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Inspired by International Happiness Day 2020, we want to give you some inspiration for design ideas for your office refurbishment or fit out.

These 5 design ideas are to ensure the most important asset of your business, your employees, are satisfied so they will never leave you!

Have a look and see what one most suits the culture within your brand and how it is mostly going to keep your staff happy because happy staff will work on your behalf.

1. Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is a concept to make employees feel they are more at one with nature by bringing the outside, inside. By having a more natural environment in the office, we are connecting with an innate need humans have for a connection with nature.

42% of employees want to increase the natural light in the office, and to not rely so much on artificial light. This will increase their creation of melatonin so that they can have a better nights sleep and therefore feel more energised when returning back to work in the morning. By having views of the outside areas and an open plan interior design with more collaborative work spaces, it boosts the office environment and employee’s loyalty by 53% across all workers and even more with millennials at two thirds.

Having plants improves the air quality in the office so that employees won’t feel so tired and will actually have better concentration, and, according to a 2014 study, will be 15% more productive. This can simply be done by having a plant on desks or having living green walls as an eye-catching feature to draw the eye away from the computer screen.

By employees being exposed to more natural light, greenery and open spaces, they will feel less stressed, calmer and more confident in their abilities. This will improve their self esteem at work and engagement on day to day tasks, allowing them to enjoy their job more and result in a reduction in absenteeism and increase staff retention. This will ultimately a positive impact on company’s operating costs.

2. The Hygge Approach

A Danish inspired concept that “is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It’s about being with people we love. A feeling of home … giving your responsible, stressed out achiever a break” as said by Meik Wiking, the author of The Little Book of Hygge.

Having a breakout room is important for employees to take a break and have the time to bond with their colleagues. This can encourage idea sharing and collaboration to create a sense of community, trust and support amongst the teams, as well recognition for individuals. It’s believed to increase productivity by 20% when employees spend time in these rooms.

The ability to personalise desk spaces for each employee with their own belongings will transform their working space into a sanctuary-like spot just for them. Having a blank canvas enables them to add their own personality with family photo’s, their own mug or their favourite plant for a sense of escapism from their tasks, and may even act as a source of inspiration too.

Playing on our senses is a subtle way to create special moments around the office, like walking past a water feature for a visual and acoustic perspective. Having classical music in the background rather than the radio aids concentration due to its lack of lyrics, and therefore blends into the background releasing dopamine just like a cup of coffee would.

Implementing some Hygge-inspired ideas will ensure employees feel supported emotionally and physically by working within a cosy, content environment that they enjoy working in. To enhance the wellbeing of employees, ensure working environments are comfortable and promote that sense of wellbeing as a priority for everyone.

3. Ergonomic Design

An ergonomic office design is implemented to ensure there is a balance between the workplace design and the human physical demands of your employees. 95% of an office workers day is sat in front of a computer screen so we need to ensure their efficiency at work is at their maximum capability without any cause for limitations.

Designs should suit an employee’s work station, their role requirements and position with a focus on the placement of their chair, desk, keyboard, monitor and phone.

This is achieved by changing their posture, lighting, noise and room temperature.

Involving your employees in the design process, through the use of surveys, can promote higher levels of commitment and productivity as they feel a part of the process.

If you want to read more detail about how to incorporate an ergonomic design in your office, there is another blog post that elaborates on this further, read it here.

4. Flexible, Collaborative Spaces

There are more collaboration opportunities in break out areas so team building is an ongoing activity. This increases communication and movement as employees have to get up out of their seat to talk to the relevant person. For a sense of community, work benches are great way to bring a team together, regardless of title, in a more informal environment and social hubs are then great private and more personal spaces for employees to work independently.

It does also encourage employees to be better organised as desks have to be cleared at the end of every day, reducing clutter for a more open and visible working space. Research has indicated the correlation between less clutter and higher productivity levels.

From a business perspective, it is a more affordable option as it will use 15-25% less space than your typical design, saving 30% on office running costs, an overall save of £34 billion in UK businesses.

5. Design to Support Wellbeing and Movement

A concept to encourage movement around the workspace and to get up and out of office chairs, an active office design will promote a better sense of wellbeing for each individual. It is known that employees are more creative when they have physical activity during the day as exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, resulting in more energy and alertness.

Some ways you can encourage an employee to be more active around the office are:

  • Support employees to walk or cycle to work with showers, changing rooms and bike storage.
  • Make stairs more accessible and attractive to avoid employees using the lift all the time.
  • Place bins, kitchens, bathrooms and break out rooms further away from their desks to add some more steps in their day.
  • A gym will encourage more individuals to exercise on lunch breaks, before/after work without the need to add any more travel time into their day.
  • A games room as an addition to a break out room will promote team building, a better social environment and might bring out some competitiveness in some too.
  • Having some standing desks for those tasks that don’t require an intense focus, like answering emails, making phone calls and brain storming will ensure the bum doesn’t go numb.

We all know that exercise has its physical benefits to stay fit and healthy but also has great mental benefits to stay focused, so incorporating some of these design features to promote a more active lifestyle for your employees will reap benefits for them and the business too.

Are you thinking about incorporating one, or a collection of these designs into your new office fit out?

Then get in touch with our design team to discuss how that can be possible by calling 0333 600 1234 or fill out the form below.