September 22, 2015
When it comes to doing an office makeover, the goal should not solely be about practical selections, such as deciding what carpet to use or choosing the most affordable furniture. The goal should be to try and touch people’s souls with beauty, and charm them with good taste. Such elegance can inspire people and even excite them into being more productive.
Beauty is not enough. A delightful office should be more than an aesthetic display of good taste. The design should stimulate a quiet sense of ease, elegance, comfort, and happiness. Focusing on leasing the least expensive space and furniture is short-term thinking. Instead, focus in on the psychological impact of a well-designed office, as it makes people happy to come to work and perform well.
With all this in mind, here are six questions to ask before initiating an office makeover.
1. What is the purpose of the office?
An office is a convenient place for people to work as a cohesive group, but it can be so much more than that. An office that delights workers and clients is one that will produce more. It will produce the joy of work. It will produce happier, more productive staff. And as a result, it will produce more revenue.
2. Does the office have enough heat?
People who work in an office are sensitive to its temperature. Without a good HVAC system, the manager will have to listen to a lot of complaints. He or she will also have to arbitrate between people who are too hot and those who are too cold. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning issues are not trivial issues for office workers.
3. Does the office have enough natural light?
Getting enough light in an office is not as simple as increasing the amount of fluorescent lights – actually, this easy solution can be a huge mistake. There is a great deal of evidence establishing that fluorescent lights are bad for workers. The solution is to find more ways to increase natural light. People experience a higher state of well-being under natural light
4. Does the office have enough space?
When it comes to space, people fluctuate between two extremes. On one hand, they want to focus on their work undisturbed. This means that they often feel like goldfish in a fish bowl if forced to work in an open space. On the other hand, they feel hemmed in if the office is just a battery of cubicles.
The solution is to have an office that allows for both options. Workspaces should respect the need for privacy and should also be spacious when it comes to meetings and team projects. Finally, it should have plenty of room in non-work spaces. These could be storage spaces, hallways and dining halls.
5. Does the office have the right furniture?
The best way to understand what is the right furniture for your space is to notice what does not work. For example, heavy wooden desks take up a great deal of room, are difficult to reorganize and they give the office a gloomy, antiquated look. Similarly, uncomfortable chairs make people scrunch over their desks, creating aches and pains. It is amazing what can happen to an office if it uses modern décor. Think of trendy ideas like glass desks and ergonomic chairs.
6. What changes can be made in office culture?
Still, décor means nothing if the office has the wrong culture, as beauty is often lost on unhappy people. Fortunately, culture is easier to fix. Initiating the right policies can instantly brighten people up. Some offices improve their culture by allowing people to bring their own devices (BYOD), others improve the culture by initiating flex time, and others improve their culture by making the environment more like home or make the office more dog-friendly.
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