Have you ever wondered which companies offer the best office environments on the planet for their employees? Brands all over the globe, from creative tech giants to innovative architect companies, strive to create a positive workplace culture via their offices’ décors and furnishings, but why do they do this? From boosting staff morale to increasing productivity, there are plenty of reasons companies should invest in the look and tone of their office. Find out why workplace décor can benefit your business and how you can incorporate key interior design trends to enhance your brand.
Why is a ‘fun office’ important for a business?
While some may question the findings, research states that we really do need games, activities and quirky interior design features to get ahead. The Centre of Economic and Business Research found that absenteeism costs the UK economy £18 billion in lost productivity, with this figure expected to increase to £21 billion by 2020.
Not only can making the workplace a positive, communicative place keep spirits high, but it can also help combat feelings of anxiety or depression. Mental health charity, Mind, conducted a poll of more than 12,000 workers in 2017, which found that 48% of public sector employees and 32% of private sector workers have taken time off their jobs due to mental health issues. Could creating an environment that promotes happiness, staff welfare and communication help staff members discuss worries and issues before they get to the stage where time off is necessary?
Pushing for workplace positivity can beneficial from an employee perspective as well as for the business as a whole. According to statistics from the Centre for Mental Health, it costs £21.2 billion in lost productivity, £10.6 billion in sickness and £3.1 billion in staff turnover to cover the costs of mental health problems at work. Clearly, there are both personal and financial reasons to support investing in your workplace’s ethos and environment — but where can you get your inspiration?
Innovative office design trends
2018 has witnessed some great examples of office spaces. But you don’t have to be global conglomerate or billion-pound company to get in on the trend. Here is a selection of some of the best offices in the world and how they work to boost staff morale and productivity.
This BBC’s Salford base offers a maze of futuristic décor. With security guards monitoring the area on Segways and a quirky combination of bold and bright colours, this office creates a sense of innovation and positivity. There’s also a real focus on collaboration at BBC MediaCityUK, with lots of multi-coloured ‘thought wheel’ chairs that arch over to encapsulate the seated grouped and plenty of comfy sofas dotted around the entire office for quick chats and spontaneous mindmap sessions.
In Toronto, Canada, Corus Quay is the £119 million headquarters of Corus Entertainment. Stepping into here in the morning, staff are greeted by giant TVs, board meeting tables inspired by ice hockey, and even a three-storey slide! The designers here have really focused on visual stimulation — swapping the boring for the interesting to boost levels of engagement.
You must see the SelgasCano business in Madrid, to believe it. Built half submerged in the ground to make the office cooler in summer and warmer in winter, staff are presented with stunning views of the sprawling, tranquil forest every day. As vast open spaces and natural environments often inspire calm and relaxation, this is a nice touch from the designers.
While you may already know about Google’s American bases, are you aware of the tech giant’s Zurich base? Here, staff get free massages and a wine cellar. What’s more, the site is cleverly located near the beautifully peaceful Lake Zurich, making it ideal for mind-clearing nature walks during work breaks. Clearly, thought has gone into de-stressing! Not only is relaxation important for Google staff, but it appears that socialisation is crucial, too. At 5pm, employees reportedly head to the office bar for drinks, snacks and a catch-up with their peers!
You’ll find money.co.uk’s office in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. This £3 million space delivers a truly unique and quirky décor. With a gym, games room, cinema, and offer of free food; the emphasis is on fun at this workplace. When it comes to inspiring productivity and communication, the informal seated areas and open-plan design create a sense of inclusivity and participation — perfect for getting the most out of team meetings and encouraging all staff members to voice concerns and suggestions.
Innovative office design trends
There is a huge scope regarding how you can create a positive atmosphere in the workplace to encourage productivity, happiness and communication among staff. Here are some tips for transforming your office into a positive and collaborative environment that your staff will enjoy.
Make your meeting rooms inclusive and interactive
In order to encourage team development, your meeting room’s design is essential. Instead of drab, small, stuffy rooms; create a selection of spruced-up spaces featuring comfy furniture and big, circular tables to help everyone relax and get involved.
Invest in positive colours
Consider painting your office or purchasing furniture in yellow or orange shades to promote positivity. According to research, blue and green promote relaxation and calm, so perhaps make your communal zones these shades to help staff unwind on their breaks.
Create spaces for relaxation
No matter how small your office, there’s always room for a ‘time-out’ zone. A few comfy chairs and perhaps a selection of books and magazines will suffice. If possible, you could hook up a TV or even buy a table football stand.
Go ‘open plan’
Why not promote communication via an open plan office? As Steve Jobs once said: “Ideas don’t happen in the boardroom, they happen in corridors.” Install low dividers instead of walls so that people don’t feel segregated — this can even cut the cost of construction and office equipment.
Artwork can be used to add colour and character to your office space so that staff aren’t just staring at the same old plain walls. Customise posters and canvases to drive home your company’s mission statement and show all your staff that they are working towards a collective goal every day.
Make it unique
Of course, you don’t have to be as ‘out there’ as the above examples, but pick furnishings and a décor that promotes your personal brand and its workforce. Why not let staff customise their desks? This may help them feel more valued and they could bring in items that inspires or calms them during stressful days.
While some offices give out free trips abroad, not everyone can afford this. Anything from free snacks in the communal kitchen to a quarterly team-building exercise outdoors will work towards creating a positive workplace culture that shows employees that you appreciate their efforts.
Start planning your office transformation today…