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Why is office design important for employee wellbeing?

When was the last time you thought about your office design and how it impacts your employees?

Office design is probably not the first thing you would think of when starting a new business, hiring new staff or restructuring your organisation, but the design of an office has a huge impact on guiding employee behaviour, attitude, and overall wellbeing in the workplace.

Studies show that on average, full-time office employees in the UK work between 1,820 and 2,080 hours per year, which is a lot of time spent in one single place outside of their own homes.  With that in mind, the importance of a carefully designed office space which focuses on the employee, is focused on promoting a positive mental attitude towards the workplace and helps create productive office communities is more important than ever before.  Ultimately putting the employee at the forefront of the design process can help achieve company goals, assist with driving success and instil core values such as mindset, focus and productivity.

Have a think about your current workplace, does it inspire you and your staff?  Does it communicate your company’s ethos and reflect the company culture you have spent so much time and effort trying to infuse into your organisation?

If not keep reading, as we have put together some information on the importance of great office design and key elements to consider before embarking on your design journey…

Why is office design important?

Office design is the process of designing and organising a workplace to optimise employee performance, wellbeing and ultimately their safety. It encompasses all components and elements of a workspace, that are both decorative and functional, and much research has been conducted into the positive impact a well-designed functional workspace can have on employee productivity, attitude and building company culture.

When designing an office workplace, it is essential to focus on key elements within the environment such as layout, lighting, colour, ergonomics, heating and space.  Very often employers think about some, but not all of these elements combined, which can ultimately result in an office design that falls short of expectations.

The importance of Space and Structure

How an office’s structure and space are configured can have a profound effect on the way employees conduct their day-to-day activities. Finding the perfect balance between space and functionality can be difficult and requires time and planning to ensure the space is being utilised efficiently and traffic flow throughout the office is carefully considered to control noise, minimise disruption of daily work tasks and reduce stress levels. Considering employee functions and grouping departments together near equipment and resources required for their roles can assist in making daily tasks easier and enhance productivity.

Many studies have revealed that having an open-plan office helps to increase collaboration between teams, assists with building work communities and can decrease feelings of isolation and depression among employees. However, it is also important for those employees who may struggle to concentrate to provide a breakout area, that not only provides some privacy, but also allows them to focus more easily on their projects. Considering a mix of open plan and private areas can provide a space which caters for different working styles, job roles, and mindsets.

Inspire through Colour and Decor

There is a lot of psychology and science behind the concept of colour scheme selection, but in many cases, choosing appropriate colours will be determined by the type of work you perform and the style of workspace you are aiming to achieve. Studies have found that certain colours can have varying impacts on employees’ performance and mood in the workplace, for example, green and blue, can help employees perform more efficiently and contribute towards greater focus and generate a calming effect, whereas yellow can help ignite creativity and red can be energizing.

Comfortable office furniture

Office furniture design has evolved in recent years and the benefits of investing in high-quality pieces that offer flexibility, durability and ergonomic support should be considered during the design process. As employees are spending long periods of time at their desks and workstations it is vital to provide the support required to ensure their physical wellbeing is being positively managed however this doesn’t mean that design needs to be compromised. The look at feel of furniture and interiors can be both visually appealing and fit for the purpose resulting in aesthetically pleasing office space and comfortable employees!

Focus on health and wellbeing

As with every aspect of work life over recent years the importance of employee wellbeing and health has evolved and is now most certainly one of the most important roles of any employer.  Designing workspaces with the aim of creating a healthy environment and promoting employees’ wellbeing is now non-negotiated and is what sets companies apart from their competitors.  Creating environments which allow employees to destress and enjoy time away from their busy work areas has been proven to enhance employees’ mindset and increase productivity throughout the working day.  Introducing a biophilic design into any office, adding fresh colour and a sense of tranquillity can be welcoming and hugely beneficial for creating calm and open up smaller spaces.

Ultimately a great office design should not only consider the functionality of the business but reflect its company values, focus on the comfort and overall wellbeing of its employees and contribute to achieving a positive company culture for everyone to enjoy.

Here at Calibro, we are focused on providing a seamless workspace design experience for our clients.  From project inception to completion, our team of specialists work to transform spaces into inspiring workspaces which encapsulate company values and culture with putting employee wellbeing at the heart of the process. To discuss your design project, get in touch today

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