Designing a great office is very important because it will provide an environment that your employees want to come to each day and will help them to be productive while they are at work. Office design has changed a lot over the past few decades with the cubicles of the eighties and nineties making way for the interactive office playgrounds seen at the headquarters of Google and Facebook. Creating the perfect space for your employees takes careful planning, the right budget, and a little expert help. Office design is often as much about what you shouldn’t do as what you should do.
With that in mind, here are 7 costly design mistakes you should avoid in your office.
1. Using Harsh Artificial Lights
Lighting is very important as putting in the wrong lights can hurt your employees’ eyes, give them headaches, and make them feel tired. When creating any lighting setup, you need to find the right balance between mood and function, but in an office, you should lean towards function. This means that white lights are usually better but only if you cannot get enough natural light into the office that you don’t need them. Natural light is always a better choice than harsh artificial lights so try and keep all of your windows unobscured so that your employees get a healthy dose of sunlight while they are working.
2. Relying on the Air Con or Heating Systems
As well as the light in your office, the temperature and humidity are also crucial for creating the right environment for productivity. Too many offices rely on air-con or heating systems, but if possible, it is better to just open the windows. This will help you get fresh air into the office and regulate the temperature in a natural way. Ventilating the office is very important to stop the air from becoming stale so that your employees can breathe freely.
3. Providing Uncomfortable Furniture
In most offices, employees spend hours each day sitting down at their desks or in meetings, so the least you can do is provide them with comfortable furniture. Too many businesses think cheap wooden furniture is good enough, but if you really want your employees to be productive then you should provide ergonomic office furniture which has been specially designed so that employees don’t suffer from the usual back and neck problems. This type of furniture is super adjustable so your employees can set it up to fit them perfectly.
4. Cluttering the Space
Designing your office is the same as designing a home with space being key. The office design maestros at Vestra Workspace fitouts explain that if you clutter the space, that can lead to disorganization which will rub off on your employees. Less is more when it comes to office design and as long as you have everything which your employees need, you can leave the office relatively open. A logical flow from the entranceway throughout the whole space will lead to productivity and a well-functioning office.
5. Opening the Room Up Too Much
The other side of that, however, is that you don’t want to open the room up too much. If you have your employees’ desk setups too far away from each other, then they will feel isolated from their colleagues. While you may think this would make them work harder, as seen from the cubicles of past decades, it just makes people feel bored so they procrastinate more. You need to keep your employees in contact with each other so they can communicate and share ideas.
6. Creating a Sterile Environment
In order to keep your employees happy, you need to create an office which they want to come to each day. When designing the space, try to create a home away from home so that they feel comfortable. A sterile office environment with dull colors, no plants or artwork, and boring drab furniture is going to be reflected in your employee’s energy and motivation levels. Create fun, attractive space, and your employees will be far happier spending their day at work.
7. Neglecting Visitors
Whether they are clients or business partners, you should always try to make visitors to your office feel welcome. A dedicated reception area with a coffee machine and comfortable furniture is very important so that they can wait in comfort for whoever they are meeting. You can add a TV and some up-to-date magazines as well as providing WiFi so they can work or use their phones while they wait.
Office design takes some careful thought but if you get it right, it will pay dividends. Avoid these 7 mistakes and you will be able to create an office space that is both attractive and productive.