Certain office designs, most notably the open office, can hinder productivity and therefore should be done away with if your organisation – or you as a freelance professional – is to have any chance of gaining a competitive edge.
A poor choice of office design not only hinders productivity in commercial offices as it also impedes it in home offices; however, taking into account the amount of research that’s been conducted on the subject of office design and productivity, there’s no reason to suffer from impeded productivity levels as the result of a poorly designed office space.
Questions to ask when designing a productive office space
Office space designs can only aid productivity when you explicitly set out to achieve enhanced productivity levels and to do that you need to understand exactly what you’re planning to do with that space and apply your intentions and needs to the design of your office.
- What type of work will be performed?
- How many people will work there?
- What equipment is required?
- Is there a need for videoconferencing?
- Is there a need to store materials?
These questions, and many more, must be answered if you’re to successfully set up a productive office space, a commercial office in which numerous people work, or an office at home where it’s likely to be you on your own.
For instance, if there’s a need to store materials like architectural designs and plans you need to create a storage space for them and as storage space can be costly if improperly designed, you need to look for innovative ways to store materials without occupying more floor space than is necessary.
However, whilst maximising space is a must in most workplaces, both commercial and home offices, this must be gone about in the right manner because you can only maximise space to a certain point – maximise space too much and you’ll impede productivity once again.
Enhancing productivity – Office essentials
Regardless of space and the kind of work being performed there, some office design elements are essential for all office spaces.
Space to move
Space might be in short supply but you need room to move about because feeling boxed in impedes productivity, not to mention creativity and enjoyment, in a big way. Allowing enough space to move about freely is essential for enhancing productivity in the workplace.
Ample natural light
The effects of natural light on productivity levels are well-known and although knocking out holes in the wall to install more windows is likely out of the question, there are other ways to allow more natural light into your workspace. For instance, relocating to a serviced office in an MWB Business Exchange Building with wide open windows or simply moving your desk to a better lit area in your office at home.
A touch of nature
Studies have shown that having a plant on your desk boosts productivity levels and cognitive function and it’s also good for your health because having a plant nearby filters harmful bacteria and mould from the air.
The effects of ergonomic furniture extend well beyond improving productivity levels in the workplace as they also affect employee morale – this is also important for freelancers working at home – physical and mental health and creativity levels. This is an aspect of office design that everyone can agree on as we understandably need to be comfortable to be productive.
Free of clutter
Cluttered work environments are well-known for impeding productivity and it isn’t at all difficult to declutter your office space, starting with your desk. Investing in shelving to keep things off desks and floors is a start, though developing a system and sticking to it is the best way to keep your workspace clutter free.
The right colours
The effects that colours have on the way people work is truly remarkable, so consider the kind of work performed in your office space and paint accordingly. According to renowned colour psychologist Angela Wright’s Colour Affects System, blue stimulates, green calms and yellow inspires.
Clearly there are limitations to what you can do with your commercial or home office space, though bear these design essentials in mind; they’re actually a lot easier to implement than you may think.
About the Author : Sonia Allen writes on a freelance basis for MWB Business Exchange at www.mwbex.com, a company based in the UK specialising in offering training and meeting venues along with flexible serviced offices that are aimed to perfectly fit around a client’s business.