Working it Out: 5 Office Design Tips to Boost Productivity
Whether at home or in the office, intelligently designed work spaces are a crucial component of productivity. Incorporating these five tips into your office design can take your business (or your homework) to the next level.
1. Acoustics: It is no secret that an open office plan leads to increased collaboration and cross-communication, but it can also cause distractions. For those who must use the phone a lot, make sure they are acoustically divided from each other and from quieter workers. Fortunately, there are stylish acoustical solutions on the market. Flexible, movable walls (such as Vitra’s “silent wall”) in combination with permanent sound-dampening ceiling and wall surfaces can create a more productive environment for all.
2. Flexibility: Make sure that your office is designed to accommodate not only those who work there now, but future employees who may have different needs and tastes. Some people use file drawers, others prefer cabinets. Some prefer a desk return on the left, others on the right. Include a combination in your design so that the layout remains flexible and viable as long as possible.
3. Ergonomics: Nothing is worse for productivity – or one’s health! – than failing to give proper ergonomics the attention it deserves. Poor posture can lead to eye strain, headaches, neck and backaches, and fatigue. But healthy posture begins with good design, so it is crucial to adhere to ergonomic guidelines, outlined by OSHA, to avoid strain and injury. Height-adjustable chairs, keyboard trays, and monitors will go a long way to preserve the health of your staff.
4. Lighting: American workers spend 90% of their waking hours indoors. So it is no surprise that good lighting is not only a key component to one’s well-being, but also to performance and motivation. A combination of direct and indirect artificial light (ceiling fixtures, table, and floor lamps) as well as natural daylight will create a layered lighting effect. It is important to offer enough illumination to support any type of task, and to ensure the lighting is controllable and dimmable. Enlist a lighting expert to choose energy-efficient fixtures with the appropriate, pleasing light color to enhance the types of tasks that must be performed within your business.
5. Color + Clutter: Color and clutter can both significantly impact productivity. While bright colors such as yellow and orange can be stimulating in short bursts, in excess they can fatigue the eyes and cause irritability. Likewise, a cluttered work surface can make every task seem more overwhelming than it is and lead to an overall lack of focus. An organized workstation with plenty of storage and neatly stored tools at ones fingertips is the best way to encourage efficient work.
Photo 1: A pop of color livens up the overall warm, neutral palette in this reception area. The overhead lighting is also warm and welcoming. Designed by Alexandra Cuber, Fogarty Finger. Photo courtesy of Ricardo Parra.
Photo 2: Wood walls make the acoustics in this high-ceiling space welcoming. Designed by Alexandra Cuber, Fogarty Finger. Photo courtesy of Ricardo Parra.
Photo 3: This executive office remains open and airy, even with the use of black as the primary furniture color. Designed by Alexandra Cuber, Fogarty Finger. Photo courtesy of Ricardo Parra.
Photo 4: The large wood conference table and white chairs provide for a visually clutter-free environment. Designed by Alexandra Cuber, Fogarty Finger. Photo courtesy of Ricardo Parra.
Photo 5: The fold-up Home Office from Clei allows you to hide your messy desk at a moment’s notice.
Photo 6: The use of grey saddle leather, glass and metal in this reception area is carried through the whole office. Designed by Randi Puccio, LRS Design.
Photo 7: This executive office has a large work surface, an abundance of storage and meeting space for 4 without feeling cluttered or confining. Designed by Randi Puccio, LRS Design.
Photo 8: The blond walnut and saddle leather boat-shaped conference table is as ergonomically pleasing as it is visually pleasing. Designed by Randi Puccio, LRS Design.