Modern life can be extremely stressful, especially in the workplace. Stressed staff won’t be working as productively as they should, so it’s important that you keep the stress levels of everyone in your office to a minimum so that everyone can work harmoniously and efficiently without distractions or irritations from their environment.
White is a very pure, cleansing colour, but too much of it can give colleagues a headache, especially if there is lots of bright lighting in a room. It is fine to have white as your main colour, but mute it a little by weaving in some softer subtle shades, such as beiges, olive greens, steely greys and pale blues. This way, you get the same clean, fresh feel, but it isn’t as harsh and can make the room feel more welcoming.
When it comes to office furniture, try to minimise the number of dividers and partitions you use to create an open plan space. This way, the natural light from outside is able to travel across the whole room, and being able to see outside is an important part of feeling comfortable in the office so that staff don’t feel trapped or claustrophobic.
Boardroom furniture and desks should be based on glass for a light, airy, fluid feel. Fortunately, glass tables are timeless and never go out of fashion, and you can match them with any colour scheme. It also gives the impression of transparency, so hopefully it will encourage everyone to be more honest and speak more openly with one another. Openness and honestly is especially important in the boardroom, so a big glass boardroom desk is ideal.
Don’t cluster furniture too closely together, as this will make people feel cramped. Instead, give everyone the space they need to work in peace, and don’t force everyone to sit elbow to elbow. Respect the fact that your workers need privacy, and space their desks out appropriately.
Give your workers somewhere pleasant to take a break by arranging comfortable chairs around a coffee table away from the hustle and bustle of the office. This means that they can sit and talk quietly in groups without disturbing anyone else.
Finally, adding plants to an office can really change the atmosphere. Some greenery will make it feel much fresher and more pleasant. Lots of workers also appreciate a bit of background noise to drown out the sound of machinery or traffic outside, so go for classical or ‘chillout’ style music for something that won’t distract anyone but will mask any irritating sounds.
Tim Bowman is a business productivity consultant who advises firms of all sizes on making the best use of available office space to maximise efficiency