Customize your office to fit your personality

Brainstorm your space

            When you think of an office what comes to mind? White walls, intense fluorescents, elevator music and that lingering scent of fish from someone’s lunch. I want you to grab that idea… yeah grab it, and chuck it out the window. That boring old idea of an office is a thing of the past. These days, office spaces are works of art, designed with creativity, productivity and collaboration in mind. From intuitive floor plans right down to the wall décor, office space has transformed from something structured to more fluid space. Want to transform your space or find some of that creativity that we’re talking about? Take a look at these tips and ideas to improve your employees’ space and get those creative juices flowing. 

Lights, Colors, Creativity!

            One easy way to encourage creativity and create a great work environment is to improve lighting. Like those old office buildings, a lot of places still have fluorescent lighting. A great way to counteract the harsh hue of a fluorescent light is to have various lighting sources. The best source of this varied light is natural light. Try to have a space that has as many windows as possible. Natural light is important to have healthy, happy team members. According to a study done by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois, office workers that had more exposure to natural light had better sleep, more physical activity and better quality of life overall. If your office doesn’t have that access to a lot of natural light, there are alternatives! A great option for alternative lighting is dimmable bulbs. These bulbs are perfect to adjust to the amount of light you need. Bulbs that have a daylight setting are great as well to simulate natural light. 

In addition to lighting, adding color to a work environment is important. No one wants to be looking at white walls, and dull colors all day! A great way to brighten up any space is to add plants. Plants add color, inspire creativity and as an added bonus, they add a little more oxygen to your workspace. If possible, allow your team to customize their work stations or offices. Adding plants, paintings, pictures, and fun knick knacks allows your team to make their space their own! Helping your team create an environment that is comfortable and personalized to them helps inspire them and make their workspace feel more home-y.  

Space for one, Space for all

            Thinking back to old, traditional style offices, what shape comes to mind? A square, or if you’re thinking three dimensions, a box. Boxy workspaces in a building shaped like a box. While buildings shaped like boxes are still pretty consistent, office designers (or re-designers) have opted to break down those walls (literally) and create, open, fluid workspaces. Open concept offices offer a greater sense a community between teammates and are a great way to inspire your team’s creativity. A great flexible space can include lounge furniture, collaborative space, and a combination of lounge-work area. This space can be great to have meetings, brainstorming sessions or just to take a break from a crazy work schedule to relax and catch up with co-workers. Some may be able to focus in the open concept spaces; others may need a more structured space to productively get their work done. Designing space that has structured desks or offices available to those that thrive in more private space is important to accommodate all kinds of workers. 

Take a Break

            While the overall set up of an office’s workspace is crucial to productivity, there is one more part of an office that is essential. You know what they say, work hard play hard nap hard! Okay maybe not the last one, but if you had a nap space available in your office, you can’t tell me you wouldn’t use it at some point. An important companion to work, rest and relaxation can help make your time at work more productive. We’ve all had those days where we seem to have left our brains at home and we can’t focus on the tasks ahead. With those days in mind, many offices are now including wellness rooms, and play areas. Play areas/zones are self-explanatory, these areas have foosball and pool tables, board games and even video games to help recharge your mind. Wellness rooms are also kind of how they sound, they’re rooms for feeling well. Whether you need a mid-day nap to get you over that 3 pm hump or if you’re looking for a spot to just relax away from everyone else, a wellness room is an awesome asset for any office space. Play zones and wellness rooms are great spaces for team members to refresh their minds to look at work projects with new eyes and ideas.

            Office space has come a long way since the days of boxy offices in a boxy building. People expect a lot more from their spaces and why shouldn’t they? According to a study done by Gettysburg University alum Andrew Naber, the average person spends about 90,000 hours at work in a lifetime. 90,000 hours is a lot of time. Having a space where you feel comfortable, creative and productive will help you live your best life possible, in the office and out. 

 

 

 

 

 

Katy Harrington
Katy Harrington
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