One of the biggest problem with what the efficient office should look like lies in the fact that visual stimulus seems to be too subjective. Sure, there are some colours that consistently provoke certain emotions, yet, even this differs from case to case. Nonetheless, is this all there is to it? Of course, we’re not suggesting that you should dismiss the visual stimulus but that you needn’t focus on it exclusively. You see, the most important thing about designing an office is the fact that you need to turn it into a pleasant place, a place that stirs positive emotions. The best way to do so is to stir all the senses. Here are several tips and suggestions on how you should do so.
- The psychology of colour
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that different colours stir different emotions and by learning how to control this, you’ll be able to make this office of yours much more effective. For instance, the colour red is the one making your employees more aggressive and more alert. Therefore, it’s best used in the section with your sales team or in the conference room, so that you can enhance vigorous brainstorming sessions. On the other hand, focus and creativity enhancing yellow should, as is only natural, be used in the space where all your creatives are.
2. The influx of natural light
Other than colour, access to natural light is yet another pivotal factor for the overall mood and mental health of your employees. In this way, natural light even affects productivity in the workplace. Your battle for light, however, starts when choosing the office. First of all, you need to make sure that the clear sky is visible from every single work station in the office. Second, you need to use all the available tricks to enhance the strength of natural light. We’re talking about the installation of mirrors and skylights and removing obstacles that create indoor shade.
3. Adequate temperature
Now we come to the most controversial point in this post – the adequate office temperature. Seeing as how this is something that affects each individual subjectively, the issue of adequate office temperature is an issue that no staff will ever agree upon. Therefore, you need to be the one making the tough call.
In order to make this issue as efficient as possible, as well as avoid the scenario where you’re accused of setting the temperature according to your own liking, you need to take a study as a basis for your decision. According to numerous studies and surveys, the average employee finds the temperature between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 23 degrees Celsius) to be most to their liking. To achieve this, you might want to consider investing in a smart thermostat, as well as high-end AC unit.
4. An emphasis on coziness
When it comes to the overlooked senses, tactile is at the very top of the list. However, it’s one of the most important ones for the general feeling that your employees will have. Why? Because the softness of the upholstery, the texture of their work desk and the overall feel of the place are factors that subconsciously affect them every single second throughout the day. You need to start working on this at the entrance by getting adequate mats for your office. Carpets and rugs are also a great idea, due to the fact that they add to the overall sense of warmth, homeliness and coziness. Finally, seating, especially one in the break room, needs to be as comfy as possible.
5. A breeze of fresh air
The next thing you need to focus on is the freshness of the air in the room which can be improved in several different ways. Opening your windows is the first conclusion that comes to mind, yet, it’s not something you can do in every set of circumstances. Nonetheless, it’s something that should be done once or twice per day and instructing your team on this is definitely the way for you to go. Keeping the walls clean and wiping down surfaces with a damp rag are the other two methods for you to achieve this. Scented candles (subtle ones) are yet another great idea for you to consider. You should also consider the use of pot plants, which is the next issue on our list.
6. Creating an indoor jungle
The reason why creating an indoor jungle is such a good idea is due to the fact that it gives you a boost in several areas that we’ve previously already discussed. First of all, they help purify the aid and transform some of the harmful carbon monoxide into stimulating oxygen. Second, they add to the visual appeal to the place, thus fighting stress and enhancing productivity. Lastly, they keep the place just a tad cooler, which can drastically reduce your power bill during blazing summer days.
7. A noise-free environment
The only sense left for us to turn to is one of hearing. It’s no secret that out of all distractions that take place around the office, noise tends to be the most… well, distracting one. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways in which a proper office design can help minimize its effects. Runner rugs and carpets reduce the noise caused by foot traffic while moving the watercooler and the breakroom away from the work area reduces the noise caused by the chit chat. Also, by giving your employees a bit of extra space (separating workstations just a tad further apart) could make a world of difference. High-end appliances (computers, printers, etc.) are also known to produce less noise when working.
The best thing about all these changes is the fact that the difference that they make tends to be incredibly subtle. What this means is that, once you’re done, your employees will just feel better around the office, even if they can’t exactly pinpoint what is it that made this difference. As for you, you get to reap the benefits of these positive actions either way.