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The commandments of office design that can help with productivity


Office design? Does the concept of an office even still exist?

It certainly does – the standard company brick and mortar office isn’t the only kind of ‘office’ of which we speak.

And yes, the new world order – as we battle a global pandemic – has largely been to avoid the office, but now we’ve seen that ditching the idea entirely, may not really be possible. Many factors have come to light that say, at some point, the need for human connection and collaboration will ensure the office doesn’t go away. At least for now.

But this article isn’t about the intricacies of the human condition and what a year of isolation has meant for our minds, bodies and souls. This article is about the delicate art of crafting a workspace in which you can exist and focus – no matter where that workspace may be.

Here are the five commandments of office design, to help bolster productivity.

Thou shalt honour ergonomics

Comfort, in the pursuit of focus at the office, and thus productivity, is all-important.

We’ve all experienced the maddening reality of an uncomfortable office chair, a desk that’s too low or a workspace that’s cramped.

Whether at your office desk or in your home working station, it’s vital to make sure all components of said space, in turn, work to make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be.

Chairs and desks need to be fitted.

You must be able to exist in an upright, sitting position.

Then, once you’ve established an optimum workspace position, do these all-important checks:

  • Your computer screen is below your eye-level.
  • You can rest your feet flat on the floor.
  • You can recline slightly in your chair to ease spinal pressure.

Thou shalt seek out good lighting

 Lighting that is too dim causes eye-strain.

 Not only a health concern, but eye-strain will also exacerbate discomfort – headaches being the main culprit – and with discomfort at a high, your productivity takes the second spot to general fatigue and burnout.

 Make sure your workspace, and office as a whole, is bathed in only natural light, if at all possible.

If you’re the boss, coordinating office design, try natural light bulbs, or find an office space with large, light-admitting windows.

 If you’re working from home, when determining office layout, make sure you choose a space where you can let light in – open your windows, natural sun is a preferred enhancer of workday contentment.

Thou shalt not clutter

 A de-cluttered workspace is a happy one.

Your eye has been known to mirror a desk crowded with the pandemonium of paperwork, or the chaos of receipts, and turn that clutter inward to the mind.

Make sure, whether you’re working in an office or from home, that your space reflects what your mind should be – spatial peace, the serenity of organisation and the wellbeing of not being mired down by unnecessary things.

It’s one of the most important focus-building techniques.

Thou shalt use many spaces

 Stagnation is the ultimate enemy of creativity.

Inspire yourself with different working spaces to supercharge productivity.

This may only be applicable to home space working (unless you have a boss that doesn’t mind you moving around the office like a nomad). If you have space, use it – work for chunks of the week in one room, and the rest in another.

Choose rooms that have different views. Work in the kitchen. Work in the dining room. Work up in the loft. Different spaces trick the brain into absorbing features it wasn’t privy to the day or the week before, causing a subliminal shift in thinking.

Who knows – with this kind of fresh thinking, new inspiration could be fast in tow.

Thou shalt make sure there is nature everywhere

This one we’re sure, everyone would agree with.

Any office – be the home kind or the brick and mortar kind – that’s enhanced at every corner with the delicate light green of a fern, or the regality of a ficus, is one that seems to be rife with a sense of peace and wellbeing.

Plants do much to enhance the air in a room. They do wonders for any aesthetic. They can even add pleasant scents to a space. So keep them in mind in your office design endeavours, and add them to your office layout.

Use plants to fill your workspace with the power of nature.

It’s a power that can only inspire.

At Giant Leap, we advise on office design and build corporate interiors locally and internationally that promote efficient and innovative work.

Contact us now to find out how we can enhance your workspace.