ExecutiveChronicles.com | 7 Office Interior Design Hacks to Improve Workflow | Regardless of the size of the company you’re running, your goal should be to make the most efficient use of your resources, especially time, money, and people. Look for ways to cut costs while increasing the productivity of your employees at the same time.
Many companies put most of their efforts into reducing time-wasting steps in customer service, marketing, and logistics. However, only a few consider the impact of the office interior design on their bottom line.
Whether you’re new in the business or have been in the industry for a while, you should make sure that office interior design optimization is not left behind. Remember that excellent office interior fit-out has a significant effect on your employees’ productivity and focus.
That said, ensure that your workplace is designed for an optimal workflow with these seven office interior design hacks:
1. Optimize Workflow with Furniture
Furniture is one of the vital elements in a commercial fit out because it can affect not only how the office looks, but also how it promotes employee productivity. When choosing office furniture, stick to pieces that support the organization of both furniture and employee collaboration.
For example, select a desk with enough surface space to accommodate a computer and accessories, writing and filing tools, and a telephone. This will allow your staff to perform multiple tasks simultaneously or shift their focus on each activity one at a time with continuity.
Of course, desks should also have plenty of drawers for keeping smaller items like staplers, paper clips, and pens. It would be better if they already have a built-in file drawer for better document organization and ease of access.
Remember that furniture should promote excellent workflow by allowing more time spent on essential activities, and should minimize detours and unnecessary movements in-between tasks.
Also, don’t forget to consider the special organization needs in the specific line of work of the employees involved. For instance, if the employee is someone doing plenty of clerical jobs like filing documents, filing cabinets should be within arm’s reach. Meanwhile, customer service agents and cold callers need to have enough space for their phones while still being able to perform customer requests on the computer.
2. Never Sacrifice Form Over Function
Although functionality is the first thing you should be looking at when picking office furniture, you shouldn’t sacrifice the way it looks. Your office furniture should complement the rest of the space.
In the case of a home office, you must think about how the setup would match the rest of your home. Avoid making it look like the “soulless cubicle” that could discourage you from being productive.
Instead, add some personal touches that reflect the way the rest of the house looks. This can come in the form of warm wood furniture and plush chairs for traditional homes, or artistic pieces and sleek metal furniture for contemporary spaces.
3. Update the Floor
In a busy office, running around can be expected, especially during deadlines. However, this can be quite distracting – not to mention dangerous – with certain flooring materials.
If you have hardwood flooring in your office, the constant thudding from footfall can be a bit annoying, especially when you’re trying to focus on meaningful work. The noise can also make it hard for people to hear each other during meetings or phone calls.
Meanwhile, concrete or tile floors tend to be a bit slippery, especially during the rainy season. They can also become a bit uncomfortable to the feet when your work requires constant standing all day.
If these are common issues in your workplace, then you should consider updating the floor. If you’re not sure what kind of flooring material you can use now that the standard options are out of the window, consider having wall-to-wall carpet for your commercial flooring.
Carpets offer several advantages, such as:
- Better office acoustics
- Improved indoor climate
- Comfort and luxury versatility
4. Consider Going Wall-less
Sometimes, office spaces can feel constricted because of the walls standing in between rooms and offices. This explains why many companies opt for an open office-type layout and replace the concrete or wood walls with glass panes. Some even decide not to put any structure between spaces, and simply put up curtains and made floor markings to break up the area.
5. Maximize the Use of Natural Light
In an office interior design, you also need to consider how much natural light you can use by adding more windows. Besides offering a more pleasant feeling, the sun provides a softer light that doesn’t cause as much eye strain as artificial sources. Besides, sunlight is free, so you can reduce utility costs while still illuminating your workspace.
6. Invest in Ergonomic Chairs
If your employees are spending a lot of time seated in the office, make sure that you choose ergonomic office chairs for optimum comfort. These chairs are specifically made to support the arms, back, and shoulders, which means your employees will need fewer sick days due to backache and other signs of burnout syndrome.
Besides, a lot of these ergonomic chairs are made with higher quality materials, including thicker seat and back cushions contoured for a better fit. Some also provide additional lumbar support and full adjustability in the design.
For example, people with shorter legs can use ergonomic chairs that can be adjusted lower, with the seatback moved forward to shorten the seat depth. These also have movable armrests that can be raised to support the elbows, which is excellent for supporting the torso.
7. Color the Walls
Ditch that dull office beige and add color to your workspace. This can help improve the office space’s appearance and the employees’ work performance at the same time.
The key to choosing the right paint or wallpaper design is to learn about the psychology of color. To get you started, below are some examples of interior wall colors and their effect on the human mind:
- Bold red – This dramatic and energizing hue can add drama and warmth to an otherwise dull space.
- Lime green – This shade of green offers a burst of energy while allowing people to be reminded of the great outdoors. In general, green is also associated with relaxation and peace.
- Cool blue – This color offers an inviting feeling and supports a serene environment, easing stress and pressures felt in the workplace. Like green, shades of blue also emanate tranquility and peace.
Promote Productivity with a Well-Designed Office
Office interior design may not seem like a big deal for companies, but it does have a significant effect on productivity and costs. Besides leaving a good impression on guests, having a well-designed office also promotes productivity by improving the workflow within the space.
James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, one of the leading distributors of wallpapers, floorings, and fabrics in the Middle East and South Asia. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.