The majority of the offices we work in today are open-plan — a design originally inspired to facilitate a sense of transparency and the cross-pollination of creative ideas.
All very well in theory — but if this physical environment is matched with a cliquey command and control culture, the open space soon starts to feel like an oppressive panopticon.
Apart from potentially making employees depressed, there’s evidence that open-plan offices kill productivity — something that even the coldest C-suite execs should take note of.
No office design can compensate for poor interpersonal dynamics — but once you get ‘the way you do things’ down to a tee, the right physical environment can have a subtle yet significant effect on productivity and positive mental attitude.
So here are two decor tips for a creative and comfy office.
• Optimise workspace
Now that we know cubicles stuck in sprawling floorspaces aren’t conducive to success, it turns out that an ancient Aristotelian design might futureproof our corporate interiors.
Adopting a Eudaimonia Machine design like concept store Story involves integrating a layered plan with an entry gallery, social salon, multi-person office and a collection of private chambers where distractions are eliminated so employees enter a state of ‘deep work’.
For Aristotle, eudaimonia represents the zenith of human capability — so every feature of this design is geared towards helping workers be at their brightest and best for the majority of the time by triggering different mental states at exactly the right moments.
If this sounds better than the frustrating hustle and bustle of your current office, stick a note in your suggestion box to convince your CEO of its benefits. You never know — you might convince the powers that be to release enough budget for a terrific transformation.
• Home Comforts
Another way to potentially get the best out of staff is to make instill a homely feeling around the office.
So some employers encourage workers to decorate their own work pods with photos of friends and family members, kids’ school artwork and even their prized Star Wars figurines or their favorite Toy Story decor.
But what might be preferable is creating a homely environment with a supportive culture and a comfortable workspace that doesn’t feel too clinical.
Buying a personalized doormat from the Mat Factory complete with your company motivational motto might be a good start — place it at the entrance to the communal area to encourage employees to unwind as often as possible, especially during breaks and lunchtimes.
And banishing taupe and ecru colors is a must — there’s a reason no-one decorates their home like a 1970s sitcom set, so it’s unlikely that these dull, pedestrian tones are suitable for work.
Go brighter to get good results — yellow’s a positive color that evokes summery vibes, while passionate red might inspire your resident go-getters to smash sales targets.
So there are two simple décor tips for a creative and comfy office — they’re sure to make your workplace a much more pleasant place to earn a living.
Is your office environment inspirational? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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