Employee morale is essential for productivity; the evidence shows that engaged employees who feel like they are cared about work harder and smarter. Part of creating strong staff morale in the office comes from interior design. When the office is a pleasant place to be, employees feel more valued and motivated to work. A good office design accounts for comfort, functionality and aesthetics. Furniture At Work supplies a comprehensive range of office furniture including ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks to ensure every employee has a workspace that suits them.
Ergonomics is one of the key words to consider when designing a workspace. Full-time employees may spend upwards of seven hours a day, five days a week sitting at their desks, so their desks and chairs need to be supportive for both health and safety and comfort. An ergonomic assessment can help ensure that each workspace provides the right level of support for workers. Desks and chairs should be adjustable to factor in differences in height and size, allowing each employee to adapt their work environment to meet their needs.
The layout of the office can also have a strong effect on how happy employees are. Unless each employee has their own office, the layout should be inclusive, allowing people to interact with each other. However, each employee should have an area they can call their own, which they can personalise with artwork, photographs and other accessories to make it feel more comfortable. Providing lockable storage helps to remove any threat of possessions going missing and make people feel secure in their work environment.
Physical activity helps to break up the day, keep people active and healthy, and prevent aches and pains caused by sitting for too long. Office days should have several breaks factored in for each worker, with employees encouraged to get up from their desks during these times. Having communal areas where people can get a drink or snack and have a chat in between work times can help encourage movement.
Natural light has many proven benefits to mental health, so ensuring offices have plenty of windows is essential for happy employees. Sunlight helps our bodies to produce serotonin, one of the happiness hormones, which in turn boosts creativity. In spaces where there is limited natural light or during the dark winter days, investing in soft, warm lighting solutions rather than harsh, fluorescent bulbs can make a huge difference to employee happiness.
Plants have been shown to add a huge amount of value to an office space, both in terms of aesthetics and employee health. Having live green plants in a building helps to keep the air fresh and oxygenated, which works towards keeping people happy and healthy. The colour green is also associated with productivity, an additional bonus to adding plants to the office.
Some studies have shown that many people find they become more productive when they are able to work in a variety of different environments. Moving from one physical space to another can often inspire innovation. It can therefore be useful to have several different styles of workspace within one office, such as a selection of standing desks as well as seated, or introducing some more casual areas for daily meetings or project work.
A well-designed office may require an initial capital outlay, but the increase in employee happiness, productivity and morale will more than pay for itself after just a short amount of time.