More employees have been working at home over the past two years than ever before. And while not everyone is blessed with a complete home office, most people have an established working area in their house or apartment. It might be the dining table, a little study nook, or even the bedroom. But chances are, they will have set it up just as they like.
There’s a lot that we can learn from the way your people set up their home workspace. And these learnings can provide an excellent resource when designing your office space in Sydney. In turn, certain additions and design elements can actually make your office a much more productive and efficient place.
Let’s take a closer look below.
At home, people can work exactly how they want
We’ve all enjoyed the benefits of working from home. It’s almost always a relaxing experience, with your working area set up exactly as you like it. That might mean snacking away while working, enjoying the vibrancy of your personal artwork and tasteful design, or even listening to loud music while working away.
Obviously, at home, most people don’t need to consider others when working. That means they can pump that loud music, eat whatever they want, and chat on the phone without having to duck into a meeting room or quiet booth. However, there are quite a few components here that can be implemented into a larger office.
Studies have shown that people were more likely to enjoy improved levels of happiness and productivity when working at home. Therefore, it’s clear that taking the best of the home office and instilling it into the workplace can come with fantastic positive outcomes for the business and your people.
Essential elements of the home office
For most people, there’s nothing more comfortable than working at home. You can kick back, find the most relaxing spot to work, and get your tasks done without the hustle and bustle of the standard office. And for many, this equates to less stress and more productivity. Unfortunately, it’s nigh on impossible to for workers to feel the same level of comfort in a traditional office.
The ability to choose
Do you want to work on the couch? At the desk? Or perhaps in the kitchen? Those options were all available when we were working at home. On the other hand, when working in the office, we’re often tied to our desks, with the occasional visit to the meeting room. This kind of flexibility means a lot for workers of all kinds, and again, leads to higher productivity.
There’s nothing like decorating a space that is entirely your own. At home, that might mean photos, prints, paintings, plants, and much more. However, in a traditional office, a no-decorations policy is not at all uncommon. Some businesses don’t even allow employees to blu-tack photos to the partition behind their computer!
Implementing these into your office design
These elements that we’ve just touched on can be implemented into office design. And when this is done properly, you and your employees will reap the benefits.
Private working areas
Many years ago, the average office was a cubicle farm, where each employee had their own private working area. These days, the vast majority of offices are open-plan, and many of these changes in design were cost-based. On top of that, most cubicle farms were drab, uninspiring workplaces.
However, more recent research suggests that the open-plan office is hurting employees and businesses, by increasing stress and impacting productivity. The same research has found that by creating areas where workers can get away from the visual and auditory distractions of the open-plan office, they will be happier and more productive.
Partition areas or even whole cubicles (though much more tasteful than those of the past), help to foster the same sense of comfort and privacy that workers feel when at home. And the results have been impressive, with more accuracy, better mental health, and an overall happier workplace.
Furniture at home is usually more comfortable than the usual furniture that is found in an office. It’s not exactly common for workers to spend their day operating from a couch… but offering this up as an option for your staff can actually have a positive impact on their day to day routine. Some of your staff will thrive in more comfortable furniture, as opposed to the standard office chair and workstation.
Traditionally, the office was a difficult place for employees to express any kind of individuality. Work attire and rules against personal effects made sure this was nigh on impossible in many workplaces. However, permitting staff to make changes to their personal working areas can actually have a great impact on their happiness at work.
It doesn’t have be anything major, either. For example, it might involve letting your people choose the colour scheme of their own cubicle, putting up some of their own artwork, adding a plant or two to their desk, or placing photos on the wall by their computer. As long as it doesn’t look messy, these kind of decorations can create a nicer overall feel for your Sydney workplace.
Work with an experienced, bespoke office design company
If you’re looking for office design in Sydney, we’re here to help. At Niche Projects, we specialise in construction and refurbishment of new and existing offices. That includes workplaces of all sizes, from small offices to larger, multi-story buildings. Whatever your office design needs, get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you.