How Should We Decorate Our Office Space?
If you have just moved into a new office space your thoughts are now undoubtedly moving on to the exciting task of decorating. Before you wade in and get started (and spend lots of money!) take a moment to sit back and consider exactly how you want the space to look. Think about the lighting and furniture and consider what colors will work best (no dark colors in small spaces please).
Your office décor should be welcoming and inspire creativity in your workforce. If you have an open plan, communal space, make sure that you ask for everyone’s opinion on how they feel the space should look. If your workplace consists of individual workstations allow your colleagues to decorate their personal space to their own taste (within reason!).
Here are some things to consider;
The color you choose to paint your office can have a profound effect on productivity so choose carefully. Angela Wright is a color psychologist whose book, The Beginners Guide To Color Psychology, explains how color can affect peoples behavior. She has been scientifically testing her ‘color affects system’ for over 40 years and she has consulted for companies such as Motorola, Shell and Unilever. In a nutshell the color affects system states that there are four color families and four main personality types. Each personality type has a natural affinity with a certain color family. In addition to this she discovered that color can profoundly affect productivity. The intensity of a color is the overriding factor in how it affects your mind. An intense color will stimulate whereas a more muted hue will soothe.
Wrights research also shows that different colors affect different aspects of our being, be it your mind, body, emotions or balance. The four main primary colors that equate to these are blue, green, yellow and red. Blue stimulates the mind, yellow self-confidence and emotions, red the body and green the balance between mind body and emotions. If these colors are mixed then you get the effects of both. Clever, huh?
So, what color should you go for? Blue is meant to be the most productive color as it is the most stimulating for your mind but if you’re more interested in fostering creativity then yellow is the color to go for. If your work is more physical then red might be the best choice and if you are keen to foster a sense of balance and calm then green is the color for you. Remember that the effects of color vary from person to person so be sure to consult with your team before making a firm decision.
Choosing the right lighting for your space is essential. Poor lighting can make you feel sluggish and increase the chance of eye-strain and headaches, which come from reading with low-light. Dim lighting can make you feel drowsy and less motivated which will obviously impact productivity in the long run.
If you are often on computers then it is important to have a source of lighting which will relieve the effects of the blue light produced by computers. Lighting that is too bright, for instance from fluorescent or halogen lights can trigger headaches in some people, especially those prone to migraines.
If possible, you should try to maximize the natural light in your office space by keeping windows relatively free of coverings and if you do have blinds or windows dressings make sure they are sheer and a light color.
If your access to natural light is minimal then using bright white bulbs will make a huge difference to your energy levels. LED’s can also be very effective and can often be adjusted depending on the time of day. It is also possible to get lights that mimic daylight which can increase alertness.
How your furniture is arranged will depend on your business. Perhaps you need to have your team in separate cubicles or maybe you can adopt a more open plan approach. If you have a conference or meeting room having a circular table for team members to sit around is meant to stimulate collaboration and team work. A circle is more inviting than a square as it is impossible to feel left out when in a circle.
When considering which furniture to purchase for your office you should also consider the comfort of your employee’s. If your team is likely to be sat at a computer for the bulk of their day, the chairs and desks you provide need to be as comfortable and ergonomic as possible to avoid developing neck and back issues.
Desks should be large enough to help avoid them looking cluttered and be at a suitable height to avoid neck and back strain. Standing desks are now a popular option for many businesses and proponents of standing desks claim that they can improve productivity. Chairs should be adjustable and study. No flimsy computer chairs please, no matter how cheap they may be!
When planning your office space, it is essential that you factor in where your storage in going to be and how easily accessible it is. Printers and photocopiers need to be able to be accessed while standing without having to bend down to load paper. If you require filing cabinets make sure they are also easily accessed and do not require too much bending down.
Personalize Your Space
If your team are working in their own area or cubicle then actively encourage them to decorate their own space to make it more personal. They will enjoy working in their space if they have some of their own things around them rather than an impersonal blank canvas. Happier employees have greater productivity and take less days off sick. Productivity is about providing the right setting for your employee’s and providing a comfortable working environment.
Plants are a great way to bring a bit of life to your office and they have the added bonus of purifying the air as well. If you are worried about plants not being looked after in your workplace purchase some hardy plants such as cacti or succulents that require minimal care and hardly any watering.
Motivational Quotes and Vision Boards
Displaying some pertinent quotes around the office (or at your personal workstation) can have a positive effect on the mindset of your employee’s and remind them why they are there. Consult your team to find quotes that resonate with your business and workforce and which reflect your aims.
Vision boards, either personal or collective can also be a powerful visual aid to have around the office. By compiling a board which details where you would like the business (or yourself) to be in 5 years’ time can be a powerful motivator on the days when motivation is hard to come by.
There is clearly plenty to consider when decorating your office space, from color to lighting right through to furniture and aesthetics. It is important that everyone feels comfortable in their own workspace so consulting with your team is an important first step. Set a clear budget and stick to it and then enjoy watching your dream office come alive!