Blog

20 January 2014

How to create a happy workspace

Creating a space where you enjoy spending time will help you to become more productive and create a happier workspace for your staff.

Once you’ve selected your office, workshop or business unit how do you turn it into a workspace which is right for you?

Unless you have chosen a serviced office or a unit that is already furnished, you will probably have a blank canvas on which to make your mark.

Creating somewhere you enjoy spending time will help you become more productive and feel happier at work. Think about what will make you feel positive and inspired. This could include using bright, cheerful colours to avoid a dull, gloomy and depressing atmosphere. Some people feel better if they are working around plenty of green plants, which add oxygen to the air and aid relaxation, as well as looking attractive.

Here are some more tips on making your office fun and functional.

1. Create places to relax

Don’t just think about where your employees will work, think about where they will take breaks and socialise too. By creating comfortable areas where staff can relax, you are making your company a nicer place to be, which should help boost staff morale.

Many of our business centres have breakout areas or communal kitchens for this very reason. Breakout areas give staff somewhere to eat their lunch and chat to other members of their team or other workers based at the centre.

2. Choose your desks carefully

There are a lot of different options when it comes to desks, so shop around to find the right solution for you. Think about whether hot desking is right for your business or whether your staff would feel more comfortable with desks of their own. There are lots of space-saving choices available if you're restricted by the size of your unit.

Make sure your office furniture is adjustable and comfortable. Standing desks have hit the headlines recently, with reports suggesting that these increase productivity and concentration. They would certainly help to avoid the after-lunch slump that many workers suffer from.

3. Space to think

Is there anywhere where people can go to concentrate and focus on issues? Having somewhere calm and quiet within your workspace where your staff can think and get away from the hustle and bustle of the office can be a great asset, particularly if you are in a creative business which relies on ideas. You might also want to consider decorating this space with muted colours and including items like a whiteboard for brainstorming.

If you don't have space to create a different area, an easier alternative is to make sure your workspace is free from clutter. Try to have a clean-up every week or two, of both paperwork and files on your PC. Clutter can affect your concentration - as well as making it harder for you or others to find important documents. 

At our Bizspace head office, we try to keep our desks as clear as possible by using specific shelving for our files and paperwork. The simple act of moving items from our desk to the shelving at the end of the day encourages everyone to reduce their clutter and get rid of anything unnecessary immediately, rather than have it build up around us. It also means we start the day with a clutter-free!

4. Make the most of natural light

If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of natural light, make sure you use it, for example by arranging your desks near the window(s). Just be careful about placement to avoid screen glare from the sun.   

Think about your lighting - harsh lighting can give your employees headaches and make it difficult for them to concentrate. Allowing staff to have lighting on their desk can give them more control over how bright their personal work area is.

5. Get creative

Some of the best modern office space looks unique to a company’s style. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour, accessories or wall art in order to represent your business. Hold a brainstorm in the office or ask an interior designer to give you ideas for your perfect look.

6. Consider the other senses

It's not just how your unit looks and how you use the space. Try to minimise problems from unwanted noises, like phones, printers and too-chatty colleagues. Carpeting can help to reduce noise and thick curtains can cut out busy traffic outside. 

Keeping your unit or office smelling pleasant can help to create a positive mood for you and your staff. Consider flowers, pot pourri or scented oils for example; much better than the smell of stinky feet or strong-smelling foods.

Of course, these are just a few of the ways you can create a happy workplace. Balance this with a happy workforce, for example by giving them flexibility and asking their opinions on what matters. 

Engage your staff, give them flexibility and don't micro-manage them.

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D2 Interactive