Your office design can have a tremendous impact on your employees. Even the most minor change can brighten people’s moods, and put them in the right mindset to work productively.
While it appears that employees value their office’s decor, employers may not feel the same way. Love Energy Savings questioned UK workers and discovered that more than half of them (55 percent) felt uninspired and unproductive in their current work environment.
Having recently moved offices, Love Energy Savings knows all about creating a vibrant, creative space for its employees. If you’re thinking of switching things up a little, follow these four tips to lift people’s spirits, and you may find you save yourself some money along the way.
Inspire with color
We’ve all heard of color psychology, and it’s very true that different shades and hues can have varying impacts on our moods and mindsets. If morale has been a little low in your workplace, don’t be afraid to pick up a paintbrush.
Chelsea Thomas, who trained in psychology and now works at GetAgent.co.uk, said that sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of paint:
“Ban beige walls, whittle out the whitewash and whatever you do, get rid of the grey! These colors, although natural and bright when the sunlight comes in, can induce feelings of sadness in employees, reducing their productivity. Introduce bright colors, particularly blue and green tones, in your workspace to allow for happier (and more efficient) staff. For a creative company, consider adding yellow around their workspace to inspire your creatives.”
Make room for “brain breaks”
We all need to take a little break from time to time, so by creating spaces where your employees can zone out, you can actually be boosting their productivity. Think about where you can create an open space for retreating to in your office design, whether it’s a couple of comfy armchairs or a park bench.
Chelsea is a big fan of mixing up our work surroundings:
“Seating can also increase productivity. Providing a variety of seating options: yoga balls, swinging chairs, treadmills at desks, standing desks, cozy bean bags and sofas – different chairs in an open plan office can give the illusion of creating different work areas. Accompany these with flooring or rugs in each work area. Different seating options (which are actively used) can decrease fatigue levels and subsequently increase productivity.”
Be more environmentally-friendly
Whether you’re moving to a new office or simply revamping your current one, why not consider introducing some new elements that make your workplace a little greener? Even the smallest of changes can make a big difference, both to the environment and your wallet.
Phil Foster, managing director at business energy comparison specialist Love Energy Savings, strongly advocates for the benefits of businesses going green:
“As an SME owner, there will be a number of expenses that you’re trying to keep track of, but your energy expenditure is one that you can really get to grips with. Some of the easiest ways to slash your business energy bills include going digital and eliminating as much paper as possible, encouraging your employees to start a carpool if they live close by, switching your energy supplier for an immediate win, and ensuring all equipment is turned off at the end of the day. If you can introduce things like motion-sensing lights straight from the off, you can save huge sums in the long run.”
Some quick and easy ways to make your office greener include:
- Keep the thermostat at a steady temperature
- Switch from halogen to more efficient LED lightbulbs
- Introduce more natural light with big windows
- Reduce printing and send emails instead
Subtly boost productivity through office design
It’s not just our immediate surroundings that can influence our productivity; did you know things such as the scent around us and quality of air also make a difference? Try switching up the scents in your office to have a positive effect on people’s mindset:
- Citrus: The scent of lemons or oranges is believed to lift spirits and help people feel more awake
- Cinnamon: For improved focus, cinnamon is perfect for those long brainstorming sessions
- Peppermint: Is thought to make people feel happier
- Pine: For increased alertness, pine is the perfect choice
Not every business has the budget to completely redecorate its office on a whim, but fortunately the changes we have suggested won’t cost you the earth. Some new color, a few comfy chairs, some fresh scents and new lightbulbs; it can be quick and easy to have a positive impact on your employees.