Office design was once a simple task. Many offices followed a uniform design where workers had a desk or cubicle where they would sit for the entire day until it was time to punch out.
However, things have changed. There has been a lot of research put into office design and the different elements that can enhance productivity, collaboration, and employee wellbeing.
A functional office is a productive office, so getting this design process right is important. Here are some simple tips to create a functional office that will help get the most out of your employees.
Implement Sit Stand Desks to Assist Wellbeing and Performance
As you’ve likely heard, sit-stand desks are a great idea for a healthier, more productive work environment because sitting too much is bad for your health. The risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death is increased for people who sit a lot throughout the day.
Further, studies have linked idle sitting to obesity and weight gain because it burns so few calories. Having to sit down for most of the day is a major problem for office workers. However, more and more people are choosing sit-stand desks.
Stand-up desks, also known as sit-stand desks and standing desks, allow you to work comfortably while standing up. Many modern versions can be adjusted so that you can alternate between sitting and standing and the height is adjustable for people of all sizes.
Even though research is in its infancy, it appears that using a standing desk can have significant health benefits. Standing desks have the potential to increase productivity as well. If nothing else, the use of this type of desk can partially counteract the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.
Organize Your Office Space
One of the first principles of an organized and functional office involves getting rid of the clutter that has accumulated for years.
Identify the items you actually use. We are prone to storing unused items in a distant corner of the office and letting them collect dust.
Create three different piles, one for the items you will keep, another for everything that will be junked, recycled, or donated, and a third pile for essential items that need to be placed in storage. Be ruthless, don’t just keep cables and other redundant technology because you “might” need it later.
You can free up a lot of physical space by digitizing photos and documents and attempting to create a paper-free office. Be sure to organize your digital files as well.
Get your stuff in order. Place your daily-use objects within reach. Organize your documents and office supplies with colorful and textured boxes, bag, bin, and jacket options.
Decluttering will not only improve productivity, but it can also improve safety. Boxes and loose items sitting around on the floor or in walkways are a recipe for disaster.
Enhance Your Lighting
Having a well-lit office is important for productivity, but you want a balance as well (you don’t want the harsh bright lights of a hospital ward, for example).
Natural light always works best as researchers have found that inadequate natural light leads to sleep problems, depression, and a number of physiological issues, so choosing an office space with windows is always preferable. However, this is not always possible.
Blasting workers with fluorescent lights are not only impractical, but it can be dangerous. Fluorescent light may cause an increase of up to 12 percent in UV-induced eye disease and can result in an additional 3000 cataract cases and 7500 pterygia (a growth in the eye often called surfer’s eye) cases per year in Australia.
Look for functional and stylish lighting solutions that cater to the needs of individuals and workspaces. You can also invest in energy-efficient lighting solutions that will last longer (less replacing the bulbs) and use less electricity which will help improve your overheads and expenses.
Create An Open Plan Environment
Your employees feel much better when they have enough space, just as they crave sunlight and natural light. The days when cubicles were considered an acceptable way to design a workspace are gone. For this reason, open-plan offices are gaining popularity.
The absence of visible boundaries stimulates creativity and collaboration among your employees. An environment such as this conveys the message that everyone is part of a friendly, collaborative team.
Additionally, an open-plan office lets new employees ask for help and learn the ropes pretty quickly because it facilitates the onboarding process.
Meeting Pods Can Be Incorporated
In addition to providing your office with a perfect environment for productivity, meeting pods have been proven to provide your staff with the level of privacy they prefer for a variety of reasons.
Combining both open and closed workspaces allows your office to achieve the functionality it needs, allowing employees to conduct private meetings, get-togethers or brainstorm sessions away from the desk in a more collaborative and functional environment.