Modern Office Design Ideas

Many a good business can sometimes undervalue the benefit of office comforts. Great office design and those little things that make your employees feel a little more at home, can often lead to greater levels of productivity and loyalty. Cue increased employee motivation.

Since the early 90’s the modern workplace has come on a long way. With most businesses having the following benefits as standard, these ‘comforts’ have now become expected by most employees. If you haven’t added any comforts at all, add these first:.

- Free tea, coffee and milk. Usually Nescafe Original but if you can, stretch to Gold, it’s a little bit nicer. Nobody wants free coffee that they don’t like drinking.

- A water cooler. You have a legal obligation to ensure you can provide clean and safe drinking water at work for your staff. Many businesses simply choose the easy option and go for filtered. 

- Use of a fridge to store their lunch. Gone are the days of egg or tuna sandwiches slowly festering away under someone’s desk. No, now they can unleash that smell in full at lunchtime!

With these three benefits alone you will already have delivered a comfortable working environment. 

If you would like to input more comforts into your office then read on! Comforts inevitably cost the business money, so you have to offset that cost against the benefit that the comfort will bring to your workforce.

Office plants – These are affordable to most, if not all, businesses and deliver happiness as a benefit to staff. For flowering plants choose from the African Violet, Peace Lily, and Gerber Daisy. For interesting foliage choose from Philodendrons, Weeping Fig, Fittonia and Pothos. For more coverage and division, perhaps between workstations, try the Umbrella Tree.

Office pet - many SMEs and Sole Traders now use their office as a second home for their pet. This is great if you have a close-knit team who you’d feel happy leaving your pet with, not so great if one of them is seriously allergic. Before trying this, make sure you check with your staff.

Dedicated breakout area – For offices of 10 or more staff this is essential. Despite what people think not everyone gets on at the office, and some of us don’t want to eat lunch at our desk while Dave in accounts sits behind us and is on a very loud phone call to a supplier, or Jane from Sales just needs ‘a minute of our time’ seeing as we’re at our desk anyway. We need a break, and that doesn’t mean sending us to sit in our car.

Office art – If you really want to put something up on your walls or some statues in the halls then be sure to think about theme and functions first. What kind of ‘art’ suits your business better? If you’re a marketing agency then you could have all sorts from neon lighting to a Warhol print. If you’re a hairdresser it’s likely that you will want to display hair art on the walls to inspire clients.

If you’re really pushing the boat out you could have all sorts of treats available for your staff. Snooker and ping pong tables were popular in the early noughties. You could have a pack of scooters in reception for staff to get around the office on. Or even run some lunchtime yoga!

Or maybe just a little office refresh is the ticket for you. A lick of paint and ticking off some maintenance jobs could be enough to see you through to summer, when staff are generally happy anyway. 

Whatever you choose to do is up to you, but the more comfortable you make your staff the more productive they are likely to be. We all spend around 35% of our lives at work, so let’s make it a little bit more enjoyable for all.

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