As a nation we spend many hours every day at our place of work. From an employer’s point of view it’s clearly important that the surroundings encourage productivity; we’d argue that it’s also vital that they promote and support health & well-being.
At Company Image we believe that office space should suit the various functions of the work being done, but we also believe that functionality needn’t be introduced at the expense of comfort or make the atmosphere any less welcoming.
Effective planning of office space can help to create both a healthy and productive work environment for all, and here are just 5 things that we suggest you think of when designing the perfect environment for your staff:
The highest productivity levels will be achieved by those who are happy, healthy and contented when they come to work. As well as this however, thought should be given to removing as many distractions as possible (this may be co-workers or even just clutter) and ensuring that the tools that each person needs for their job are available and easy to access.
Whilst cutting-edge design may be a ‘must-have’, we’d recommend consideration of furniture which supports good posture. Choosing chairs with features such as lumber support, adjustable seat height, and perhaps even foot-rests, are a good starting point, but at Company Image we’d also suggest a number of different workstation choices, encouraging movement and giving staff respite from being seated (perhaps even standing desks).
It’s not just seating which can affect health and well-being. Temperature is a common cause for complaint and variations in people’s ‘ideals’ means that flexibility is essential. Continuously circulating the same air can soon result in a very high concentration of pollutants, so if headaches, tiredness and illness are to be avoided, the aim must be to provide fresh air at all times (perhaps even aided by the inclusion of plants). And of course natural daylight is great for the health of both humans and plants alike!
In design, great impact on culture can be made through consideration of hierarchy, collaboration and individuality. Separate management cubicles sends the signal of there being a clear chain of command, whereas areas where employees from all departments can get together (e.g. common rooms or break-out areas) suggests that collaboration is welcomed, and allowing personal choice indicates that individuality is supported. The inclusion of company branding, mission etc. also subtly reinforces the business values.
Best results are normally achieved when individuals can match their own needs to the area where they work. To ensure that employees can find their optimum working conditions there should be a variety of options available. This means different desk and chair combos (maybe even beanbags for more creative tasks) but it may also involve a choice between a buzzing environment and one where silence is guaranteed.
We hope that this list has given a few simple pointers on some of the more important aspects within good office design. If you would like to speak to one of the Company Image team or enlist our help to create the perfect working environment for your staff then visit our website at https://www.companyimageuk.net/