Design is one of the most crucial elements to create an efficient, inspiring and productive office space. According to a ‘happiness in the workplace’ study by National Business Furniture, employees’ happiness in the workplace is largely impacted by the design and comfort of the surroundings.
When it comes to the design of the office, although how it looks is important, the comfort should never be ignored. Comfort is what is most needed to ensure workers are happy and at ease, which helps increase productivity.
So, what are the elements of a good office design? In this article we will be exploring the five key elements and how they can influence the aesthetic of a workplace whilst increasing employee happiness and work ethic.
1. Having both open and private spaces
It has been said that workplaces lacking natural light, fresh air combined with overcrowding and poor quality furniture can massively affect worker productivity. This focus on health and wellness in the office workspace has spurred the popularity of open-plan offices.
Many studies have revealed that having an open plan office helps to increase collaboration between workers, can decrease feelings of isolation and depression, and generally helps to bring the office together. For those that struggle to concentrate and can get distracted easily, many workplaces install acoustic pods as not only do they provide some privacy, but they also allow workers to focus more easily on their projects.
This is especially important when creating a workspace that promotes neurodiversity which many business owners are beginning to take larger note of in recent years. By creating several variations of work areas including different acoustics can help individuals feel comfortable depending on their needs.
We would suggest thinking about having both open and closed office plans so that workers can move around and have more flexibility with where they work. Flexible offices are really important to any workplace and it is likely that many workers will find this refreshing instead of having to sit in the same spot all day.
Having an open plan, mixed with some private areas means providing a space for all different types of workloads, situations, and mindsets.
2. Choose comfortable office furniture
Did you know that studies have shown too much sitting is more harmful than too little exercise? Those who spend a lot of time engaging in sedentary behaviour are twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who get the same amount of exercise but spend much less time relaxing.
There is no denying the fact that sitting in discomfort for eight hours straight for five days can be distracting and negatively impact one’s physical wellbeing. As you can imagine, better quality work will come from employees that are both healthy and content in their position. This means investing in comfortable, great quality furniture for any office space is worthwhile.
At Haiken, we have a variety of good quality furniture that is ergonomic and can help with productivity in the workplace:
- Wolfe height-adjustable desks: With four-height memory and customizable user requirements, the Wolfe desk can be risen for employees who want to work standing up to stretch their legs and limit the amount of time spent sitting.
- Ergonomic Task Seating: Our ergonomic chairs such as Paxton and Stirling, are the most comfortable you will ever find, with unique backrests designed for the optimum lumbar support. The long days of suffering with back pain are over!
- Comfee Armchair: The name says it all. Our ‘Comfee’ armchairs by Noti are lightweight and provide exceptional comfort to every user.
- Prism: Our prism chairs by Noti is made from foam injection, guaranteeing comfort and durability. It is ideal for a wide variety of styles and workplace needs.
To see our full range of products, visit our website for more information or contact one of our office furniture experts.
3. Offer natural light and greenery
A lack of natural light can cause employees to feel sluggish and stressed, resulting in low productivity levels. This is because natural sunlight provides vitamin D which can have a big impact on mood and helps to keep the body clock in check… nobody wants an office full of employees falling asleep at their desks, do they?
Offering natural sunlight provides some other benefits too such as:
- Reducing depression.
- Elevates feelings of happiness.
- Employees will not feel trapped in the office.
Adding plants around the office is also a great way to create a relaxing essence in the workplace and can prevent surroundings from feeling stale. For example, our Zorla planter by Zilenzio is a mobile floor screen with sound absorbing effects where the top wooden box can be filled with natural or fake planets to make a decorative piece of furniture.
4. Include a splash of colour
Believe it or not, a dull office design can really stifle someone’s creativity as well as their interest in the job. By just simply pairing a neutral design with a few splashes of colour and artwork here and there can really help to keep employees minds alive.
Our Zilenzio acoustic solutions are a great way to bring an element of colour back to an office environment. Take our focus pods for example, not only are they comfortable and provide a focus zone in an open plan office, but they also come in a range of stylish colours.
Or perhaps consider our Mezzo wheeled floor screen and message board in one. These are sound absorbing with a whiteboard on the glass side and a message board on the fabric covered part. The Mezzo floor screen can be integrated subtly into the office while still providing an element of colour.
5. Maintain a flexible, spacious design
Even when colleagues like each other, they probably do not want to be all cramped together. That is why it is important to ensure the office layout not only provides flexibility but has the appropriate amount of space so that workers can feel independent and less claustrophobic.
We suggest providing an area where employees can unwind. One way to do this is by adding separate booths or comfortable sofas so workers can move away from their desks and have a change of atmosphere. Our Sona modular furniture system is perfectly suited for waiting and resting areas. It also has media ports for connecting and charging mobile devices which are integrated into tabletops. This means workers have the ability to charge their mobile phones during their lunch breaks or meetings.
A wide range of Noti textures and colours provide designers with an opportunity to divide and mark individual zones and highlight them with colour. Our full range of soft seating is available on our website.
Haiken’s key elements to a good office design
At Haiken, we are passionate about providing design-led, contemporary furniture to create workplaces where employees can feel inspired. contact our office furniture consultants today to find out more about our full range of furniture and how it can be used to bring your office design (or your employees) to life.