In the United States, the typical working adult puts in around 1,811 hours a year. Overall, individuals are working harder and longer hours at their jobs. Our work environments have an impact on the team, have an impact on how efficiently and effectively their job is completed and can have an impact on employee behavior.

People feel more balanced and are more likely to enter their flow state when they feel like they belong at their office. Many design elements, including lighting, color, plants, art, food, and seating, may help create a functioning office that promotes productivity and purpose. In the end, though, a more practical workspace tends to people’s needs and helps the team succeed.

Employees desire a high-quality working environment that is less stressful and promotes productivity. When businesses make physical improvements to the workplace, they make it more inviting, relaxing, and conducive to employees producing their best work.

Here are 11 guidelines to follow as you design a more beneficial workspace for your staff and a better work environment for you:

1. Request Input On Workplace Design From Workers

Ask thoughtful questions to clarify your goals prior to building or renovating any workstation. Examine the difficulties your present team is facing and consider how the space will best meet their demands. You should also consider how the design will adapt when the team changes. 

Investigate how people prefer to work and the activities that must take place in each area by inviting individuals to focus groups or by conducting a poll. Once the findings are in, evaluate them to decide what to do next. Not all opinions or suggestions can be put into practice. However, everyone must sense that they are a part of the process and are being heard.

2. Examine Various Working Methods

Consider the function of each location while designing a balanced workplace. Understanding diverse work styles are crucial since people operate in a variety of ways. For instance, some individuals want peaceful rooms, while others require locations where they may collaborate and create prototypes. Whiteboards and more natural light will be needed in some locations, while others may need nooks and crannies to get away from the noise.

Offices need a variety of workstation configurations, phone booths for calls and small group discussions, and bigger space areas for major meetings. The New York location of LinkedIn offers a flexible workspace with amenities, including a library, several conference rooms, and lounge spaces, one of which has a fireplace.

3. Allow for Light

Lighting is crucial for creating rooms that are usable. Numerous elements of work life, including safety in the workplace, mental health, and productivity, are impacted by lighting. According to the Harvard Business Review, workplace benefits like cafeterias, exercise facilities, and daycare services didn’t compare to having access to natural light and vistas of the outside world.

Natural light elevates mood, increases vitamin D levels, and promotes the circadian cycle of the body. According to research from Cornell University, office employees who had access to natural light saw an 84% drop in headaches, eye strain, and impaired vision. When there is little natural light available, businesses may choose to use task lighting in layers across a workstation to localize illumination and deliver the precise quantity of light required for the activity at hand.

4. Incorporate a Pop of Color

Color may affect mood and psychological responses and is a potent instrument for communication. Certain hues have been linked to heightened heart rate, accelerated metabolism, and eye strain. According to Very Well Mind, bright, natural hues like orange and green may attract attention and inspire feelings of optimism and compassion. Contrarily, white might imply tidiness and simplicity, but on the other hand, it can also appear harsh, icy, and lonely. Consider the function and purpose of the area when choosing colors, and then choose the hue that best represents your brand.

5. Enhance the Air Quality

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization, poor air quality in workplaces costs companies $15 billion annually “due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.” The World Green Building Council noted that adding more fresh air to the workstation led to an 11% boost in productivity. Consider adding office plants, clearing the workstation of clutter, installing air filtration devices, and opening windows whenever practical to create a functioning environment. Fresh air is priceless.

6. Encourage Drinking Water

60% of an adult human’s body is water. The brain, heart, and lungs are all 73% water, while the kidneys and liver are 83% water, according to the Journal Of Biological Chemistry. Every cell needs water to survive. It also helps to wash waste out of our bodies and controls our internal body temperature. It also helps us focus and keeps us awake and attentive so that we may be more successful at work and in other areas of our lives. Businesses can offer filtered water coolers or think about offering premium, BPA-free, toxin-free water bottles so that workers can refill them and save money and trash.

7. Promote Healthful Eating

The organization is putting its staff in a better position to feel energized, focused, and more productive by encouraging them to consume a good, balanced diet and form healthier eating habits. Workplaces may encourage healthier eating alternatives, provide worker access to fresh fruit, or give them gift cards for culinary lessons.

8. Promote Physical Activity

The body of a human was not intended to remain still. According to research, physical activity is good for both the body and the brain. Movement can lower anxiety, elevate mood, increase self-esteem, lessen stress, and improve cognitive performance. The Department of Health and Human Services advises engaging in at least 150 minutes a week (30 minutes per day for five days) of moderate aerobic activity, such as swimming, walking, or jogging, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Companies might spend money on shower facilities, bicycle storage, gym membership gift cards, or a designated area for exercise. Perhaps work with a gym to offer staff members a discount. Due to their on-site gym and weekly yoga sessions for the entire organization, Twitter has reportedly been rated as one of the healthiest workplaces in the US.

9. Offer Relaxing Workspaces

Having a table and chair that are well-matched to your body is essential in today’s workplace when many employees spend most of the day sitting down. Companies may help relieve strain on the spine by doing ergonomic checks to make sure computer screens are at eye level, feet are either on a footrest or the floor, and chairs are slightly reclined. Standing desks are an additional option, and studies suggest that people may have less shoulder and back discomfort if they spend more time standing than sitting.

10. Add More Plants to Your Office

Workplaces are greatly improved by plants. Low-care plants may bring value to your workspace by boosting creativity, lowering stress, cleaning the air, and reducing noise levels. This benefits both the staff and the business. Workers report a 15% greater sense of well-being, are 6% more productive, and are 15% more creative in environments with living green plants. By building employee gardens where staff members participate in the care of the plants or by investing in lunch seating with access to local flora, businesses may also benefit from making the exterior of the office more environmentally friendly.

11. Create a Relaxation Area

How we think, work, and act is significantly influenced by our workspace. Focus, teamwork, and creativity may all increase when we design workplaces that prioritize employees’ emotional well-being. Businesses may create rooms for individuals to rest in order to reduce stress, as well as outdoor spaces where people can gather to mingle or celebrate victories. Businesses are improving employee health by providing a space for individuals to recharge.

A well-designed workspace aids in retaining wholesome and content workers.

The environment at work may significantly affect how individuals act. The bottom line of your business benefits when businesses provide creative and well-planned workspaces.

Companies must view the workplace as an ecosystem of locations where individuals may choose and control where and how they work if they want to maximize workplace performance. People perform at their best, feel encouraged, and this is when the magic happens.

If you are interested in more articles like this, here’s one about understanding architectural firms.