Running Your Business

6 Tips for Improving Office Space Design

The right office space design boosts employee morale.
Posted by April 2, 2017

Sprucing up your company’s office space design can have drastic effects on employee satisfaction and morale. And doing so can even impact employee performance, retention, and customer satisfaction — which significantly boosts your return on investment.

1. Add Pops of Color

You might be surprised to find out how much adding pops of color to a workspace can affect employees. One 2014 study found that blue and green are preferred colors with many adults, and these colors may help relax employees by reducing blood pressure, respiration and pulse. Another study published in 2015 says blue and green colors appear to promote positive moods. So, add pops of blue or green in accent walls, decorations, flower bouquets and wall hangings to spruce up your office space design.

2. Promote Employee Interaction

Employees should have their own work area, but promote positive employee interaction by creating space to socialize and build relationships. A 2014 article in Harvard Business Review says that salespeople who increased colleague interaction by 10 percent boosted sales output by 10 percent. Authors of this review say company sales rose by 20 percent after creating a large café, and offering one coffee machine for every 120 employees instead of one for every six to increase employee interaction.

3. Choose an Open Design

It might seem like enclosed workspaces would reduce distractions and boost productivity, but being separated from colleagues may have the opposite effect. A 2014 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that collaborative workspaces with open plans appear to boost productivity and promote workplace satisfaction. Harvard Business Review says technology workers in spaces with open plans reported higher-than-average abilities to focus. So, it might be time to consider getting rid of cubicle panels once and for all, or choose clear panels instead.

4. Expose Employees to Nature

Giving employees exposure to nature can ease stress and reduce health complaints, according to one 2011 study. The 2014 study in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health confirms that exposure to nature helps reduce stress, promote workplace satisfaction and boost employee performance. Try adding plants or a fish tank to your space, offering tree-lined window views, placing nature photos or art on the wall, or adding an indoor waterfall to your workspace. Outdoor tables surrounded by grass and trees, where employees can take breaks or eat lunch, is another excellent option.

5. Add Natural Light

Did you know that adding natural light to your office space design can improve employee quality of life and workplace production? One 2015 study published in Chronobiology International found that lack of exposure to natural light at work increases cortisol levels, which can lead to depressive symptoms and poor sleep quality. Try adding skylights, or giving employees access to natural light from windows. At the very minimum, make sure your workspace is bright and well lit.

6. Choose Lounge Chairs

Why not make your workspace warm and inviting for employees and visitors by adding comfortable lounge chairs to your break room or lobby area? While the addition of lounge chairs may not directly affect employee production, it certainly improves workplace comfort and satisfaction — which can lead to better employee retention.

You don’t have to complete major renovations to significantly improve your bottom line, keep employees healthy and happy and increase retention rates. Making a few simple changes to your workspace should do the trick.

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