Quite honestly, this improvement may begin with eliminating the word “office” all-together, given the history of the word, what it entails, and the images it evokes. Instead, words such as ‘workstations,’ ‘lounges,’ or ‘spaces’ suggest an entirely different environment.
Consider the Advantages of Openness
The abilities of laptops and cell phones essentially eliminate or dramatically reduce the need for employees to be cooped up in a cubicle or isolated from their coworkers, as they can effectively float around or work from any desk or table.
By designing a more dynamic work area with an open floor plan, you can be more creative in your approach and work to create an environment that not only fosters freedom, but also promotes productivity.
With an open work area, you give employees the freedom to work where they choose, but you can also incorporate semi-private workstations without having to completely isolate your employees from the group.
Consider how a single large space comprised of a variety of different workstations as opposed to individually closed off offices could increase employee happiness and promote an overall pleasant workplace by encouraging collaboration and idea sharing while still giving employees the ability to work privately.
Adding Some Color and Playing with Patterns
Dull and boring doesn’t always mean productive. In fact, this could quite often lead to the opposite. Varying color schemes are not only more interesting, but also more inspiring, and many of them have been associated with feelings of positivity, energy, and focus.
Rethinking Your Furniture
From desks and desk chairs to lounge chairs and other more comfortable options, furniture is another opportunity to have variety.
Long desks can be divided down the length of the table, which means privacy without seclusion and the opportunity to collaborate with the employee next to you. Single enclosed desks allow employees to work privately.
Lounge chairs allow mobile workers to work comfortably or relax during a break. You could also obtain temporary privacy walls that can be placed around any given area.
Drywall is boring, whereas glass walls are interesting yet sophisticated, promote openness while separating rooms, and with the addition of curtains or blinds, can still be private and secluded. There are a number of applications for glass, and the effective use of glass can definitely enhance the workplace.
Keeping Your Employees in Mind
When designing your commercial office, consider who your employees are and consider what would be more appealing to them. After all, your success depends on their success.
The open floor plans allow room for more activities such as a place for coffee or even a café, a small library, food options, or lounge areas, all of which promote an environment that is more pleasant and uplifting as opposed to dull and confining.
When you are designing your office, don’t think simply office.