Many studies have proven the impacts of the office environment on worker morale and productivity. Generally, employees are at peak productivity if they’re satisfied with the physical space, including the temperature, lighting, décor, and nitty-gritty. A healthy and responsive environment also improves worker outcomes.
To this end, fitting out your office space is a must. You want to equip it with the most beneficial tools and decorate it with comfortable features for optimal worker performance. The right office fit-out can also positively impact workplace culture, reduce churn, and improve employee loyalty.
Wondering where to begin?
We’ve identified seven practical ways of improving your office environment with fit-outs.
1. Promote privacy
A recent survey by Steelcase and IPSOS shows that 90% of employees are dissatisfied with their work environments. The primary reason for this is the lack of privacy. So, you can be sure that your workforce is unhappy if they don’t feel private enough.
A few ways to boost privacy in your workplace include investing in private booths for private conversations and limiting electronic surveillance. Also, make efforts to protect employee information and data.
2. Design for collaboration
The best office spaces encourage people to get out of their chairs, move around, work in groups, talk to each other, and share light moments. This way, collaboration becomes intuitive rather than forced. Workers will team up on projects without reminders.
A few ideas to make your office space collaboration-inspiring include investing in cozy couches and ergonomic chairs that put people at ease. Bean bag chairs and oversize pillows also create a sense of community and invite workers to sit down in groups. Technology elements such as speakers, Wi-Fi, and projectors can also help.
3. Design for comfort
Fitting out your office for maximum worker output also means making employees as comfortable as possible. This makes sense, given that workers are at their best when they aren’t straining. So, among others, you need to provide comfortable chairs and desks and find ways to address common physical discomforts, including back pains and sore necks.
A few ideas come to mind. For instance, consider swapping rigid office chairs for ergonomic alternatives with back support. Adjustable desks, standing desks, and conference tables can also have a big impact on worker output.
4. Embrace workplace flexibility
Another way of improving your office environment is to embrace workplace flexibility. Flexibility essentially means being able to adapt to new circumstances as they emerge. In other words, you must create an environment that allows employees to efficiently navigate or overcome unanticipated obstacles.
For instance, rather than requiring workers to sit inside the office all day, you can provide outdoor workspaces too. Alternatively, you can adjust your programs to allow employees to work from home or remotely. Adopting all these variations allows employees to work at their best even in unusual circumstances.
5. Tidy and organized
You can also use office fit-outs to improve workplace organization as you pursue better outcomes. This is beneficial because cluttered spaces are highly distractive. A disorganized office desk, for instance, often forces the worker to attempt to organize the area during work hours, thus reducing work hours. It can also lower engagement.
So, consider incorporating some storage solutions. For instance, install extra shelves and cabinets to store paper files and documents. Also, declutter by identifying and storing away the items you don’t actively need, such as only newspapers.
6. Use color to liven up the office
There are many ways to get your employees happy and excited every time they step into the office. However, very few can match the impact of color. Warm colors, including yellow and orange, are natural morale boosters. They trigger optimism, creativity, and fresh energy, resulting in a happy workforce that enters the office raring to go.
Alternatively, you can tap into bold colors to bring out your employees’ best skills. For instance, red is associated with leadership, power, and superiority, whereas blue reinforces the feeling of intelligence and promotes honesty and creativity.
7. Bring the outdoors inside
Finally, a quick way of improving your office environment is to bring as much of what’s outside in nature into your office. For instance, maybe it’s time you forego brick walls for glass walls to let workers see nature with less strain. Additionally, consider more and bigger windows to bring natural light into the office. Both of these are important for employee wellbeing.
Similarly, consider indoor plants. House plants improve mood, add oxygen to the space air, and remove toxic elements, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), from the room for improved employee health.
Creating the perfect working environment is a dream many organizations chase in vain, often because we dwell on the wrong things. So, if you’re genuinely concerned about improving your office environment, you must be different. Instead of chasing impossibilities, focus on basic fit-outs, such as keeping the area tidy and organized, using color to boost productivity, and bringing the outdoors to boost employee wellbeing.