Architecture has come a long way to the point where even the most conventional workplaces are starting to introduce some aesthetic flair and elements into their structure. As custom commercial builders, we’ve seen and built some pretty impressive buildings that have really challenged the norm of what a professional workplace should look like. The days of eye-straining fluorescent lighting and compartmentalised cubicles are over – with natural lighting and sustainable solutions paving the way of the modern office space. Let’s take a look at some of the key elements that could boost productivity and encourage a healthier working environment.
The typical workplace image has always seen a mass of cubicles occupying the office floor – which has also been accompanied by a monotonous and sometimes unhappy feeling. In recent years we’ve seen a change to that image with open offices eliminating the borders that separate co-workers. This encourages a healthier and social-driven workspace whilst still maintaining optimal performance. If the employees are happy then they’ll work faster and more efficiently.
You can still have closed offices for certain members or senior staff – and the open-floor concept can be customised to suit several shapes and sizes. You may even opt for large communal desks instead of individual ones. Employees should have sufficient room to perform their duties, though, as not to feel cramped and uncomfortable.
Lighting – the natural solution
Fluorescent lighting has long had negative effects on our eyes in the office – inciting such issues such as migraines or strained eyes. One of the biggest issues of fluorescent lighting is the flickering – which happens so fast that most people don’t even notice it. But some people do notice it – which can lead to health issues. If you’re looking for an artificial solution to this problem, then LED lighting is generally a much better option as they’re more energy-efficient, easier on the eyes, last longer and don’t produce heat.
Sometimes, though, the best solution is the natural one. Injecting some natural light via windows or skylights into your office is one of the best ways to not only light up the space but also improve the productivity and wellbeing of employees – this includes reducing symptoms such as eyestrain by up to 84%. If it’s within budget, then maybe an outdoor patio/balcony area where employees can enjoy a quick break or their lunch. These can be quite unique and attractive elements for high-rise office buildings especially – which don’t usually have such features.
Our custom commercial builders believe that putting a strong emphasis on plants and greenery in the workplace is a sure way to boost productivity as well as create a stylish and impressive modern space. In addition, greenery in the workplace will also promote a healthier and happier atmosphere. Part of this is because trees produce fresh oxygen which just gives the office space a fresher ecosystem. As well as large-scale, permanent pieces that can be integrated into the building itself – employees will also be encouraged to bring in their own desk plants and care for them.
You might just read this and think “well isn’t that what a boardroom is for?” and you are right – but a traditional, corporate boardroom may not suit your particular type of business or it might even be too rigid. An adaptable space could have a variety of lounges/couches or small stools in it to create a truly relaxed collaborative space for team meetings, projects the occasional ad-hoc work or as a break from the main workspace. If you only have enough space for one of these rooms then you can still add a boardroom in the centre of it – otherwise, a separate room can still act as a traditional boardroom if it’s necessary.
Take advantage of technology
Technology is only growing more accessible, faster and bolder. So, failing to embrace it in a new office would be a mistake. From in-wall tablets to no longer requiring bulky PC’s – there truly are a plethora of elements that can be explored when it comes to technology. A lot of modern and new professions can be handled on laptops and tablets and thus designing desks and seating arrangements to facilitate desktop machines may not be necessary. If you can gather an understanding of your business’ requirements, then you’ll be able to make the best decision.
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