In the Human Spaces study conducted recently more than 3,600 office workers were asked what mattered most to them about their workspace. When asked what was on their list of natural elements they most wanted, the most requested was natural light, followed by a quiet working space, a view of the sea, live indoor plants and bright colours.
There's heaps of research around which shows that natural light has strong effects on productivity, decreases stress, and positively affects employee happiness and loyalty levels. A 2003 American study found that when call centre employees, who often rotate seats?are placed near a window, they generate an additional $3,000 of productivity per year.
With any office refurbishment, designing to allow in as much natural light as possible should be at the top of every design spec. There are certain things you can do such as placing workspaces within 15 feet of a window to get the most benefits from natural light and removing perimeter walls or reducing them to 4 feet in height. Other techniques include using light reflective surfaces on office furniture, installing skylights or tubular skylights and using light shelves on windows to capture light from the outside and reflect it in.
A trend in workplace design that we have certainly seen reflected within the recent projects we have completed is for office furniture that would look just as at home, at home! Businesses are moving away from the sterile look and injecting more character into the workplace with quirky office furniture and a lot more primary colours.
As Helen Parton, a writer on workplace design, says in her blog, "Pre-recession, the work environment was all about sleep pods, gyms and hairdressers in offices so high powered execs never, ever had to go home. Post-2008 having an office that took its design cues from the home trend was at first borne out of economic necessity. Nowadays, staff have got so used to this semi-domesticity at work that its continuing prevalence is down to user-demand more than anything else."
We believe that over the coming months, we'll continue to see a lot more requests for office design to be more unique and individual. Talk to us on 01293 775509 to arrange a free consultation and find out what we could do for you.