We spend a lot of time at work over our lifetime. Some estimates put this as high as an incredible 90,000 hours. Therefore, it pays to make the spaces in which we work as comfortable and practical as possible.
A well-designed workspace can go beyond comfort and practicality, however. It can be a creative space that fosters innovation, and new ways of working – especially important in the current Covid-19 environment.
Bringing variety into the workspace can make all the difference to levels of satisfaction and creativity in your team.
Here are a few ideas that can help optimise your workspace, foster creativity and increase levels of employee satisfaction…
Open-plan office design can help foster a sense of being part of a team, but it’s important to have areas where colleagues can unwind. Creating comfortable corners, slightly removed from the rest of the workspace, can be helpful. It can be a place to unwind, recharge or have a one-to-one discussion. Sofas bring comfort, adding bookcases has been shown to prompt people to lower their voices and indoor plants help bring down stress levels.
Separate areas for collaboration and independent working
Teams need to come together to discuss ideas, develop projects and make plans. After those discussions, colleagues need quiet spaces to work independently to develop their ideas.
A well-designed workspace will have a variety of areas for collaborative, one-on-one and independent working. Enabling colleagues to make a physical shift when undertaking different tasks can help them psychologically transition between different aspects of their role.
Clearly, during the current restrictions brought about by Covid-19, it is necessary to stay 2 metres apart, so collaborating or having work meetings in an open space is preferable. Outdoor walking meetings have become increasingly popular in recent times and, of course, working with collaboration software such as Microsoft teams is ideal for remote collaboration on different projects.
Natural light in the workspace has been positively associated with higher productivity, lower levels of absenteeism and higher staff morale. It helps to decrease the risk of headaches, drowsiness and eye strain.
How can you maximise natural light and ensure everyone has access to it through the day? Think about how light enters your workspace, where it falls and how it moves throughout the day.
Employees who have less natural light throughout the working day can become more productive when they move to somewhere that has more. Ensure that different tasks require employees to move between different parts of the workspace, with those that require increased productivity and creativity receiving the most natural light.
Bring the outdoors in
Even if you can’t provide your staff with an outdoor area, you can still give them access to greenery. Bring indoor plants into the office to help foster wellbeing and productivity. They can be located throughout the space, as well as gathered in particular areas where colleagues take time out or work independently. Indoor garden planters are an excellent way to transform a workspace.
Some of the most successful global companies have been quick to adopt play activities into their office interior. It doesn’t have to be thought of as something that’s always done outside of the workplace, like a staff five-a-side team or running group. With the sensitive design, games and play can be incorporated into the workspace.
Whether that’s table tennis, a pool table or games consoles, many larger employers have seen the benefits to team bonding, morale and productivity when colleagues have access to games and other activities that can be used during breaks and downtime.
Bringing a bit of variety into your workspace through design and office furniture can play an important role in the overall work-dynamic and energy of your teams. For more advice on how to achieve this, speak to Flow Office today.