- July 30th, 2010
- in Yachting
In a world where image is important, first impressions can make or break a contract bid. We rely on the active perception of our clients to progress our businesses. On the same note, our employees, the backbone of our business, can be empowered in a well designed work place.
Our office spaces, like our homes, reveal a great deal about our characters and our goals from an internal and external perspective.
"The reception area is the face of the business…"
In the same way you choose a favourite restaurant or hotel based on emotional triggers that fit your lifestyle or aspirations, the work environment should reflect the goals of the company and the career aspirations of its staff. Not sure where your office fits into the picture? Well, take the experience of walking into a restaurant where there is no signage outside, the entrance is cluttered, tables are laid out in a way that is not inviting, the walls are bare and the lighting is fluorescent. Unless its reputation for food was amazing, the chances are you’d do an about turn and eat somewhere else. There is nothing conductive about the place that would make you want to stay. The reality is that the work place often looks and feels just like this restaurant, and that can impact the staff working there.
The health and motivation of employees are affected by a building’s interior style, layout, colour, lighting and placement of furniture. The good news is that smart interior design choices help create an environment that supports the function and success of the business while enhancing the employee experience.
Here are some top interior design tips to revitalize the workplace and the employees:
Reception – The reception area is the face of the business, and a well designed space creates a powerful impression. The most inviting reception areas typically have a smiling, welcoming employee, the company logo prominently displayed and comfortable seating. Using bright colors and innovative design helps employees feel uplifted and energized as they enter the workplace.
Layout – A well designed office space will consider the flow of traffic; the placement of different work groups such as management, sales, accounting and their needs; location of shared facilities such as the lunchroom, copiers, and restrooms, and the individual locations of workstations. Good traffic flow between departments and facilities increases productivity.
Colour – When selecting workstations, carpet, chairs, art and wall colours chose a colour scheme that will be motivating for your type of business. Warm colours such as red, orange and yellow invite activity which is great for sales while cool colours such as blue and green inspire creativity and concentration.
Lighting – Natural daylight, indirect light and task lighting provide the most conducive and comfortable lighting for working. Avoid fluorescent lighting.
Ventilation – Greater productivity and less absenteeism can be easily achieved by improving indoor air quality. Install high quality air filtration and ventilation systems, use low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) off-gassing materials and finishes such as paints and carpets, and install lots of leafy, green plants.
Ergonomics – Good ergonomic design helps prevent repetitive strain injuries and improves the health and productivity of the employee. Install ergonomic desk chairs, headsets, modified keyboards and lumbar cushions.
"Choose workstations where the employee faces the office…"
Workstations – The traditional workstation has the employee facing a bleak wall. Choose workstations where the employee faces the office as this invites collaboration, creativity and teamwork.
EMF (Electro-Magnetic Field) – Overexposure to computer monitors, towers, transformer plugs and surge plugs can lead to fatigue. Live plants help as does encouraging employees take regular breaks from sitting at their desks.
Clutter – A tidy office means less time searching for important documents, less stress and a favorable impression on clients.
Of course you could install a gym. For now though, take heed: Healthy, motivated employees mean a healthy bottom line!