The modern day office space looks much different than it ever used to. No longer are they stacked with impersonal cubicles or private offices. Nowadays, offices embrace communal work spaces, standing desks, and even in-office gyms and other services.
In other words, you’re in great company if you’re overhauling your workspace’s interior design.
Done well, new interior design boosts employee productivity and creativity. Not only that, but you’ll be able to better use the full space of the floor plan.
Your current employees aren’t the only ones who can benefit, either. By following these eight tips for commercial interior design, you’ll stand an excellent chance of attracting new company talent.
How Interior Design Impacts the Mind
It might sound obvious, but where you work greatly impacts how you work. That includes your ability to focus and to be productive. In other words, the design of your office matters, whether you work in an office or at home.
In fact, studies done on workplace and productivity point to physical environment as the biggest factor. A well-designed office might increase productivity as much as 20 percent.
Unfortunately, even though statistics encourage interior design, nearly half of employers don’t think of it as a good investment.
1) Identify what works in your current space and what doesn’t
Whether you’re renovating or designing something brand new, you need to look at the space you have. You might even already know what kind of spaces work well for where your company is right now.
If you don’t, it’s a good idea to talk to your employees for input. They’re the ones who will have to work in the office, so trust what they like and don’t like about the current state of the space. Additionally, let them help you with the process.
Allow them to help with demolition work and furniture assembly so that they feel like they are a part of the process.
2) Know and trust your employees
Effective managers customize their styles to fit their employees’ preferences. By understanding how they learn and work best, for example, the better your training programs can be.
Likewise, recognizing which communication styles your team prefers makes everything easier. Not only will you be more effective at sharing information, but you’re also more likely to avoid misunderstandings too.
Managers also need to know where their employees are strong and where they need improvement. These can all help with planning the most-effective layout for your office, and for delegating tasks.
3) Try some artwork
Well-designed signs make great first impressions with visitors and employees alike. Indeed, interior office signs and exterior branding are important to establish your image. But if you really want to personalize the office, add a sprinkling of contemporary art.
This will create a warm and welcoming environment that a poster of company incentives won’t. If you plan to take this route and will have expensive art in your office, be sure to invest in a quality home security system for protection as well.
4) Consider the room color
All around us, there are many different colors painted across materials. These colors affect our moods and the way our brains function, right down to evoking emotional and physical responses.
In other words, it should come as no surprise that the right colors can dramatically increase productivity at work. For example, studies suggest that blue engenders production. Beware of using too much of a single color, though, because that’s boring and overwhelming.
If you work in an office, consider bringing in things from home that inspire you. Look at the color, and try to work with that as a theme. It doesn’t need to be any kind of furniture; magazine cutouts, postcards, or mere color blocks are all fine.
If you work from home, there’s much more flexibility involved. You have the option to add color to your table, hang more pictures, or completely repaint the walls. The choice is yours!
5) Don’t neglect the chair and table
If you have control over your desk and chair at work, consider swapping them out for something more ergonomic. Style matters for interior design, but not to the detriment of your physical health.
Not to mention, your productivity will take a hit; the more you spend time focused on adjusting, the less you’re working. In the modern-day, most of us work while seated for eight hours each day. That means it’s critical to get furniture that correctly fits your body.
When shopping for a new chair and desk, consider the following:
- Eyes 2 to 3 feet from the computer screen. The top of the monitor should be no higher than eye-level.
- Feet should rest on the floor or on a footrest.
- Lightly reclining in a chair minimizes back pain and reduces pressure on the spine.
If you work in an office, ask your boss for an adjustable chair. Many companies also provide risers for computers. These adjust your computer screen height to help reduce neck strain. You can also get a separate keyboard to maintain the ideal hand and wrist position.
If you work from home but can’t afford a decent chair, consider using some pillows to improve your seat. If your table is too high, use pillows to add height. If it’s too low, stop by a hardware store and grab some leg risers.
6) Get rid of clutter
Whenever your mom told you to clean up your room, she wasn’t just listening to herself speak! Clutter might help stimulate a creative mind, but it’s poor for productivity and focus.
If you work for a company, you probably don’t have control over the clutter in the whole office. But you can still keep your own environment tidy. Take just 10 minutes each day to ensure everything is organized, filed, and otherwise out of sight. The more clutter out there, the more distractions you’ll face tomorrow.
Those who work from home have far more control over this area. An entire house can serve as a potential for distraction, though.
Consider hiring a professional to clean if you can afford it. Otherwise, dedicate a specific time each week to do it yourself. Likewise, take 10 minutes each day to ensure the office area is nice and tidy for tomorrow.
7) Bring in some outdoors
Not only do plants make the environment prettier and nicer to be around, but they add much-needed nature to windowless offices.
No matter how hard we work, we are first and foremost biological creatures. That means we’re affected by our access to the natural world, as well as its absence on dark wintry days. Access to nature is important to our physiological and psychological functioning. As you might have guessed, both of these are important for productivity.
If you work in an office and have no windows, then try bringing some pictures of nature. It might sound silly, but even a screensaver of a tree can help soothe your stress.
If you’re able, take walks outside for lunch or whenever you can take a break. Even a few moments spent in the sun amid fresh air can shed the grogginess and invigorate. Finally, think about adding a plant to your desk.
8) Design your digital space
No matter where you work, most people store everything on laptops and computers. Our physical environment serves as the backdrop to our vast digital lives. As such, it’s worth it to ensure your computer contains the software that lets you customize everything the way you need.
One example would be to use focus apps to help decrease distractions at work. Otherwise, you can try apps to design your day around intervals. This can help break up the monotony of daily tasks while ensuring you remain at peak focus all day.
As you attempt to improve your workplace environment these simple tips should be a great place to start.
By modifying them to fit your budget, office size, and employees they will provide a great base to work from and will allow you to dramatically improve the atmosphere and productivity of your workplace.