A good office starts with a prime location, efficient layout and ample space for your crew and other business needs. But the buck doesn’t stop there. Your company can make a few easy improvements that instantly transform an office from good to great.
Refresh the Air
Ever hear of occupational allergies? These sensitivities are not uncommon, and they can erupt from things like chemicals in paint, carpet and office furniture, often resulting in rashes or headaches. Even if employees aren’t suffering from physical side effects, their bran power could be diminished by stuffy workplace air.
A 2015 Harvard University study found office spaces with increased ventilation and reduced levels of air pollutants were associated with improved employee performance. Even if you can’t weed out and remove suspect office furnishings or install a high-end ventilation system, you can reduce indoor pollutants by regularly opening windows or investing in portable air purifiers.
Break Out the Green Paint
Certain hues of green have been linked to a boost in creative thinking, says environmental psychologist Sally Augustin. Go for a calming and quiet shade, such as seafoam or sage, known for putting employees in a relaxed mental state conducive to knowledge work.
Even if you can’t paint the entire floor, adding green elements, backdrops or small areas of green wallpaper can do the trick. And make sure you skip the red, Augustin warns, which has been shown to reduce analytical performance.
Bring in the Green Plants
Leafy, green plants can add another boost to creativity while prompting a feeling of wellness, Augustin says. Small, desktop plants can spruce up individual work areas, while larger, corner plants can do the same for the entire office.
Skip thorny or spiked plants, such as cactus, which can make you feel anything but relaxed. Also skip particularly fragrant flowers which can end up as an irritant.
Let There be Light
The daytime’s natural light can enhance productivity, mood and overall health, another reason to vie for a desk near a window. The temperature of indoor office lighting can also affect performance, with bluish light ideal for analytical thinking and warmer hues ideal for interactions and socialization.