Incredibly, research has shown that the office environment plays a real part in influencing staff productivity. This means implementing a dĂ©cor that is designed to help staff work effectively and which is psychologically supportive. A report published in the Telegraph found that sterile and bland corporate environments could cause staff to feel uncomfortable and disconnected in their offices, which had a negative effect on productivity.
For small offices
The trick to creating a productive office is to make use of lighting, color, fixtures and furniture. Whether you’re a small letting agent or a limited company accountants, the key is to create a pleasant ambiance that motivates your staff. Remember that lighting is key; 80% of staff have been found, in studies, to cite surroundings and color as a determinant of their mood and performance. Consider what you’re looking to achieve â€“ warm colors have been shown to incite feelings of comfort and warmth when used judiciously. Cool colors can be used to create an atmosphere of quiet and calm â€“ partly because our eyes have to work less hard to perceive cooler spectrum colors, than longer wavelength warm colors. Color can also lead to performance responses; for example, red shades have been shown to help athletes perform with greater force and speed â€“ and red walls may have a similar benefit to sales staff! No employee will thank you for painting the office walls crimson red and leaving them with headaches. So start with a neutral base color and brighten it with a carefully chosen accent â€“ such as ivory and black, grey and red, or taupe and yellow.
Other things to consider
Lighting must be bright and clear â€“ and natural light is a huge motivator, reducing eyestrain and lifting the spirits. Bright light reflecting walls, skylights and desks placed near windows can all be useful. Daylight simulation light bulbs are useful too. For furniture, install ergonomic chairs and keyboards and install plants for a boost. Greenery in the office has been proven to have an impact on productivity, with office workers finding that plants on their desks reduce stress, soften harsh interiors, keep the office air fresh and naturally humidify the office environment. Good low maintenance plants include the English Ivy, Cacti, Peace Lily and African Violet. Accessories and storage are also key; there’s nothing more conducive to stress than having piles of paperwork and equipment hoarded around desks, so invest in plenty of cupboards and files. A move to a digital office is also a fantastic idea and slowly reduces the reliance on paperwork and piles of folders and ancient files. Look to brighten the office too with colorful accessories, pictures, photos and other attractive extras which create a feeling of care, stimulation and energy about the place â€“ updating surroundings regularly to show that thought and concern is put into the environment.
Get involvement from the team
Larger corporate offices might also consider an accommodation employee forum, to get ideas and input from staff on their ideal working environment and find practical solutions to implementing these. If employees are tasked to manage their own accommodation / decor budget and empowered to make decisions about how best to create their own working environment, they’ll feel engaged and motivated about doing so â€“a double win for employers!