You are spending upwards of eight hours a day at the office. Providing a work space that is welcoming and encourages productivity will allow you to have a more focused staff as well as a nice place to spend the majority of your day. Here we shares some aspects of smart offices design that are often overlooked and that can contribute to a less than pleasant work environment:
- Sound: Many businesses have areas that can be loud which in turn can prove to be distracting for employees. Some examples include:
- Photocopying rooms or stations
- Mail rooms
- Presentation rooms
- Reception areas
- Street front offices
- Staff lounges
- Other forms of industry specific equipment
When designing your office consider any areas that might be a source of noise and look into soundproofing walls and doors to add more privacy and separation. This will help keep noise to a dull roar and allow those whose offices are in close proximity to them work in peace.
- Lighting: Take careful consideration on how you use windows. Some offices have zero natural light where others tend to focus on window offices for prominent staff. Instead of hoarding natural light look for ways to share it. This will cut down on staff headaches and make the working environment more pleasant. If possible look into additions such as skylights as well as using glass partition walls for window offices so more light can travel into the inner office space.
- Traffic: Not the cars motoring by outside. Instead this is traffic throughout the office. Consider how people will travel throughout the office and be certain you are providing enough space for people to pass without difficulty. Clear paths will avoid accidents as well as keep things safe in case of an emergency to evacuate the building. You also want to consider how people work with each other and make it easy for them to get around. For example you would obviously not put accounts receivable at one side of the building and accounts payable on the other. Likewise consider who interacts the most and layout work stations so people can deal with each other naturally.
- Flooring: This might sound like an odd consideration, but it is an important one often overlooked. For example, a hardwood floor throughout the office can be quite distracting when people are walking about in heels. The constant clicking of heels throughout the office can be quite annoying. At the same time carpeted work stations can make operating chairs with wheels a challenge. A reception area might look smashing with marble floors but if people are coming in directly off the street can also pose a slipping hazard in inclement weather. Look at each area and consider what flooring will make sense to keep things quiet, while allowing for easy operation of chairs or even trolleys for mail and other interoffice deliveries.
Although these details might not seem important they will all contribute to a far more pleasant office with less distractions and more productivity.