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The importance of a well designed office space

Over the last couple of years more and more businesses have begun to realise the importance of a well designed office space. Luckily for the employees’ sanity, we have seen the death of cubicle farms and an increase in open space floor plans. While these trends come and go, what has stayed consistent is the importance of office decor and how it influences employee morale and productivity. 

I recently attended a seminar (DAS – Building for now and the future) that highlighted the key purposes and advantages of a well designed office space. If you as a business owner have not yet considered improving your office space, here are 3 reasons why you should consider it!

Your office space represents your company

While this speaks for itself, it is important to remember that your office space is a representation of your company. What makes your company unique?

When a client or an employee enters your office space, what do you want their first thought to be of your company? A great design creates that first impression but functional design creates a lasting impact. Your office space should reflect the reliability of your company and it should reflect that your business is up to date with current trends. 

Work with an interior designer and your employees to integrate your business’ core needs into the office space solutions.  

 

Employee Morale

Your employees spend the majority of their day at work. Designing a workspace that creates a positive atmosphere, results in higher productivity and drive in employees. 

 

Encourage Collaboration & Teamwork 

Did you know that we spend almost a third of our lives in the office?  For us to find and retain great employees, it’s essential for companies to foster an environment that empowers people. The right space to work, think and collaborate naturally is one vehicle for such a focus. 

  • Consider creating a space that encourages collaboration and teamwork amongst employees.  
  • This can be done by creating open space with co-work lounges and smaller meeting rooms. 
  • Your office space should become flexible in order to accommodate interaction between teams. 

 

Encourage healthy living

If you know me, you will know that this is probably my favourite non-design topic! I could go on a tangent about the benefits of healthy lifestyles but I will restrain myself in this topic. 

Have you noticed how it has become a trend to put a  focus on healthy living? Our bodies were made to move, not sit all day. People who lead an active lifestyle are likely to be more productive. Not to mention, healthy and happy employees means increased morale, productivity, concentration, creativity and it means less sick days!

 

A few ways to encourage movement and healthy living at work include offering:

  • Adding as much natural light as you can
  • Control glare in the office space to avoid eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision symptoms.
  • Remove flickering lights and layer different types of light
  • Adjustable workstations –  (adjustable standing tables have become increasingly popular).
  • Open and accessible stairways
  • Add greenery: potted plants, living walls or flower gardens
  • Offer flexibility – give options for where and how employees want to work
  • Why not add shower facilities for employees who cycle/walk to work?

 

While a healthy and well designed office space might not be at the top of everybody’s list, it is inevitable to admit that human centered design has become the future. In a competitive and globalised world, the purpose of office space has evolved into a place of collaboration, flexibility and agility. A well designed office space thus creates a fluid and efficient work space. 

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About Ilsa van Niekerk

InteriorEdge-Ilsa-van-Niekerk-1
Ilsa is a qualified and experienced interior designer in Ballito,  South Africa. She graduated with her degree in Interior Design from the University of Pretoria and is the owner of Interior Edge with over a decade’s worth of experience in the interior design industry.