The way an office is designed can have a significant impact on workers’ wellbeing. If done right, it offers the chance to create a healthy, engaging environment that can result in lowered absenteeism, higher staff retention and improved performance. However, far too often, employers get workplace design wrong – and this can prove to be a costly mistake. A poorly-thought out space can cause frustration, lower morale and reduce productivity. To avoid falling into an office design trap, here are two pieces of advice you should ignore.
Overload on open plan
Over recent years, many firms have moved towards open plan offices in a bid to reduce property costs and improve collaboration among employees. However, while open layouts can help to foster a sense of camaraderie and improve co worker interaction, they also come with their limitations. With visual distractions, a lack of privacy and high noise levels, cramming too many people into one space can hinder performance and increase the risk of work-related stress.
To rectify this, offices should have a variety of alternative workspaces and design elements that allow people to shift between private and collaborative tasks. There’s no need to dismiss open plan design altogether, but it’s important to accommodate your employees’ needs with a balanced work environment. As office furniture specialist Calibre point out, having break-out areas, booths or enclosed spaces where workers can go for meetings, make a phone call or concentrate on an individual task can help to boost productivity and inspire creative thinking.
Skimp on furnishings
Especially for cash-strapped companies and startups, it can be tempting to opt for low quality furniture and fittings to save money. However, while this may make you savings in the short term, it can end up costing you more in the long run. Uncomfortable chairs, cramped desks and other budget office furnishings can prevent employees from carrying out basic tasks and it can lead to all sorts of ill-effects in terms of their health – and both of these things are bad news for your bottom line.
Investing in high quality, ergonomically designed furniture for your personnel can make a huge difference to their working day. After all, many people spend more time in the office than they do at home, with a large chunk of their days spent sitting in front of a computer monitor. So, if you want pleasant, productive environment, it pays off to invest in decent furnishings and to ensure your staff are as comfortable as possible.