A workspace’s design isn’t just about establishing visual appeal. It significantly impacts the business’s morale, camaraderie and overall productivity. It must also complement its employees’ workflows with a practical layout and design features that bring out their best qualities.
Here are seven key design features you must focus on to create a workspace that fits your company’s workflow.
1. Floor Plans
An open floor plan is the most flexible design concept because it removes boundaries between employees. It creates organic opportunities for co-workers to interact, collaborate and build a workplace culture. You can group the seating arrangements into clusters based on each department, helping various teams feel more unified.
Guiding foot traffic is a vital part of an open floor plan. You must create a wide pathway and establish enough space between furniture for workers to move about freely. A cramped and cluttered office makes for a tense work environment, but a spacious and organized area makes everyone feel more at ease.
However, every workforce is a little different. Private workspaces might be more beneficial if your business only has a handful of office employees. Most companies utilize both setups, putting low-level workers in the open floor plan while reserving private offices for those with higher ranks.
LED lights are common office appliances because of their energy efficiency and pleasant lighting. However, you shouldn’t rely too much on them. Try to bring as much natural light into the building as possible. People with substantial daily sunlight exposure get better sleep and have more positive moods, which leads to a clear improvement in work performance.
Install skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows to let in the sunlight. The curtains should also be light, both in color and weight.
Small furniture makes your open floor plan more feasible. Communal rooms, such as the lobby and conference rooms, can have large comfortable couches, but you don’t want to overload the main workspace with bulky desks and chairs. Keep things minimalistic. More open space reduces your office’s carbon footprint and allows for more customization.
For example, you could bring in Stressless recliners and chairs or provide standing desk stations.
You might set up lightweight partitions that can be removed or pushed aside for big project collaborations. Multipurpose furniture is the best option for an office workspace.
Color is a surprisingly psychological feature. The human eye finds specific shades more soothing than others. Those that often appear in nature are the most appealing. Cool green, gray and blue hues can help create a calming work environment. Whites, browns and blacks from wood, stone and other natural building materials make the workspace feel less artificial.
Brighter shades like red and orange are better in small quantities, as too much can be distracting. Stick to universally loved hues that will help everyone stay relaxed. Many shades of blue, gray, green and brown can complement the rest of your office design, so feel free to experiment.
Ambiance is an often overlooked part of the workspace but can significantly impact employee attitudes. A background playlist of running water, rainfall and chirping birds is more relaxing than a generic radio station. Employees can customize this white noise as they please, further enhancing the effects. You could also install a modest indoor fountain in the lobby or another high-traffic area to break the silence.
Everyone has a personal indoor temperature preference, but as a general rule, warmer temps are better for productivity. Try to keep the office at 69-72 degrees throughout the year. You should also invest in energy-efficient appliances such as smart thermostats to help monitor and regulate air quality.
7. Schedule Flexibility
If your business survived the pandemic, you probably had to make some of your staff work from home. Your workspace must be flexible enough to accommodate these hybrid and remote employees. The whole office culture benefits when in-person and virtual staff can seamlessly work together.
Start by establishing conference rooms where office and remote workers can chat and collaborate. Ensure the rooms have plenty of screens, high-quality cameras and microphones. Virtual meetings should look and sound just as professional as in-person ones, even if they feel less formal.
A Modern Workforce Needs a Modern Office
Today’s office workforce looks a lot different compared to previous generations. Schedules are more flexible and workplace attitudes and expectations have changed. You must pay close attention to these seven details when designing your workspace. They will play a huge role in your staff’s overall mood, culture and productivity.