Boost Your Employees’ Productivity – 7 Ways to Introduce Biophilic Designs In Your Workplace

Biophilia (human’s innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life) has emerged as one of the key trends within the field of interior design and is now a priority for many top companies in the world.

In recent years, biophilia has emerged as one of the key trends within the field of interior design and is now a priority for many of the top office design companies London and the rest of the UK has to offer. This trend is primarily driven by research, which shows the potential benefits that natural elements can have on employees.

For instance, a recent Human Spaces report highlights various studies on the subject and states that office workers in environments with natural elements, like greenery and sunlight, are eight percent more productive. In this article, we take a look at seven ways you can introduce biophilia into your office or workplace.

1. Allow Natural Light In

According to the findings of researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago, workplace daylight exposure is linked to improved sleep, activity and quality of life. Those exposed to less natural light are likely to suffer from poorer quality of sleep, experience more sleep disturbances, and are less productive throughout the day.

In terms of providing natural light exposure, it is important to make sure that your office building has plenty of windows, and that workers are positioned relatively close to those windows. Additionally, commercial interior designers should prioritise keeping windows unobstructed, so that the light actually gets through.

2. Introduce Plants

Another way you can improve workplace productivity through biophilic design is by utilising plant life as a decorative element. In fact, a study carried out at the University of Exeter found that the addition of plants to an office environment provides a boost to both employee engagement and concentration levels.

The inclusion of plant life in workplace designs is especially important in big cities, where views out of the office will be dominated by man-made structures, like concrete buildings. This is why, for example, many of the best office design companies London has to offer will place a strong emphasis on natural interior decorative elements.

3. Make Use of Natural Materials

A significant part of any office interior design is the furniture that is selected. This can include everything from workstations and desk chairs to shelves and bookcases, and it offers a chance to include more natural elements.

On a basic level, furniture constructed from obvious natural materials, like wood, can help to enhance a biophilic design. However, the range of material that can be used is actually quite extensive and includes things like stone and marble, which can help you to create interesting, visually impressive designs.

4. Prioritise Ventilation

Very few biophilic design elements are quite as important as ventilation. Indeed, an article published by the Harvard Business Review references multiple studies showing that good ventilation in the workplace can prevent illness, reduce absenteeism, improve cognitive function and increase productivity. 

Air circulation mimics the conditions experienced in nature, while stale air has a detrimental impact upon mood and workplace activity. Both natural and artificial ventilation systems can play a role in biophilic design, although some degree of natural airflow is preferable wherever it can be safely achieved.

5. Use Natural Colour Schemes

Of course, one of the most obvious aspects of an interior design project is the colour scheme chosen. Increasingly, commercial interior designers are coming to understand the benefits of making use of natural tones and colour schemes, not just to provide visual quality, but to produce tangible psychological benefits.

The aforementioned Human Spaces Report also highlights research suggesting natural tones like greens and blues can help to improve the motivation and creativity of employees in a workplace.

6. Include Water

One natural element that is sometimes overlooked in terms of office design is the inclusion of water. Within a typical office, this can be achieved in several ways, such as by having a fish tank or a water fountain in the building.

In actual fact, some studies suggest that being close to water, or even seeing water in pictures, can have a positive impact on mood and can help to reduce stress levels. Not only does this apply to natural water sources like rivers, lakes and the coast, it also applies to man-made water features, like fountains.

7. Hang Biophilic Artwork

Finally, the finishing touches to a biophilic office interior design project can be provided through careful and intelligent selection of artwork and graphics. This office art should not only reflect your core company values, some of it should also provide depictions or reminders of the natural world.

Photographs of trees or flowers, or paintings of natural landscapes are two simple examples of this, although the natural world provides plenty of scope for more originality or experimentation. The concept of using natural artwork can be taken even further with the use of natural materials like wood for the frames.

 

Author Bio:

Reno is a founder and director of Enigma Visual Solutions, one of the leading office design companies in London. It specilises in commercial interior design, office space planning, office branding and much more. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on twitter.

 

 

6 Simple Ways to Streamline Your Office Space

Whether you work in a team of 5 or 500, it can be easy for your workplace to become disorganized and inefficient, both physically and digitally – which can have a dramatic knock-on effect on work performance further down the line.

From multinational superbrands to fledgling startups, the office plays an important role in keeping day-to-day operations flowing smoothly. But whether you work in a team of 5 or 500, it can be easy for your workplace to become disorganized and inefficient, both physically and digitally – which can have a dramatic knock-on effect on work performance further down the line. In today’s post from Action Storage, we’ll be tackling this issue head on, providing you with six simple ways to streamline your office space.

 

  1. Digitize your paperwork

In 2017, the need for piles of paperwork in an office is now minimal. Since the digital revolution, cloud services have become the go-to filing systems for businesses big and small – and for good reason. While stacks of pages may have been useful for keeping records previously, we all know just how easy it is to lose an important note amongst a pile of not-so-important ones. With online platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox and Onehub all offering cloud-based file storage, there’s no longer the need to keep printed documents lying around.

What’s more, paperwork digitized in this way becomes much more readily accessible to members of the team when they need to get to it – eliminating the hassle of folder-diving and keeping documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other files contained, secure and organized. The creation and editing process also becomes substantially more streamlined for documents stored in this way, with the ability for teams to collaborate more quickly and effectively than they would if the process was handled through email.

 

  1. Reorganize the physical layout

As businesses grow larger, the temptation to forgo detailed space planning in favor of simply finding ‘where fits’ can be great – but a simple change of office layout can often provide big benefits for those willing to put the time in. When it comes to switching up your office space, first consider the roles of each staff member: who will they interact with on a daily basis? Does their work often require focused thinking?

Next, organize the space in a way that provides clear pathways across the room, considering the desk space where people would be best placed for their day-to-day roles – grouping departments together to prevent staff from having to communicate across the room. If you have different workstation types, it could be beneficial to place team members who require privacy and focus (think developers, finance staff and senior management) in places where they can get their head down without distraction.

 

  1. Streamline communications

Clear communication is something many larger organizations struggle to achieve, but it can be an ongoing battle for small businesses, too. As teams grow, keeping conversations together can become increasingly difficult, with staff struggling to stay afloat amongst a wave of emails, instant messages, calls and CMS notes. This can lead to important information being lost and discussions becoming harder to trace – which can have dire consequences when it comes to internal operations.

To combat this, you should create a clear communications plan, and try to limit unnecessary channels to keep things as simple as possible. Consistency is key here: you should lay out which channels serve which types of communication and stick to them. You may want to choose a single project management tool for all task-related chat, emails for team-wide updates and external messages or a cloud-based filing system to keep all call notes contained and accessible – but whatever your system, streamlining how your team communicates (both internally and externally) will ensure nothing is ever missed.

 

  1. Enforce a clean desk policy

Image source: Pexels

Every office of every size will struggle with the stationery plight. From pens and scissors to notepads and sticky notes, these essential office items can quickly become a nuisance when they’re sprawled across every visible surface. A ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ philosophy in your office could be more beneficial than you might think, improving productivity, output and focus. Cut down on mess by designating an area where staff can find stationery when needed, and enforce a clean desk policy to keep other clutter at bay.

 

  1. Simplify your accountancy

Finance is the backbone of any business, so disorganization in this department can have dire consequences – but with Shoeboxed, you can stay on top of the typically time-consuming elements of finance management with ease. Say goodbye to the stress of missing receipts, complicated expense reports and wads of business cards – Shoeboxed will remove the disarray, so that you can stay on top of these important aspects of day-to-day business management.

 

  1.  Cut back on unnecessary meetings

If you’ve worked in an office-based role before, you’ll have experienced your fair share of unnecessary meetings: what could have been done in 10 minutes instead took an hour, or what could have been sent in an update email is instead turned into a 2-hour talk that offers little extra benefit for those involved. These types of meetings not only waste time, but also cost your business valuable resource – preventing staff from actually getting on with the real work.

Before calling a meeting, it’s worth considering a few things. Can this information be relayed in an email instead? Is it essential for each attendee to be in the meeting, or can they get up to speed using the meeting notes instead? If the meeting is still important, you should at least look to reduce the time spent by sending out the agenda ahead of time so people can come prepared.

When it comes to offices, disorganization can cause big problems. Transforming a workplace into a well-oiled machine won’t happen overnight, but the steps to get there don’t have to be difficult – and, by following our six tips, you’ll be well on your way to office organization heaven.

 

What Does Your Office Space Say About Your Business?

In today’s post, we’re going to be exploring the importance of office design and the ways in which it can aid the success of your business – offering our helpful tips on how to create the ultimate office space.

When it comes to running a successful business, there are numerous aspects to take into consideration – but, if you want to secure the future of your company, getting your office design right can make a real difference. From improved employee productivity and motivation, to accurately reflecting your brand and attracting top talent, it’s important to consider what your office space really says about your business.

In today’s post, we’re going to be exploring the importance of office design and the ways in which it can aid the success of your business – offering our helpful tips on how to create the ultimate office space.

Make a good impression

Unsurprisingly, drab and uninspiring office interiors have the potential to negatively impact on your brand image. On the other hand, ensuring your workspace is well-designed and effectively portrays your values as a business will guarantee you make a good impression – whether that’s with staff or clients.

Whether you’re looking to boost productivity among existing staff, attract new team members or get the sign off on a big new contract, giving your office interiors an update will demonstrate that you care about your business. From installing colored floor tiles influenced by your brand colors, to adding a fresh and modern look with neutral tones and indoor plants, bringing your brand’s personality to life in your office space will impress anyone who walks through the door.

Offer flexible workspaces

Image source: Pexels

Open-plan office design has become a mainstay in modern workplaces, born from the idea of creating more collaborative, more communicative working environments that stimulate productivity. However, it’s important to recognize that not all tasks or staff members are suited to open-office environments – so, incorporating a range of workspaces that cater for varying needs within your workforce is advisable. From hot-desks and stand-up workstations to quiet break-out areas and versatile meeting rooms, flexible working environments will enable staff to be as productive and focused as possible.

Having an element of flexibility embedded in your office design and company culture can also be a big attraction for potential employees – showing you have an eye on staff happiness and that wellbeing is at the core of your organization.

Focus on functional design

While a modern office space needs to be welcoming and inspirational, it also needs to be functional – so effectively utilizing the space is key.

Take the time to consider what works best for your business to maintain smooth day-to-day operations and maximize staff productivity – be it an open-plan hot-desk policy or a mixture of quiet areas, meeting rooms and open-office space. Whatever layout you choose, avoid overcrowding the office with too much furniture, which can make areas feel cramped and stifling.

It’s also worth making use of color in your design, as well as natural light. Neutral tones can emulate the illusion of space, especially when teamed with natural light, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. And, with studies showing a link between exposure to natural light and improved productivity and health, it’s a design factor not to be overlooked.

What’s clear is that office design is moving away from sterile and utilitarian spaces, and heading towards inclusive and engaging design that reflects brand values. With this in mind, it’s vital for businesses looking for long-term success to adopt a well-designed workplace – gaining the buy-in from both employees and clients along the way.