The year of 2020 has been one of the hardest that businesses have endured, but we’re optimistic for a strong comeback and apparently so are multiple other businesses who are undergoing office revamps. If financial situations allow, then right now is an optimal time to renovate and refresh office spaces, while employees are still working flexibly from home and are potentially in need of some renewed motivation. The future of our working lives is changing quickly and drastically, and businesses are being forced to adapt their environments accordingly. Read on to discover the eight must-have elements in newly refurbished office spaces for 2021.
We’ve seen standing desks and double screens, but the quest to create healthier work spaces is continuing and the demand for ergonomic office furniture is stronger than ever. Employer’s need to provide furniture that fosters good health, natural positions and comfort. New designs are constantly emerging in furniture and office appliances, from newly shaped computer mice to spin desk bikes. Ergonomic furniture assists in keeping employees healthier and happier, in turn creating more inspired and motivated employees. With heathier employees also comes lesser sick days, lowering the average annual cost of sick employees to a business.
An esteemed element of Biophilic design, natural lighting is absolutely imperative to a healthier and happier office environment. HMC Architects cited a 2017 study published by the National Sleep Foundation (US), in which natural light was found to foster better sleep quality, and in turn, improved employee productivity and satisfaction. Natural lighting is well known to assist in the maintenance and regulation of our natural circadian rhythms, meaning that it’s not only beneficial to employees whilst physically at work, but in their overall health and wellbeing outside the workplace. It’s no secret that well-lit places are more enjoyable to spend time in, but they also provide for a much more comfortable workplace. When employees are staring at paper or screens all day, natural lighting also helps to avoid eye strain and subsequently decreases the occurrence of strain-induced headaches.
Workplace art can be more than just aesthetic. It can be functional too, if it’s considered carefully and chosen with a purpose in mind. The most motivational art pieces are often found when looking for a piece (or commissioning a piece) with company mission and values at the forefront of attention. Whether your workplace artwork heavily features company branding and colours, or accurately depicts the purpose of which the business strives for, its sure to brighten your employees workdays.
Comfortable Down-Time Spaces
It’s a new concept, but time for relaxation has recently been proven to improve the work quality and efficiency of employees. No longer are employees encouraged to work around the clock, without taking breaks or eating lunch at the desk. Burnout and fatigue have cost businesses far more than they’ve helped them and so employers now encourage employees to take restful or productive breaks where they either stop and relax completely, or exercise to refresh their minds. Hence, the emergence of the modern lounge area. A winning lounge area is one where employees can rest and recharge or move their workstation temporarily for some additional comfort. Space designation is however still important, so if the area will best serve employees as a quiet space, be sure to clearly label it as such.
Collaboration Fostering Environments
Collaboration is key to success as it brings team members together to solve problems and contribute their own individual strengths to projects and campaigns. And the single most important foundation to fostering workplace collaboration is to provide spaces that allow for it. Not just large private meeting rooms, but also casual collaborative environments that invite team members to gather as they wish and encourage the spontaneous brain storming sessions that so often have the best outcomes. Incorporate collaboration into your new workplace by including large and inclusive desk or table settings, and table configurations that support conversation.
The importance of greenery is constant in work environments, with countless studies proving its effectiveness in motivating employees and creating a healthier workplace. Greenery can be difficult to maintain if it’s the real kind, however artificial greenery removes this issue and is completely hassle free. Greenery is another cornerstone element of Biophilic design because of its ability to bring the outdoors in. It’s also been revered for the calming effect it can have on humans, with some reports even claiming that greener spaces are linked to an increase in lifelong happiness. A study conducted by the University of Aarhus examined the environments that a sample of children had grown up in, finding that those exposed to larger amounts of greenery throughout childhood were happier as adults. This speaks volumes of the therapeutic effects that greenery can have, with no doubt that a workplace can be improved with the inclusion of plants.
Accessible Hygiene Stations
If we’ve learnt one thing from a global pandemic, it’s that hygiene is paramount, and germs can spread with incredible ease. Our new normal is a heightened awareness of our own hygiene with the knowledge that complacency can lead to the spread of germs. Workplaces are now required to provide multiple hand sanitising stations so that hygiene can be upheld with convenience and workplaces can remain safe and clean.
Private Working Options
As collaboration is important so is privacy but it can be hard to come by in so many office spaces. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to their work environment so it’s important to provide a range of working options. Some employees might thrive in a quieter environment and there are many solutions to provide this. Smaller office cubicles, dividing walls or even office pods are easy ways to afford privacy. Workstations.com.au offers many workplace solutions including phone booths, pods and huddle spaces, all with the aim of providing quiet, functional places for the office.