The way your office looks can influence work quality and employee satisfaction. If you find employee morale and productivity are at an all-time low, changing the look and feel of your office space might be the solution.
Stick With Open Floor Plans
Gone are the days of the stuffy office cubical. More companies are opening up their workspace by reducing walls between employees. Reducing physical boundaries between employees will also reduce psychological boundaries. Your employees are more likely to engage with each other if they are not stuck behind a wall. An open floor plan also makes natural and artificial light spread throughout the office. If your office has large windows, this means you can benefit more from natural light, which is associated with a better mood and higher productivity.
Use Furniture To Set The Tone
Furniture can make or break the tone of your office. You need to blend comfort and functionality with designs and colors that create an upbeat atmosphere. Try to limit the traditional wood or black desks in favor of glass. The look of glass in the office is more upbeat, but it is also symbolic. Glass can be used to create boundaries within the office, but it is also transparent.
Look for ways to use furniture to introduce color into the office. Reupholstering the chairs or changing the cushion covers on sofas are simple ways to change the decor. Use small amounts of red or orange in strategic locations. Since bright colors can be annoying when overdone, you can incorporate other colors that are more vivid without being an eyesore. Colors such as teal, lavender or cantaloupe are brighter than your traditional blues and blacks, without being overbearing.
You can find lots of great options from retailers like D & R Office Works, Inc, and they can probably help you select the best color combinations for your office space.
Unglue Employees From Their Desk
Rarely do employees need to be tethered to their desk all day, as long as they maintain time and quality demands. When possible, make the office space fun and functional. Instead of several employees working on a project at the traditional round table, maybe they would be more inspired sitting on beanbag chairs next to a large window. Even if your employee's primary responsibility is answering phone calls, see if the same work can be accomplished with a tablet and wireless headset. Your employees can move around and it makes their work environment less stagnant from day to day.
Encourage Creative Control
Your employees may spend a third of their day or more inside the office, so you should offer them more control over the way the office looks. Although employees may not have influence over the main layout or furniture choices for the office, consider asking for their input on smaller items, such as art.
Look at colleges with art programs, locally or online, to find art shows. You will likely find student exhibits or local "starving" artists who are selling their work. Ask your employees to look through available pieces and select ones they would enjoy having in the office. You can breathe new life into your office while supporting undiscovered talent. Consider rotating the artwork and incorporating new pieces a few times per year to maintain visual interest.
If you want your employees to be more interactive when it comes to the office environment, consider holding a small do-it-yourself (DIY) party. Find instructions for a few DIY decor items online that use inexpensive supplies. Employees can spend a few hours after work or on the weekend enjoying food and music while creating projects to help decorate the office. The projects can be used to decorate individual desks or for the overall decor of the office. Make DIY parties a seasonal event to keep the decor relevant.
Making changes to your office space can influence the mood of your employees and their productivity. Find ways to minimize boundaries and encourage your employees to make the space their own.