By Stephanie Taylor Christensen
Employees spend the majority of their time in the same workspace, and your office design can have a significant impact on the level of engagement and motivation all members of your team feel when performing their jobs. Try these office design tips to enhance employee morale.
1. Design for the Reality of The Workday
The most effective workspaces accommodate the tasks and challenges employees tackle throughout the day, according to Gensler's 2016 Workplace Survey. Modular furniture empowers employees to design their own workspaces to suit their needs, based on their unique work style, the type of equipment they use to perform their jobs and the seating they prefer. An increasing number of employees now travel to various office locations throughout the week or work remotely part of the time. To help these employees stay productive, offer dedicated work stations for people with flexible work arrangements, so they have a place to feel welcome — regardless of how many days they spend on-site.
2. Tailor Spaces to Minimize Stress
Your office décor should ensure that staff feel valued. Provide furnishings that minimize unnecessary frustrations or stress to let your employees that they are the priority. Quiet areas where employees can easily escape distractions like ringing phones and co-worker banter can increase productivity and provide a relaxing experience when stress is high. To alleviate the stress of booking conference rooms that may not be available on short notice, offer comfortable nook-style spaces that give small groups a convenient place to meet on the fly for brainstorms or brief meetings.
3. Encourage Interaction
Employee morale is boosted by treating employees like humans — not worker bees. Encourage staff at all levels to take breaks and move around the office (or even outside of it) during the workday, so that they can stay engaged and energized. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways:
- Use shared printers placed in common areas
- Place copy machines near windows and televisions, so employees can take their minds off work for a few moments
- Transform empty offices or unused storage areas into meditation or wellness rooms
- Equip the office break room with music, walking desks and gaming tables
4. Keep Surroundings Current
There's nothing more demotivating than coming into an office that is old or outdated. Even if you're on a budget, you can update office décor to create a feeling of possibility. Invite employees to select creative accessories that keep the office furniture feeling fresh based on the initiatives various departments are focused on, trends your company culture has embraced or simply their personal preferences. Office design may be time-consuming for furniture buyers, but it can be a rewarding, creative release for employees.
5. Choose Colors Wisely
You can boost employee morale in the office when you incorporate colors known to positively impact emotional states. Forbes says that the color green is thought to produce higher levels of creativity and broader ranges of thought, while shades of blue instill a sense of calm and tranquility. Red may give employees a burst of short-term energy, but long-term exposure is believed to decrease focus. By contrast, pink can induce a lasting sense of calm, which can help reduce tension in meeting spaces that often involve negotiations or conflict.
Your office design can quite literally set the stage for how your employees perceive and approach their jobs, individually and collectively. By strategically designing your workspace to accommodate the realities of your employees' workdays and incorporating elements that encourage a positive mood, your physical office becomes an important tool that inspires your employees to do their best work.
Is your office due for a makeover? Use this checklist to find out.