How Office Design Affects Morale
It’s no longer a secret that the look, feel and design of an office affects how workers feel, which in turn has an impact on their morale and productivity. If you have any concerns about the way your premises may be making your employees feel, then the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a fancy new place or on refurbishing your existing building. With a bit of ergonomic know-how you can turn your office space in Heathrow into an all-singing, all-dancing palace of productivity. It all starts with…
Space is a huge factor in mood and morale; if people don’t have enough space and room to do their work comfortably and efficiently, or if they feel hemmed-in and too close to colleagues, it can make them feel trapped. This can lead to frayed tempers and low productivity.
When you’re fitting out your office, make sure there’s enough room for work surfaces and storage to minimise the clutter. If you’re a bit short on space, work with what you have – open up window blinds, get rid of partitions, put the water cooler in the foyer, use space-saving furniture like corner desks – there’s a lot you can do.
The overall layout is important, too, if you want to keep your workers happy. Open plan is the way to go for many companies, but this does involve a certain amount of noise and distraction alongside the banter and collaboration. On the other hand, private cubicles and rooms can make people feel isolated and aren’t the best use of space.
The solution, as it so often is, is compromise – a combination of open collaboration spaces and a few secluded areas offers staff the option of working together or of concentrating in peace and quiet.
Lighting is often neglected in an office – too many people think that harsh, bleaching overhead fluorescent lights are the only way forward – and so they miss a big opportunity to create different moods. Natural light can improve concentration and mood, while subtly different colours of light can create feelings and moods. Most importantly, sorting out poor lighting can help to avoid eyestrain, irritability and headaches.
It’s been mentioned earlier, but storage is really important. Clutter is disorganised and causes a lot of frustration and wasted time. A messy office with piles of paper everywhere, or nowhere for people to hang their coats or place their personal belongings will make staff feel unvalued – a certified morale-killer.
Effective decoration in the office is vital to promote productivity and engagement – flat, dull, monochrome and bland spaces do nothing for enthusiasm or inspiration. Some colours, especially greys, can actually make people feel depressed and prone to headaches, so choose carefully.
So many studies have shown the link between colour and emotion that it’s now accepted as a given. Blues and greens make people feel calm and creative, while yellows, reds and oranges inspire verve and energy. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time or money for a complete revamp right now, just think about where you could put a few pops of colour. Paint one feature wall, or get some stick-on decals to brighten the place up and send the right message.
Best of all, you could let people decorate their own personal zones, as long as there’s a unifying colour or theme. Have fun!