Think that office interior design is purely about aesthetics?
While switching up your office design can certainly improve the look of your space, concentrating on appearance alone won’t result in a more motivated workforce.
Any experienced interior designer will tell you that interior design is all about a balance between style and function. In the workplace, this means creating an office that both looks beautiful and helps to motivate staff.
Well, if you want a more productive and motivated workforce, then it’s not just important - it’s essential.
Did you know, 40% of European office workers struggle with poor office lighting? What’s more, 1 in 4 workers has expressed frustration at having to deal with inadequate lighting on a daily basis.
These striking statistics were recorded by Staples as part of an online survey involving 7,000 European office workers and prove just how pivotal effective lighting is for staff.
So, how do you motivate staff with office lighting?
It goes without saying that natural daylight is always going to be the best form of office lighting. However, if your office space has few windows and little exposure to natural light then you’ll need to find alternative solutions. When introducing artificial lighting into your commercial office fit out, there are 3 key areas to consider:
The temperature of your office lighting can have a profound psychological effect on your staff.
For example, when used correctly, cooler, blue-toned lighting can help with alertness and help to freshen up a space. However, too much exposure to blue-toned lighting can physically make people feel colder which can be counterproductive during the winter months.
To ensure that you make the most out of your lighting, consider introducing different lighting hues within different areas of the workspace. This way, your staff will have a choice of working areas that are lit appropriately for the tasks that they need to perform.
Illuminating a large office space with minimal natural light can be both costly and harmful to the environment. So, if you want to cut your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint, LED lighting is the way to go.
Unlike incandescent lighting which uses almost all of its energy to heat the bulb, LED lighting is far less wasteful, with only a tiny fraction of its energy generating heat.
The other great thing about LED lighting is that it can be used to mimic the hue and intensity of natural daylight. With the replication of sunlight, not only will your staff feel more energised, but they will also benefit from better sleep as it helps to balance the body's natural circadian rhythms.
Better sleep + increased energy levels = a more motivated workforce.
Whether your staff are sitting or standing, they need to feel comfortable within the working environment.
So, if your staff are spending half their day adjusting their chairs or desks and still don’t feel content, it’s time to rethink your furniture.
To ensure that staff stay pain-free and motivated throughout the day, consider incorporating some ergonomic office furniture into your new interior design.
When sitting at an office desk, feet should be flat on the ground and there should be ample space underneath to move the legs around freely. If a desk has drawers built in or bars that restrict movement, staff will be more prone to muscle cramps and pain in the legs.
If using a standing desk, it should extend to a height of 46” inches at a bare minimum. If a standing desk doesn’t extend far enough, then it encourages poor posture which will do more harm than good.
So, make sure that your desks offer plenty of space and can be adjusted to a height that will suit everyone.
In order to prevent back pain and discomfort when sitting, your office desk chairs need to have sufficient lumbar support. A chair that is unsupportive or too rigid can be harmful to the spine and may increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries.
In addition, there should be no pressure at the back of the knees and both the height and tilt should be fully adjustable.
By providing a range of ergonomic furniture options, staff are much more likely to stay motivated throughout the day.
You may be wondering what storage has to do with motivating staff but bear with us…
It all has to do with clutter.
If your office space is busy and disorganised, don’t be surprised to find that motivation levels have dropped.
According to a survey conducted by Brother, 40% of employees feel that a messy workspace lowers their productivity levels.
To keep on top of clutter, consider the addition of open shelving with contemporary storage boxes and slick filing cabinets with easy-to-read labels. By keeping stationary and supplies neatly tucked away, staff will feel calmer and more productive.
What’s more, when clients visit your office, you’ll create a much better impression if everything is in its place.
The office is a hive of activity. From phone calls to workplace chatter, there are so many ways that staff can get distracted.
If you allow noise to get out of control and don’t take steps to reduce distractions then staff motivation will drop significantly.
To counter this issue, acoustic wall panels and dividers offer a great solution.
When planning your office interior design, there are a number of ways to incorporate soundproof panelling that is in keeping with your office decor.
Quiet zones allow staff to work autonomously within a space that guarantees calmness and tranquillity. To keep these spaces quiet, consider adding layered foam wall panels or hanging partitions which will absorb unwanted noise and reduce the amount of reverberation.
The best thing about these panels is that they can be designed to blend in seamlessly with your office design. So, why not get creative with colour, shape and pattern to liven up your space?
When it comes to meeting spaces, privacy is key. The last thing you want when discussing confidential client information is a nosy passerby listening in on your private conversation!
Once again, wall panels offer a great solution for noise reduction. However, if you want to let more light into your space, you might want to think about adding frosted acoustic glass.
Acoustic glass is made from Polyvinyl Butyral and is often found in busy spaces such as airports and stations. While this style of glass doesn’t always come frosted, it’s very easy to apply a layer of frosted film which will add an extra layer of privacy and still allow light to travel into the space.
If you really want to motivate staff with your office interior design, then choosing the right colours is hugely important.
Did you know that your choice of wall colour can have a direct impact on performance?
In 2015, a study was conducted to determine the influence of colour within learning environments and produced some very enlightening findings.
When testing out different wall colours, the researchers found that students’ reading scores were markedly higher when taking a test within a vibrantly coloured environment.
Furthermore, it was found that specific hues had a profound effect on student heart rates.
So, if you want to create an environment that energises staff and improves performance, why not add a hint of bright orange or zingy green?
You could even go as far as to carry out your own colour psychology research. With a simple online survey, you can find out which colours your staff are most drawn to and which colours are best to avoid.
Asking your staff for their opinions is a great way to get everyone involved in the interior design process and will (hopefully) make decision-making a little easier!
At McFeggan Brown, we’ve made no secret of the fact that we’re big fans of office greenery. With an exhaustive list of employee benefits and positive environmental effects, plants are a fantastic addition to any office design.
As well as improving air quality, office plants have been scientifically proven to reduce stress.
While a small amount of stress can temporarily increase motivation, prolonged stress has been shown to have a negative effect on motivation levels.
If you want your staff to feel inspired by their work environment, dotting a few potted plants around the office is a fantastic way to give your team a boost.
Wondering which plants to choose? Check out our article on “The Top Five Best Plants To Invest In For Your Office Space”.
If you’re planning an office re-design and are feeling inspired by our article, why not let us help?
At Mcfeggan Brown, our expert interior designers are highly experienced in creating bespoke workspaces that increase motivation and enhance productivity. Whatever the size of your office space, we can create something that suitably represents your business and allows your staff to thrive.
Contact our design team today or call us on 01275 464 220.