Companies that don’t take their office design into consideration will be left behind, as the bar is being raised every day. We all know how differently we feel when we enter a place that has obviously been designed with care and one that is hodgepodge, run down, or just messy. Even if your budget is small, you can benefit from the ideas generated by high-profile design and fitout companies like Rainbow Office Design and from looking at the current trends informed by studies about innovation, productivity, and employee happiness.
We can’t overstate the importance of good use of colour. Do you want an environment that is calming or energising, that promotes focus for repetitive tasks or prompts the creation of new ideas? Research how you can apply colour to help your company achieve its goals. One trend that will likely stick around in interior design is the use of different colours for different areas of an office, depending on the type of work being done.
The good news here is that fresh coats of paint are an affordable way to improve your office’s look.
Wherever possible, favour natural light. Staff with access to daylight report feeling less fatigued at the end of the day. Taking down walls is a big job, but if your office is populated by grey cubicles and wall-hugging offices have solid interior walls and doors, you are unnecessarily blocking out light from the interior spaces. Translucent partitions come in varying densities and colours and lend a smart look to a design. Offices and conference rooms can also be walled off with panels that allow light through but don’t compromise privacy.
For overhead or wall lighting, choose the latest in fluorescent technology. The new tubes do not emit the sickly green-purple light of yesteryear’s tubes. Incandescent light costs a lot for businesses, considering how often lights are on, especially in winter, but halogens and compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last longer. CFLs are now available in a few different tones, so you can somewhat avoid the sickly light.
You can also use shades to change light colour and this is a good way to improve the look of a place without going overboard on cost – changing a lighting scheme can get quite expensive if you need rewiring done.
The adoption of open plans continues apace, but so do calls for better implementation. Large desk corrals contribute to increased illness in the winter months, lower productivity, and decreased satisfaction among staff who feel that they have no privacy. Flexible design is the answer. With the myriad options available for creating attractive, varied work environments, there is no longer any excuse for badly executed open plan design. You can promote both collaboration and focused taskwork and create offices that serve the company’s goals and employee well-being.
For an office to be complete in its good design, you must address the furnishings as well. The ideal is sit-stand desks that allow employees to easily change the configuration to strike a good balance of sitting, standing, and moving during the day. Offer employees variety in seating – tub chairs, active seating (such as stability balls), and ergonomic task chairs should all be considered as you create a mix of options around the office.