Andrew Stoddart, managing director at Vida Architecture, on how working environment can improve productivity
1. Your workplace should reflect how employees are an integral part of the company - letting staff know they are valued and giving a lasting first impression for clients.
2. Rather than organising staff around job function or by department it can be more productive for employees to be grouped with colleagues that share the same clients or goals.
3. Ask employees how the current design can be improved.
Providing an open space with the option of private meeting space can work well.
4. Depending on the nature of your business you may also consider including interactive elements such as whiteboards, tablets, chalkboards, wall planners and staff incentive charts.
5. Choose the right colours to stimulate creativity without being distracting.
A dark office is unlikely to inspire even the most creative minds - natural wood, stone, white shades and purple are popular choices.
Greens, blues and purples are often associated with being relaxed and inviting, while warmer colours, yellows, oranges and reds are linked with warmth and vision.
6. Natural light contributes to productivity and promotes good health, while studies reveal that no access to natural light increases the risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
If natural light is limited, add mirrors which help bounce light across a room and create the illusion of a larger office.
7. Creating green spaces within and outside office environments will also enhance effectiveness and wellbeing.
Plants in the workplace have psychological, aesthetic and air quality benefits. If possible allocate an outdoor area for staff , or ensure they have access to fresh air during working hours.
8. Research shows that making small changes such as good lighting, or background noise reduction, can limit absence by 15 per cent and increase motivation by 20 per cent.
9. Allow staff to feel comfortable in their own space by making it their own and keeping it tidy.
Providing practical items such as desk organisers and storage space helps to reduce clutter.
10. The Health and Safety Executive recommends office temperatures should be at least 16C, with a temperature between 21-22C widely accepted as being comfortable.