Seven improvements your office is begging for

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Date: 19 December 2022

A trendy and welcoming staff breakout space

Considering how much time people spend at work every day, it's imperative to make the office a positive, productive environment. Of course, employee attitude goes a long way toward meeting that goal, but physically improving the building is an easy way to boost workplace morale and productivity. Here are seven renovations, decorating ideas and simple tips to improve your office space.

Why revamp the office?

Multiple studies have found office design either positively or negatively affects workers' health. Some of the results include the following:

  • In offices with open floor plans that have less privacy and more people in one space, people take more sick days.
  • Office buildings designed to stimulate physical activity - such as offices with ergonomically designed desks, larger walking distances to communal facilities and central staircase location - result in less back pain.
  • Outdoor views or even posters of natural scenery improve wellbeing.
  • Lower levels of background noise decrease worker fatigue and annoyance levels.

These findings make it clear that office improvements can go a long way towards improving worker satisfaction. Because happier workers are more productive, this is good for your business overall.

Another consideration is that your premises can be the physical face of your business. If customers, suppliers and other 'non-staff' members of the public come to your premises, you should consider what the appearance says about your business. Does it reinforce your brand values? If the impression it gives is scruffy and unloved, what message does it send about your business and your attitude?

Office improvement ideas

You don't have to break the bank - or start breaking down walls - to improve the workplace. Here are some simple, budget-friendly ways to get started.

1. Let in more light

Swap out dark curtains or outdated window blinds for light, airy curtains that let in more sunshine. Add lamps to dark corners and install LED lights to brighten the office and the staff's moods. You can even install smart lights that automatically illuminate and slightly change colour throughout the day, mimicking natural daylight.

2. Update the flooring

Modern flooring can vastly improve a building's appearance. For buildings with concrete flooring, staining and polishing the concrete is a simple way to renovate the floor. Laminate vinyl planks are another budget-friendly, durable and attractive option for high-traffic commercial buildings. If you don't have the budget or time to renovate the floors completely, consider using area rugs to decorate the floor and protect it from foot traffic and furniture scuff marks.

3. Spruce up your staff room

Give people a space where they can unwind and grab a bite to eat. Update old appliances like the microwave, refrigerator and stove in the break room to reduce fire risks and improve energy efficiency. Stock the space with social games like air hockey or a ping pong table and provide comfortable couches and chairs where people can stretch out.

4. Bring on the green

Liven up the office space with plants. If taking care of real plants is too much, faux greenery can still achieve the same decorative effect. Add calm or colourful photos of natural scenery to otherwise bland spaces to make them feel more inviting.

5. Repaint the office

Colour goes a long way when it comes to creating certain moods or making a room feel bigger. Paint the walls a calm tan, peach, light blue or other peaceful shade to invoke a mellow and happy mood. Or use wallpaper to brighten up a space without all the mess.

6. Update the furniture

Sitting at a desk all day is tough on the cardiovascular system and joints. Why not give workers better options? Standing desks, desks with ergonomic designs and specialised computer chairs all improve worker comfort.

7. Adjust the temperature

It sounds simple, but raising or lowering the office temperature by a few degrees can improve worker comfort and productivity. Ask employees whether they're comfortable at work, and then adjust the thermostat accordingly. Doing so can even reduce energy costs – a welcome saving in the current energy price crisis.

Improving the office and morale

Giving your workplace a makeover is about more than improving its appearance. When people are happy and comfortable at work, they're less likely to take sick days and will be more productive overall. By making a few easy changes, you can make your office feel more like a second home than just a place to work.

Copyright 2022. Featured post made possible by Eleanor Hecks, founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She's also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface.

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