Top Tips to Arranging and Organising Your Office

A happy working life starts with a happy workplace and there’s a bundle of research now telling us how office design affects our mood and productivity. We’ve all seen the OTT office designs at Google headquarters and questioned why adult software engineers would need playground slides to get between floors, but there’s actually a lot of science behind these modern workspaces. 

I’m not saying you need to turn your office into a jungle gym to make it through the week but the psychological link between office design and workplace satisfaction is widely proven – and small details can make all the difference.  

 First, make it tidy and keep it that way 

No matter what your office looks or feels like, the worst thing for your mood and general productivity is for the place to be in a mess. Research from Harvard Business Review reveals that even taking small steps to keep your workspace tidy can improve productivity, boost morale and be used as a psychological trigger to complete tasks more effectively. 

In the same way that making your bed in the morning gets you off to a winning start for the day, small cleaning tasks add to the sense of accomplishment throughout your day. 

More importantly, when things aren’t going your way and you can’t find that all-important file among all the junk on your desk, life quickly becomes more stressful than it needs to be. So, even if you don’t change anything in terms of the actual design of your office, make a tidy workplace part of your daily routine. 

A happy working life starts with a happy workplace and there’s a bundle of research now telling us how office design affects our mood and productivity. We’ve all seen the OTT office designs at Google headquarters and questioned why adult software engineers would need playground slides to get between floors, but there’s actually a lot of science behind these modern workspaces. 

I’m not saying you need to turn your office into a jungle gym to make it through the week but the psychological link between office design and workplace satisfaction is widely proven – and small details can make all the difference.  

 First, make it tidy and keep it that way 

No matter what your office looks or feels like, the worst thing for your mood and general productivity is for the place to be in a mess. Research from Harvard Business Review reveals that even taking small steps to keep your workspace tidy can improve productivity, boost morale and be used as a psychological trigger to complete tasks more effectively. 

In the same way that making your bed in the morning gets you off to a winning start for the day, small cleaning tasks add to the sense of accomplishment throughout your day. 

More importantly, when things aren’t going your way and you can’t find that all-important file among all the junk on your desk, life quickly becomes more stressful than it needs to be. So, even if you don’t change anything in terms of the actual design of your office, make a tidy workplace part of your daily routine. 

Next, brighten up the mundane with natural touches 

As the World Economic Forum explains, “features of modern offices, such as natural daylight, windows with views of trees and plants and better air quality can all help employees think, remember, concentrate and perform better.” 

“Improvements such as better lighting and less carbon dioxide boost productivity and reduce staff sickness levels.” 

Okay, so it’s hardly a revelation that a dark and dingy office is bad for workplace morale but the impact a small increase of natural light can have on productivity is only really now fully understood. It’s no coincidence companies like Apple and its tech competitors are using glass galore in their offices now. 

It’s not only the natural touches firms like Google and Apple have in common, either. There’s a strong emphasis on playful features as a means to boost creativity. This is why you see slides in Google’s Tel Aviv offices and treehouse meeting rooms at Microsoft’s Washington HQ. 

In fact, the most innovative companies now have offices that are more similar to the highest-achieving schools than the rigid workplace designs of the past. This is highlighted by Learnometer, a project run by Professor Stephen Heppell who advises schools and companies to create flexible work and learning spaces to achieve the highest levels of productivity and creativity. 

“It’s interesting that when you walk into the Googles and Facebooks, everything looks like what you’d see in high-achieving schools,” Heppell is quoted by WEP. 

 Take inspiration from flexible office design 

The key word in the previous section was “flexibility” and this is how the best office designs make a major difference to employee satisfaction and performance. Research from Clutch says “a major cause of office inefficiency is poorly-designed spaces that don’t help workers get their jobs done.” 

This is the most important thing in any office arrangement: helping you to complete tasks more effectively. 

The thing is different tasks require different working environments. For example, an open office design with bright touches of colour and playful décor can be great for group creativity but not so much when you need to sit down and crack on without distractions. Likewise, casual meeting rooms often create a better environment for staff meetings but you might want something a little more formal for meeting with clients and directors. 

UK office design specialists Office Principles highlights a number of different working spaces you need access to maximise performance: 

  • Focus space 
  • Collaboration space 
  • Team meeting space 
  • Relaxation space 
  • Telephone conversation space 
  • Concentration space 
  • Inspirational space 

The same thing applies whether you’re designing an entire office or a personal workspace at home. Your needs are determined by the kind of task you’re working on at any given time and a flexible office that provides varied working environments, designed to help you complete each task on your to-do list, is always going to help you get more done. 

 Workplace satisfaction is important to all of us, including the people we come home to (or welcome) at the end of the day. But it’s difficult to enjoy the working day when your surroundings get in the way of you doing your job. An office is supposed to equip you with everything you need to get results but it’s amazing how much you can do to create a workspace that lifts your mood – often with the simplest of touches. 

 

** This is a guest post ** 

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