There have been a lot of changes to workplace design over the last few decades. Originally, workplaces had endless rows of workstations strewn with paperwork and other office equipment. Executives had their own large offices and rarely came into contact with other employees.
At one point, cubicles were a popular feature in almost all offices. The only problem is that these spaces didn’t encourage movement and collaboration. Most adults spend a huge chunk of their day time at work. Business owners realized that a great office design would make them happier and more productive. With a solid workplace strategy, you can build the ideal work environment.
Modern offices are geared towards ensuring the overall well-being of employees. Since it’s like their second home, it is only fair to make it more comfortable.
Some business owners only focus on the attractiveness of their workplace. While aesthetics are important, there are other important features you shouldn’t overlook.
Workplace Ergonomics to Keep in Mind
- Proper Lighting
This is one of the most important features of a great office design. If you ask, most employees do not like working in dimly lit environments as it dampens their moods. Start by ensuring that enough sunlight gets into the work areas.
There are several strategies you can use to achieve this. First, have the working areas/spaces near the windows. Secondly, move to an office space which has larger windows to let in ample sunlight. For private offices, you can use glass walls. Artificial lighting is also vital. Have task and ambient lights to improve lighting in poorly lit areas.
- Thermal Comforts Such as Ventilation, Temperature, and Humidity
Good ventilation at the workplace is crucial. When the air circulation is poor, this increases carbon dioxide levels in the office space, making the employees feel lethargic. When looking for office space, look for one that is well-ventilated. Installing air conditioning systems also helps keep the air in your workplace clean.
A faulty HVAC system may also affect temperatures in your office. Get an expert to regularly check it to ensure that the system is in good condition. But what if some rooms have different cooling and heating needs? You can have several thermostats for regulating the temperature in various areas of your workplace.
- Noise Levels
Noise negatively affects productivity in a work environment. Use the following tips to reduce noise in your office:
- Create quiet areas where employees who need to concentrate on certain tasks can go to. If you don’t have this space, you can use the conference or game room.
- Place equipment like printers which produce noise away from employees’ work areas.
- Create a phone booth where workers can make their calls without interfering with their colleagues’ work.
- Consider getting your employees noise-canceling headphones if it’s impossible to remove the source of the noise.
- Available Working Space
While some workplaces have ample space to create areas for numerous functions, others don’t. This does not mean you cannot design a great office if the space is small. You have to work with the available space, especially if you cannot move to a new office space.
You can remove things that take up too much space in your office area. For instance, install wall shelves and ditch traditional cabinets. You also get modern chairs and tables that don’t take up a lot of space in the work area.
Other Factors to Consider When Designing Your Office
When designing your office, you may end up spending more money than expected. If you plan to tweak your work environment, come up with a budget. Note down things you can forego if you are on a tight budget. For instance, if you were to choose between wall painting and acquiring ergonomic chairs, you would go with the latter.
Coming up with a budget can be challenging, especially if you know little about office design. Consulting an office design expert can help you make the most out of your budget.
Type of Work/Tasks to Done in Your Workplace
The tasks done in a workspace can influence its design. Let’s say you have numerous tasks that require collaboration; having a separate room for that would make sense. If you have a small space, consider having multipurpose rooms for this. An open-plan space where employees can freely mingle is also perfect for industries where collaboration is vital.
A great office design is one that not only reflects your brand but also motivates your employees to do their best. Thus, focus on the above elements of design, which will boost productivity at the workplace.