During my time working in the design industry, I’ve worked in many types of office space. I’ve worked on the 15th floor in a little condo office, I’ve worked out of my house, I’ve worked in a large corporate style office with high cubicles. What I’ve found is that the office environment plays a critical role in productivity, health and happiness.
Office space design is often overlooked, particularly in the non-tech industry where we strive to maintain and improve work-life productivity, wellbeing and eliminating stress. Having an office or specific areas that induce movement, getting people up from their desks and interacting with their workmates is critical in building a great team that works well together (like at Digital Noir).
Here are some office design factors that I have discovered have a truly positive effect on myself and my co-workers:
- Team activity space: This plays a big factor in workplace happiness and it’s a great stress reliever. Here at Digital Noir, we make an effort to take at least one 15 minute team break, per day for a fun group activity. Sometimes we play a card game like Exploding Kittens or Ambush on the floor, or we gather around the TV for a quick game of Drawful. At our old office we had table tennis, but not at our current space though [heavy sigh].
- Open layout: Having a large open space to start with always helps. Everyone can choose where they feel most comfortable and being together is always good for team morale and camaraderie. It’s always great to be able to push off your desk on your chair and slide over to your workmates.
- Ergonomics and Wellbeing: We all know how bad sitting down for 8 hours a day is for our body, humans just aren’t built to do that. A standing desk is a great way to energise yourself in the day, I like to stand and work just after lunch. To further office wellbeing, at Digital Noir everyone is involved in the Fitbit challenge weekly. We all need to get 50k steps every week, although more often than not we don’t succeed at this…
- Natural light: This is probably the most underrated factor in any office I’ve worked in. I’ve been told it’s been known to decrease headaches and some diseases, but mostly for me it puts me in a better mood. Getting natural light in your office is the next best thing to being outside, it literally lightens the mood.
The quest for the ideal office space is a never-ending one, but with these factors in mind we’re always getting closer.