Guest Post by Lana Hawkins
The concept of the modern workspace has evolved greatly over the years, bearing very little resemblance to the traditional interior designs of the 20th century.
And rightfully so, as the new generations of employees no longer share the values nor the dreams and aspirations of their parents and grandparents.
The 21st-century workforce needs and wants a work environment that appeals to their personality, supports their creativity, and nurtures their physical and psychological well-being.
Only by striking a balance between these elements can you expect your office space to become a place of productivity and unimpeded creativity. And you should know that a creative and skilled employee has the potential to take your brand forward as a whole.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the modern office design trends that will allow your startup to thrive.
Let your brand’s values come to life
To run a company is to demand productivity with a paycheck and nothing more. But to run a brand is to create a thriving work environment where people can network, collaborate, socialize, and work towards a common goal driven by the values that bind them.
To manage a brand is to connect with your employees on a deeper emotional level, and stand up for something truly meaningful and relevant.
There is no shortage of great causes your brand can support, ranging from environmentalism to charity, pro bono work, and beyond.
Complement these efforts by emphasizing your brand’s colours and iconic objects that exemplify your values throughout the office and you will have no problem bringing a truly inspiring work environment to life.
Equip the office for productivity
Aesthetics might play a grand role in the whole matter, but looks alone won’t be enough to make your employees happy or enable them to unlock their true potential in terms of day-long productivity and creativity. Simply put, you can’t achieve this because they are, well, literally uncomfortable.
Remember, the office furniture you opt for needs to be bear functionality as well as an aesthetic appeal – because an employee with a sore back cannot be productive or satisfied no matter how pretty the chair might be.
Choose only ergonomic furniture and spacious desks with padding for the forearms, and make sure every workstation is equipped with the right kind of tech for every job description.
After all, their efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace will directly depend on the efficiency of the gadgets and tech they use.
Focus on the lighting
To nurture employee productivity, zeal, and long-term happiness, you have to pay special attention to the lighting in your office space.
Firstly, you have to optimize natural lighting. You can start by going for an open floor plan and by letting plenty of natural light saturate the office. This will make your team members feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which is a great way to start the day.
Next, you need to scale the artificial lighting in the room. This is something that only professionals in the lighting industry can achieve perfectly by analyzing the ambience, looking at the space as a whole, and taking your unique needs and requirements into consideration.
By optimizing the lighting in every room and every common area, they can create different zones for every type of employee, for example, allowing them to work in a more intimate setting or to stay energized in a more illuminated ambience.
Reinvent the space with the team in mind
If there is a single interior design consideration you should always keep in mind, it’s to put the needs of your team members first. You want to appeal to their exact needs, taking into account that no two individuals are the same and that there will be those who want to socialize and those who want to work alone in uninterrupted peace and quiet.
This holistic approach is being widely adopted across eastern Asia, including China and Hong Kong in particular.
Travelling there, you will see commercial interior design in Hong Kong emphasizing socialization and free communication in the workplace, but also providing the employees with quiet, Zen spaces where they can focus on the task at hand.
The idea here is to let team members be themselves at all times instead of forcing introverts to socialize when they don’t feel like it, or confining sociable extroverts to quiet booths when all they want to do is brainstorm, communicate, and bring ideas to life with the help of their colleagues.
Introduce greenery throughout the space
The word oasis is deeply associative to the great outdoors, or even a secluded forest setting where lush greenery stretches as far as the eye can see.
While you can’t bring an entire forest into the office, you can definitely evoke that distinct feeling of peace and serenity you get when you listen to the sounds of nature by introducing strategic greenery throughout.
Office plants are not only beautiful to look at, but they are also able to purify and cleanse the air, making the workplace that much more enjoyable to dwell in for prolonged periods of time.
Put a vibrant potted plant in every corner and on every windowsill, and watch as the overall vibe in the office starts to improve.
Being pet-friendly goes a long way
The millennial workforce is a unique demographic. It’s no secret that younger generations have more pets than their parents and that they in fact care more about their furry friends than anything else in the world.
So naturally, when you force them to part with their dogs and cats for eight to ten hours a day, you are effectively shifting their focus from their job to the animals they have left at home.
In turn, this will stifle their creativity and productivity. So just let them bring their best friends to work, provided that they behave, and you will instantly elevate the mood in the entire office.
To build a creative workforce means to give them the tools to do their job efficiently and to create a welcoming, beautiful, and functional space where they can feel right at home.
Follow these design tips and you will have no problem bringing a creative workplace oasis to life.
About the Author:
Lana Hawkins is a stay-at-home mom by day and author by night. She’s passionate about interior design, travelling and green living.