An office environment is a core component in determining your team’s productivity, culture, and company vision buy-in. According to Entrepreneur, several factors affect employee mindset and behavior, including lighting, ambient noise, air quality, temperature, color, and even aesthetics and decor such as music and plants.
Chances are that if you are a business owner, manager, or administrator, you have an intense focus on employee supervision, marketing efforts, organizational management, or financial allocation. These job responsibilities may hinder you from addressing ways that you can improve your office environment.
So, how or where do you begin to gather ideas or stimulate your creative approach toward your office design? Who can you go to when you need feedback about your office or provide ideas for creating the perfect office aesthetic? The answers may surprise you.
1. Start With the Office Experts: Your Employees
No one knows your corporate office better than the people who work in it every day. While your team may not be made up of design experts, they have an intuition of how the office makes them feel or the changes they’d like to see.
Here’s an idea: Talk to your employees one-on-one. Ask them direct questions about the office, such as:
- What do you despise about this office?
- Does this office area energize you or bore you to tears?
- What do you think about the (painting, furniture, floor plan)?
- What are some things that would help you be more productive?
- What are some fresh ideas that you would like to see in this office?
Start with general questions and then work your way toward more specific questions. Encourage your employees to be open, honest, and very frank.
2. Consult an Interior Designer
Now that you have a feeling for what your employees are looking for, it’s time to attack your office design. The best way to start is to consult an interior designer. While this may eat into your company budget a bit, the payoff in employee productivity and processes — which translates into higher revenue — could be huge.
What should you talk about with your interior designer?
- The feedback you gathered from your employees
- How the design will fit into your company’s brand, culture, and corporate vision
- The correlation between office design and functionality. You don’t want to sacrifice productivity for aesthetics. There is a balance between both.
- Cost and budget
- Both the science and art of the environment. There are countless studies on the connection between an office environment and organizational behavior.
- Sustainability, green solutions, and scalability.
A reputable, seasoned interior designer or contractor should be able to speak intelligently on all these issues. They should be able to provide plenty of resources and answers, as well as help you develop a design implementation strategy.
3. Talk to Your Industry Peers
If your job responsibilities are swallowing up your workday, you may want to appoint a small recon team to do a little research into what other companies in your industry are doing to improve their work environments.
You may also want to talk to other managers or visit other offices to gain insight into office design. What is working for other companies? How can you incorporate these ideas into your vision in a way that works for your employees and your company culture?
By improving your office environment, you will create a more productive atmosphere for your team. You will also inspire and unify your employees as they work toward fulfilling your company’s goals and dreams.