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What should an office contain? Creating the right environment for productivity can be a challenge in any space. Large, open-plan offices can lack crucial privacy, while small, closed-in offices can limit valuable communication and create a feeling of isolation. 

Cultivating the right environment is important for morale, comfort and focus. These elements are essential to productivity, so ensuring your office space is fit for purpose should be at the top of your priority list. In this post, we’ll share tips for transforming your office into a place where your employees are happy and comfortable.

1. Consider ergonomics

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is a government agency in the UK responsible for enforcing and regulating health, safety, and welfare in the workplace. All employers should follow these rules as a standard, but making your office comfortable goes beyond this. Think ergonomics.

Consider everything your team must face when completing their daily tasks. For example, their desk size, space, height and depth all contribute to their overall comfort experience. Ask yourself: Is there enough guidance when using IT equipment? Should wrist support be considered? Is anyone slumping? Get feedback from your colleagues and work out your next move to make them more comfortable.

A simple yet incredibly effective change you can make to increase employee comfort is upgrading your office chairs. 

Office chairs should support the body and activity, promote movement, and enable performance. Consider your desk chairs carefully, as this is one of the areas that can make or break a good working environment. Investing in chairs from expert brands like Herman Miller and Orangebox will ensure your employees feel good physically, helping them be more productive.

2. Plants are powerful

It’s no surprise that bringing something organic and natural into the office can create a good working environment. Plants have many benefits, such as cleaning and purifying the air by absorbing pollutants and releasing oxygen, and creating a calming effect through their soft green colouring. 

Plants also release water vapour which creates humidity. Low humidity has been considered to contribute to ‘dry skin, irritated sinuses and throat, and itchy eyes’ (Dr Mercola, Mercola.com 2014). All these symptoms can cause discomfort and reduce your workforce's productivity and perhaps even attendance levels. 

Aside from the scientific benefits, choosing the right plants can also enhance the aesthetics of your workspace. An office full of beautiful plants in bloom can uplift the overall mood, resulting in more creativity and boosting morale. 

3. Clear that clutter

“If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is an empty desk the sign of?” This is one of Einstein’s muses on the issue of clutter in the workplace. 

There is much debate about whether a messy desk or a clear desk is better. A messy desk allows everything to be at hand when needed, whereas a clear desk can create a more calming environment. While it’s important to find your own style, make sure that a messy desk has some semblance of order and that a clear desk has a filing system in case something needs to be located quickly.

A good solution is to provide spacious desks so that colleagues can make their desks their own but still have space to work. Elite are a leading desk brand that creates workspaces with enough room for people to work while looking aesthetically pleasing within the office. 

4. The perfect lighting

Natural light vs artificial light? Most reports on the effects of lighting agree that natural light is best. So, wherever possible, natural light should be maximised in the workplace. Lifting blinds, positioning desks close to windows, and furnishing rooms with mirrors to reflect light are all ways to increase the amount of natural light flowing through an office. 

Unfortunately, natural light is less readily available in some offices. In this case, serious consideration should be given to the type of artificial light provided. Some solutions to this are adding decorative lighting like lamps instead of using overhead lighting and coloured overhead lighting with warmer tones. 

5. Adjust the temperature

Many factors will impact the temperature of an office, such as the weather, the season, and even the number of people in the space. Health and safety regulations dictate that the temperature must be ‘reasonable’, and the Approved Code of Practice states that the minimum temperature of an office workspace is 16 degrees Celsius. 

There is no guidance on the upper temperature limit, but it should be considered on a case-by-case basis to ensure the comfort of your team, taking into account the effect on each individual. Talk to your employees and find out what works for each of them; you may need to rearrange the seating plan to move those who feel the chill away from windows or those who run hot away from the radiators. Working together, you can create a plan that benefits everyone and improves their experience in the office.

An improved office space means happier employees

Above all else, happy employees are key to a welcoming, productive workplace. When colleagues are in a good mood, it’s easy to find increased levels of creativity, communication, and motivation. If this mood can be created by a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing office space, then why wouldn’t you take the steps needed to create the perfect environment?

Use our five tips and feedback from your team to provide the best atmosphere possible in your workplace. With well-designed office furniture, careful planning, the perfect decorative pieces and following government guidelines, you’ll be left with a stunning, functional space people will be happy to work in.

We can help you reach your office space goals. Take a look through our product categories full of comfortable, supportive office chairs and furniture, or give us a call for more information and inspiration when it comes to office decor. Contact us on 01603 722483 and speak to one of our friendly, expert team members today.

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