Your office is, first and foremost, a place of work. That means that, when it comes to refurbishment, your priorities should be a little different than they would be in other commercial settings, like restaurants and shops.
In restaurants, the top of the priority list would probably be to create a design that creates the right ‘atmosphere’ for your customers. In shops, a functional design that makes it easy for customers to shop would be best.
In office spaces, though, it’s all about productivity.
The primary goal of office refurbishment is to create a space that enables you or/and your employees to work their hardest – to create an inviting, bright space that increases effort and minimizes stress.
But can the design alone really achieve such a goal? The evidence seems to suggest so.
Several studies on workplace productivity have found that an employee’s physical environment is the most important factor affecting their ability to focus. In fact, many have suggested that a well-designed office space can boost productivity by around 20%
But how exactly can a refurbishment boost productivity? Let’s find out:
1. The Colour
Did you know that color is very closely linked to human psychology? Colors impact our thoughts and feelings in all kinds of subtle ways, a point which we’ve already written about extensively in our article ‘The Importance of Colour in Commercial Refurbishment and Shopfitting’.
When it comes to productivity, it’s been shown that the color blue is important. Blue can elicit more productivity and create a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere.
Lots of colors can also cause distractions which can be detrimental to productivity. That’s why most office spaces opt for light colors and minimalist designs.
A good shopfitter will carefully assess and plan the best colors to use in your office space to meet your needs.
2. The Lighting
A well-lit office is extremely important to productivity. Good lighting can help you to stay focused, awake, and creative. Bad lighting, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.
It’s been shown that spending a lot of time in dim or dark spaces can impact your mental health and cause or worsen depression. It can also leave you feeling lethargic, miserable and unproductive.
Lighting that is too strong or unnatural can be equally bad, causing headaches and eye-strain. If, like most others, your office space contains computers, then bad lighting can also lead to glare which can make it difficult to see what you’re doing and further damage productivity.
A comprehensive shopfitting service will look at lighting as well as the design and use of space in the office, and make sure that the lighting is suited to the space.
3. Space Organization
In large offices with many people, space is probably the most important factor impacting productivity.
Workspaces need to be designed so that employees have adequate room to move around so that they can do their jobs better and faster.
Desks need to be far enough away from each other so that employees aren’t constantly distracted from the person next to them and have a degree of privacy.
Departments or individuals that need to communicate with each other frequently need to be close enough that it doesn’t take minutes to walk across to them to get the information they need. The quicker they can communicate, the more they’ll get done.
Toilets, chillout/common areas, and kitchen spaces all need to be in the right place to maximize productivity.
A good shopfitting service will handle all of this for you. They’ll take the time to talk to you to better understand the nature and needs of your business and design the best use of space possible around that.
4. Access to Nature
One thing we know about human psychology is that we’re deeply affected by the natural world around us. If we break it right down, we’re all still just animals that have evolved to survive in a natural environment.
If you take that natural environment away, it can have a dramatic impact on our mood and productivity. For example, studies have shown that people who have access to a window with a view onto a green area like a park tend to feel happier than those that don’t.
Office spaces are indoors so, naturally, they do limit our access to the natural world. That’s why it’s worth considering a refurbishment which brings some of the outside into your office. This is especially important if you’re in an office that doesn’t have windows.
Large plants, natural; wooden flooring, and skylights are all ways this can be achieved, and a good shopfitter will consider all these options and more when planning your refurbishment.
5. Temperature/Air Quality
Both temperature and air quality can have a big impact on productivity.
Poor air quality can limit your ability to focus. It can also damage productivity indirectly by boosting the spread of bacteria around the room, which can mean more employees get sick and take leave.
In terms of temperature, an office that is too cold can be a distraction – employees might be too busy shivering to focus on the task at hand! Similarly, an office that is too hot can lead to employees feeling sluggish and lethargic. Both of these will damage your productivity.
Managing temperature and air quality effectively means hiring a shopfitting service to carefully plan air control units in your office space. It may mean improving or changing your air conditioning setup, or adding air filters to recycle the air and improve air quality.