Creative space-planning and smart design details provide a great boost for morale and productivity, at well as upgrading the aesthetics of your office.
It can be used to reinforce your corporate identity and key brand messages, and create a positive and lasting impression on staff and customers alike.
We’ve been redesigning workspaces for 40 years and have published several articles on related topics. So, if you’re planning an office refurbishment, we thought we’d share some of our tried and tested ideas for improving your work environment…
Picture credits: All the photographs featured in this article are recent projects by Cobus
The presence of natural light reduces weariness, headaches and eye strain. It also has a positive effect on our mood and general productivity. Optimise the amount of available natural light by removing or relocating interior partitions.
For separate offices, you might want to consider using as much glass as possible in the walls. To avoid eye strain, you can supplement natural light with LED daylight units and light panels, that help to replicate daylight in the absence of natural sources. This will likely also increase the levels of energy/productivity of teams working in spaces with limited access to natural light.
Where possible, try to make the most of any natural light source as we did here for HL Invest in Bristol recently, bathing the breakout space in sunlight to help invigorate and energise the team
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is that your employees are comfortable while they work. It’s imperative for a happy, efficient and pain-free workforce, that your employees’ furniture, seating, keyboards, monitors and phones are ergonomically designed.
This isn’t limited to individuals’ desk-spaces however; any space that will be utilised by employees/clients/customers needs to be considered also. Whether it’s collaborative spaces, reception areas, breakout and meeting rooms, it’s worth investing the time and effort in the planning stages to ensure they are ergonomically optimised to guarantee a comfortable future.
We have previously published an article on the importance of ergonomics, which you can read here.
Although collaboration is key in most modern offices, we all still require privacy from time to time. We recommend having dedicated spaces where employees, and clients/visitors, can work in isolation, as an essential factor.
A fantastic workplace design trend that’s emerged recently has placed the emphasis on flexible working arrangements, and collaborative spaces. The design focus on these has created some fantastic furnishing systems to support the new ways of working. We have seen a sharp increase in the amount of clients requesting these kinds of spaces. From fabric screens to acoustic seating pods, there are options to enable us all to choose how, and where we want to work.
Including areas for ‘downtime’ in your office design can do wonders for morale.
If you can create a space that encourages spontaneous interaction and a sense of playfulness, all the better. The fact that workers are spending longer hours in the office has seen workspace design incorporating a lot of design cues from the home.
Alongside a welcoming breakout area, you could consider creating a games zone, or perhaps a quiet reading room, to make the environment feel a bit less limited to work. You could also encourage your staff to personalise their areas of productivity, providing more of a home from home feel, rather than just a place devoted to working.
When used in the right way, colour never fails to boost wellbeing and improve moods in the workplace.
Whether it’s part of your brand identity or just a powerful statement about the company culture, bold colours always put a smile on the faces of employees and clients alike.
It doesn’t have to mean floor to ceiling bursts of colour however. For a more subtle approach you could start by focusing on the soft furnishings or accessories. Create a single accent wall, or even use brightly coloured graphics and slogans painted on the walls to display your brand values…
If you’d like to learn more about colour in the workspace you can read our article.
If you follow Cobus on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that we’ve been spending a lot of time recently banging the drum about biophilic design. A trend that we believe is about to have its day in 2018, biophilic design is the concept of reconnecting us with nature whilst in our built environments.
There have been many lines drawn between our exposure to greenery and uplift in general mood and productivity. We’re convinced there’s no denying that bringing as many natural cues into a workspace as possible will only have positive benefits on the workforce, and the company overall.
To learn more about biophilic design and how to improve the wellbeing of your teams at work, you can read our article here.
Here to help?
Our trained staff, designers, project managers and installation teams, at Cobus will guide you to reach your workspace goals and get the very best out of your new design inspirations. Call us today on 01452 418789
Simon Coldrick is Co-Founder and Projects Director of Cobus. He has 30 years experience in workspace design.