Whether you are setting up an office at home, or moving into a new commercial office, creating a good workspace is crucial for productivity and positivity within the workplace. This guide to setting up an office will guide you through some of the considerations you should take into account when planning your office layout and work environment, so you can get the perfect space for you and your staff members to be at your best!
You have your blank canvas (empty room) in front of you, but where do you start? Well, it makes sense to illuminate the room so you can see what you are working with first! Lighting affects mood and productivity, so it is a more important consideration than you realize. If you think about how you feel when you take a walk on a sunny day in natural light, compared to when you are stuck in a poorly lit office, then you will understand the impact it can have.
A recent survey revealed that 80% of employees feel lighting in a work environment affected their productivity and happiness at work. With this in mind, it is important to get the correct lighting for your space and purpose. Natural light is of course the best kind of light; however, in the winter months, daytime hours are shorter, and some offices have small windows, and so you often don’t have a choice but to have a good backup plan in the way of artificial lighting. However, try not to block off your windows with heavy drapes or computer desks. Keep the windows as open as possible to make the most of the natural light you do have.
In terms of artificial lighting, you need to consider color and material. In terms of color, warm or orange lights tend to be confluent with relaxing or winding down, whereas cool lights such as the blue and white hues are perfect for inciting alertness. For businesses that are highly stressful environments, a calming warm light could be a good option, but for most businesses, cool lighting is a good way to keep staff alert throughout the day.
When it comes to materials, the main types of office lighting on the market today are LED vs fluorescent. Generally, LED is going to be the best choice as, not only do they last longer and therefore save money in the long run, but they also don’t cause migraines, which fluorescent lights can in some people.
Once you have your lighting down, it’s time to think about your color scheme. While you may think this is very simple and you can just go and pick any paint you like, there is actually something called color psychology which impacts the way we feel based on the room we are in.
The colors of the walls, like lighting, can impact mood. For example, think about hospitals or therapy rooms; they all use a similar color palette in their décor, pale blues, purples, and greens. These colors promote calmness and therefore they are a good option for places where clients may feel stressed.
There are two kinds of colors: warm and cool. Cool colors are purples, blues, and greens, whereas warm colors are reds, yellows, and oranges, but what does this actually mean when it comes to putting them on your walls? Well, blues, greens, and other cool tones are considered calming, so if you have a highly stressful business, these could be a great option for you. However, colors like yellow are considered energizing and happy colors.
You could also use a neutral color such as cream or white and paint partial/feature walls with your chosen colors, or accessorize with them. This is a good option for people who don’t like to feel overwhelmed by one single color.
Selecting the right office furniture is crucial to productivity, because if you aren’t comfortable, you aren’t going to get much done. If you are unsure about how to set up an office correctly, then this guide to setting up an office from Branch will provide further insight. Branch supplies high-quality office furniture which will not only look great but create a productive working environment.
If there is more than one person in your office, you need to decide whether you want to have a cubicle style layout (each person has their own small space within the office) or a modular layout, where desks are clustered together. Both have their pros and cons. The cubicle layout is great for call center type businesses where there may be a need for lots of phone calls or a little bit more privacy, but they can feel isolating for employees.
The modular layout allows you to seat working teams together and encourages collaboration and communication between staff. The type of layout you choose is going to impact the kinds of desks you purchase.
You should also consider whether standing desks are potentially an option for you. Standing to work has health benefits, but for some staff members, standing all day may be uncomfortable. There are hybrid desks that convert from sitting to standing, so this might also be an option. Of course, if there is only you, it is going to be much simpler as you know your own personal preferences, but if you do have staff, ask their opinions, and include them in the design of your office.
Chairs are also going to be an important part of your office space. A full-time employee will spend approximately 2000 hours per year in their office chair, so it has to be comfortable and practical. Higher back chairs tend to be more comfortable for long usage; however, if you are designing a home office and you will only be using your office for short hours, then a mid-backed chair is a good option for you.
Accessorizing your office space is a balancing act between look and practicality. For example, you may want to add cushions to your chairs for both appearance and additional comfort. You should also consider things like color schemes when choosing your accessories.
Paintings on the wall can give a room a totally different atmosphere; for example, beach scenes may promote relaxation, whereas a modern art piece will just add a hint of color and intrigue. Wall art is now also a popular choice, and you can purchase vinyl stickers with motivational quotes which are fantastic for office spaces.
More than anything, don’t overdo it. Clutter is the worst thing you can do for productivity and is actually proven to increase stress hormones. With this in mind, keep it simple and choose pieces that are useful or serve a purpose in the way of motivation.
Where possible, keep records on computers. Not only is it safer in terms of data protection, but it is also going to save you mountains of space. Use filing cabinets for paperwork that is essential and store everything else digitally.
Setting up your workspace correctly is going to promote productivity and therefore more success for you in your business. Proper planning will allow you to have everything you need ready to go, so the actual setup doesn’t take up too much time and you can get started in your new office as soon as possible!