The design of your office space can play a huge role in your company’s success. That’s because your workspace is critical to your employees’ productivity. Here are three ways to make your space a healthier, happier place for everyone.
1. Maximize natural light
According to research conducted by furniture wholesaler Teknion, human beings need to feel connected to the natural world. The more fresh air and daylight an office can provide, the better employees will feel.
That’s why window placement should be a key consideration when determining a space for your company. Ideally, according to Teknion, a business should have floor-to-ceiling windows. WeWork, a company that develops collaborative office space, even constructs interior walls out of glass to maximize the transfer of light throughout the workspace.
And the better employees feel, the better they work. A survey of studies reviewed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reveals that natural light can improve employee productivity by up to 28%.
Not only that, but the more natural light you provide, the more money your company will save on energy.
2. Mix it up
Nothing stifles creativity more than a boring, gray cube farm. So experts recommend adding color and opening up the space. According to WeWork founder and CEO Miguel McKelvey, reducing the number of walls leads to more diligent work because it creates a stronger air of accountability. If people see others working hard, they will be more motivated to do the same.
Still, employees need a refuge. Teknion said companies also need quiet, enclosed spaces where employees can go to avoid noise or distraction.
Adding some color and excitement to these spaces doesn't hurt, either. McKelvey said WeWork likes to surprise employees with intriguing art installations and inspirational messages written on the walls. To keep things interesting, you can turn to subscription-based art services, such as TuringArt, that will send you artwork to hang temporarily. When it’s time for something fresh to look at, you can mail the piece back (with free shipping) and they'll send you some new stuff.
3. Get them moving
Humans were not meant to sit all day. Our bodies are made to move, and employers need to help that happen if they want employees to be happy and healthy. Simple things like pacing while on the phone and taking the stairs can be helpful, and businesses should optimize their spaces to promote such activities, according to Fast Company.
Teknion suggests adding a gym; but if that’s too expensive, creating spaces where workers can collaborate while walking could do the trick. Teknion also recommends adjustable furniture, which promotes altering your position while seated and helps decrease stress on certain muscles.
“Happiness, the feeling of positivity, really is the foundation of productivity," says WeWork’s McKelvey. Look at how your office space works, and see what steps you can take to make employees feel better. It’s an investment that can really pay off.