, the color green creates a calming effect. It is typically associated with nature, energy, and growth. Green is also the least stressful color on the eyes, which makes it a great color for people who spend their days looking at a computer screen.
For the most part, the best colors to use in your office to keep your employees in a happy and productive mood are blue, red, green, and yellow. These four colors create feelings of calmness, cheerfulness, and a sense of urgency. However, colors that you should steer clear of are bland, boring, neutral tones such as grey, tan, and white. If you do have bland walls in your office, it may not be a bad idea to add some accent colors.
Since lighting and color are two big aspects for the mental health of employees, furniture and comfortability are the main focus for employee physical health. In an office setting, employees are sitting down at their desk for 5 hours and 40 minutes a day on average. This extended amount of time sitting down can have negative effects on an individual’s body and posture. Body aches, muscle or nerve pain, and fatigue are all symptoms that stem from sitting too long at an uncomfortable desk.
The best way to counteract these distracting physical ailments is to offer furniture that won’t induce them. Adjustable office chairs with some sort of lumbar support will improve posture and allow for proper blood flow while sitting at a desk.
Also, incorporating standing desks into your office can help keep employees void of health problems that stem from sitting down for too long. Standing at a desk helps promote mental concentration, reduce feelings of being tired, and suppress feelings of fatigue.
Lastly, providing comfortable furniture such as couches, armchairs, and coffee tables can provide a refreshing change of scenery at the office. Not only will this provide a nice change from the traditional desk and swivel chair, it helps make your office more comfortable and a more enjoyable place to be and work.
To conclude, it is important to consider the mental and physical needs of your employees when creating a well-designed office. You want to create a place that fosters the growth of employees, provides them the least amount of stress, and gives them the necessary environment to promote creativity and productivity.
If you can avoid the negatives in this blog and embrace the positives, then you’ll be able to create a well-designed office setting that will make your employees happy, healthy and productive. At the end of the day, the office should be a place where an employee wants to be, not where they have to be.
-Written by Jonah Ericksen