As employees around the UK begin returning to their offices following the coronavirus pandemic, there is a substantial discussion on the possibility of remote working becoming standard practice within many industries. While many businesses have been able to operate with a remote team, the long term cost and effects of a cloud-based staff are not yet clear and, until they are clarified, many offices will bring their staff back into a shared space.
Surprisingly, although some employees were initially excited to work from home, being absolved of the need to commute, many have missed the social atmosphere of an office environment, leading to a sense of isolation and frustration. Notable figures, such as Alan Sugar, have been critical of remote working too.
Nonetheless, as we transition back into office spaces and the discussion of an optimum working environment is called into question, it is important to ensure that your office is as accommodating and as appealing as possible. So, to help ensure yours is, here are some of the significant design considerations that support employee workplace satisfaction.
Our bodies are dependent on light and the amount we are exposed to can dramatically affect our wellbeing. Working indoors can limit our exposure. During winter, when many are likely to travel to and from work without seeing the sunrise, it can remove decent exposure from our weekdays altogether.
Welcoming light into your office has a significant impact on employee satisfaction. However, without the windows, it isn’t always possible. Once all obstructions are clear from your windows, consider decluttering your office or even removing cubicles and barriers. An open, cleaner space will allow more light through, helping employees to feel more motivated.
While the bold and, often, wacky designs of offices such as Google and Facebook, divide opinion, using colour in an office is shown to improve mood. Simple additions, such as a statement wall painted in your brand’s colour, can help bring vibrancy into a room. Also, many office standards, such as dividers and timber fire doors, are available in bespoke and stylish designs to match an office’s wider aesthetic.
It doesn’t detract from professionalism to introduce colour into your office and it will help with mood. There are also cost-effective ways to introduce colour to your office too. Plants, while requiring some maintenance, bring a welcome green to the room, occasionally flowering for additional flair.
One of the biggest appeals about working from home is the level of comfort employees can experience. Sofas can be used for office meetings and a snack is always a few feet away. Bringing a similar comfort into your office can be great for working morale too, demonstrating to your staff that they are considered and valued. If your staff aren’t comfortable at their desk or in their chair, they’re unlikely to want to stay there.
Consider also going the extra mile with your food offerings, instead of settling for standard vending machine or canteen fare. Offices like OVO in Bristol even patterned up with the local restaurant, Friska, offering staff discounts on great quality food.