Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Creating an Inviting Office Environment: High-Level Tips

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For 50 years, average hours per workweek have been increasing in the United States, with Americans working, on average, more than workers in any other industrialized country.

Burnout is rampant, which leads to low productivity and diminished morale.

One of the antidotes to these ills comes from taking a conscious effort to produce an office space that is inviting and comfortable.

From office plants to lighting to personalized desk name plates, here are some high-level pointers.

Don’t Be Afraid of Color
Clinical, sterile offices decked out in neutral whites and slate grays reign. They are also off-putting and feel cold and unwelcoming.

Why is it that classrooms invest so much in creating bright, stimulating environments whereas offices become more aloof and neutral every year? Adults are people too.

Blue and green are calming colors, whereas red, yellow, and orange are all stimulating and uplifting. All of them can be used to add life to a corporate gathering space.

Embrace Biophilia
Biophilia, or the love of living things, encourages people to bring the outdoors in. It encapsulates the desire to be around nature.

Not everyone has the bandwidth to care for office pets like fish or birds, but embracing biophilia can be as simple as investing in a few office plants.

Besides, bringing living arrangements into an office, in the form of plants, has other benefits too. Plants regulate humidity, modulate ambient volume levels, filter toxins like VOCs from the air, and fill up harsh, stark negative space.

Some even report an uplifted mood and feelings of enhanced general wellness when plants are introduced to a space.

Invest in Ergonomic Furniture for Your Employees
Comfort can go a long way towards making employees weel welcome and appreciated – not to mention, employees that are not in discomfort will likely work more diligently and be more productive.

High-quality office seating, such as ergonomic desk chairs from Herman Miller, or another comparable brand, is a must.

These are designed to be used for long hours at a time and provide support and relief at stress points. They are expensive, but an investment in your human resources.

Personalize It
People feel welcome when they can openly express themselves. Encourage employees to bring in pictures of friends, pets, and loved ones. Create a space where employees can highlight personal accomplishments and encourage employees to display their degrees, awards, or certifications.

Even something as simple as distributing personalized business cards, name badges, or personalized desk name plates can help create a more welcoming environment.

Let There Be Light
Last but not least, lighting can have a huge impact on the setting. Ambient light levels, and color temperature, can both impact mood, eye strain, and productivity.

For instance, cold, harsh, clinical light, such as those produced by fluorescents, feels sterile and impersonal. By the same token, warmer light is more welcoming and calming.

Natural light, however, is your best asset. Position your office’s interior so that most workspaces get adequate light, and open the blinds, where necessary. Sunlight will help you keep lighting costs down and is linked to increases in productivity and improved moods.

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