Color, flexibility, nature are key to productive office environments
Green Colorful Office
Ready to boost productivity at your company?
As you examine employee evaluations, incentives, and management styles, consider adding an office renovation to the list. Many companies are following the lead of tech companies that are dumping the cubicles in favor of innovative and collaborative workspaces.
The thinking is that if employees enjoy coming to the job and working together as a team, good things naturally follow — including a boost in productivity. It also could be key to attracting new hires to your company.
Here are 4 trends that have been changing the way we think about the office space:
- Go bold with color. Let’s start with one of the quickest and cost-effective changes you can make to your office space. If your employees have been surrounded by beige, grey or white walls, you may not be giving them the type of office environment that energizes and inspires them. According to a study by the University of Texas, you actually may be depressing them with those dull colors. Worse yet, scientific research indicates that certain colors can negatively impact productivity while others can stimulate creativity and boost output. Think about what you want to achieve in your office and be prepared to paint or integrate various pops of colors into your office via accessories. Green and blue, for example, can enhance efficiency while yellow inspires creativity.
- Designate lounge areas. When you think of work, lounging may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But think about the way technology has changed the way people work. Areas that allow employees to retreat to a more comfortable environment with their laptops can be the thing that spurs more productivity. It also can lend itself to more engaging collaboration, according to Jeff Miller, vice president of design at Poppin. “Lighter, powerful, wireless technology has untethered the workspace more than ever,” Miller told FastCompany.com. “Offices now mandate the inclusion of dedicated lounge areas to make working more enjoyable.”
- Bring nature inside. You may be thinking that you already have this one in the bag. Of course, you have plants scattered throughout your office. Take it a step further. Rip out the carpet in favor of wood or exposed concrete flooring, install “living walls” that feature plants, and incorporate images of nature in your work space. Similar to the impact you can make by painting the walls, green plants and other elements of nature can create a soothing environment.
- Add flexibility. Designers are replacing stationary cubicles with modular pieces that can be rearranged as needed for collaboration. According to Steve Delfino, a vice president with Teknion, all the rules that previously defined traditional workspaces are being broken — including walls. Within an open space, “Modular components can be mixed, stacked and moved around, offering innumerable combinations for a dynamic and collaborative workplace,” he told FastCompany.com about current office trends.