When choosing a new office space and pushing the button on that commercial mortgage, there is more to consider than the simple bricks and mortar aspects of the property.
Purchasing and creating the right environment can be a real boost for staff productivity, and even this is so much more than colour schemes and nice furniture. Regardless of fashion and trends, understanding how the space you create affects employee health and well being could be the key to unlocking business success.
Here are some aspects to consider when purchasing and planning your office space:
Use natural light
What is the lighting like in your new office space? Employees spend an awful lot of time in the office, and dark spaces lit by artificial light can have many negative health effects that will hit productivity.
According to researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago, “there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ sleep, activity and quality of life.” Those workers sitting near a window receive 173% more natural light and sleep, on average, 46 minutes longer at night, decreasing things like sick days and increasing things like productivity and focus. This is something you want for all your staff.
How open is your office?
Open-plan offices aren’t just a “trend”, there is much evidence of them being a more productive environment. Open working spaces have been shown to create a more friendly, inclusive office with increased communication and collaboration. If the free flow of ideas and people, with improved relationships and teamwork, is a goal then consider how you can make your office more open-plan.
- But also provide space for isolated working
Sometimes privacy and uninterrupted working are also needed. Make sure your office space has plenty of these spaces also available. Areas like private workrooms, meeting rooms and other spaces will help employees escape the bustle of the main office room when they need space.
Colour the space for success
Traditionally, it was thought that neutral colours were best for office spaces, austere and even drab environments were best for “work”, but that thinking has gone out of the window. Adding some vibrant colour can have some really positive changes.
Neutral colours have even been linked to increases in feelings of depression and sadness in some cases, while bright, calming colours have the opposite effect (this is, probably, what you want to go for).
Bringing colour into an office space reduces stress, makes staff more creative and increases the flow of ideas according to research from the University of Massachusetts.
- Create spaces that are not for work
All work and no play makes a business fail or something along those lines. Create spaces that are separate from the work desks and meeting rooms for staff to relax, unwind and socialise. These spaces can work wonders for your staff's mental state and help them escape the pressures of the workday if need be.
Bring the outdoors indoors
Bringing some of the outside, inside has been shown to increase productivity. This grew by 15% in offices filled with plants, because people who "engage with their surroundings are better workers," according to some studies.
Alongside considerations of local amenities, transport links and other facilities available in the area it is worth considering the above factors and ideas when deciding on your new office space. The work environment is so much more than bricks and mortar, it needs to be a place for people and one where they can be at their best.