There’s no holy grail for office decor. And rightly so. Research shows that a cookie-cutter approach to office design concepts can hamper productivity and well-being across industries.
Imagine for a moment, giving an ad agency the same office environment as a software company. The former, typically associated with open layouts, informal seating and bright colors, works for the cause, because employees are encouraged to pursue free-thinking, casual coffee discussions, and off-the-clock huddles. In software, with employees primarily planted behind a computer screen, a structured work approach – with formal bays and subdued palettes – can reap better results. But this begs the question – why choose one over the other? Aren’t employees’ needs fluid? A mix of environments within a single office can cater to various individuals, teams, and verticals.
If you’re looking for inspiration, start with these tips.
- Tailor Individual Spaces
First, decide how many unique employee profiles you have. Perhaps your workforce is predominantly made up of engineers, designers and marketers. In this case, assess the needs of each of these groups and observe how they interact. It’s possible that engineers favor privacy and fewer social interactions while at work, while marketers prefer hallway huddles or informal standing meetings. Compartmentalize your decor to create conducive environments for each group.
- Increase Visibility with Glass
Even with separate spaces, you can still create a sense of continuity and seamlessness by using glass. This way, you not only connect your overall office but also enhance luminosity and visibility. Sunlight is a natural antidote for low energy and gloom.
- Create Breakout Areas
People can find inspiration in the most unlikely settings – in the cafeteria, in the lobby or anywhere in between. Create multiple breakout areas where employees can be inspired and engage in discussions. Of course, have a healthy mix of private spaces, formal meeting rooms and casual seating zones to give employees a spectrum of options to meet and collaborate.
- Place Open Bays Along the Windows
For most companies, it’s almost tradition to frame the office walls with enclosed cubicles. But when you do that, you’re cutting off vast amounts of natural light. Instead, consider placing open bays around the walls and huddling your cubicles towards the center of the office. This way, you’ll have plenty of daylight streaming into all corners.
- Let Your Walls Speak
Catch inspiration everywhere, including your walls. Most organizations resort to leaving their walls empty. Turn your walls into inspiration boards and blank canvases. Put up motivational quotes, poems, posters, and expressions up on some, and turn others into chalkboards and whiteboards.
When designing your office, consider your company’s identity, your employees’ tastes and preferences, and existing office interactions. Engage with employees to find out what kind of environment they would prefer. A conducive office can lend your organization a competitive edge. All you need to do is take the first step.
Founded in 2013, OurHealthMate (OHM) is a health-tech startup. Their award-winning services are rooted in a three-pronged service strategy: care planning, business intelligence, and quality execution. We help corporates to create a healthy work environment that is engaging, inspires creativity, productivity and innovation.
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