Most of us look forward to some hot sunny days in the summer but when you’re in the office it isn’t much fun at all particularly if you are working all day. So here’s some advice on how to improve the office environment to keep your staff motivated and productive.
Ensure Everyone drinks enough water
It might sound obvious but drinking plenty of water can limit the effects of heat. Access to clean cool drinking water is something every office should have. Mood, memory and energy levels can all be affected by dehydration which is something you may want your employees to avoid.
Keep the work place bright and airy
Nobody wants to be stuck in a dark stuffy office on a hot day and the type of furniture you choose can make a big difference to how bright your office is. Ensure enough natural light is allowed into the spaces around your offices and open windows if necessary.
Arrange some outdoor time
Why not arrange some time out of the office for your staff in prolonged heatwave conditions. A bit of team building will keep things interesting and if it is held outdoors, staff won’t feel like they are missing out on the sunshine.
Offices come in all sorts of layouts from sleek open plan, to period offices in city centres.
The challenge in both cases is to find a solution that not only creates a sense of space but also provides privacy and a quiet place to work for those employees who need it. So when designing an office layout, a delicate balancing act needs to be struck to ensure that everyone in the workplace will be happy.
Unlike visual distractions, which can simply be screened off or hidden by a simple re-arrangement of furniture and screens. Unfortunately, good acoustics will require a more complicated solution to reduce noise from phones, chatter and colleagues moving from one place to another.
All of this can become very frustrating for those who require peace and quiet to do their best work, which will in turn hinder productivity.
While the modern trend continues to lean towards the open plan spaces which have been seen as the best way to develop cooperation and creativity since the 1950s.
To improve acoustics in your office requires knowledge of how sound impacts on different surfaces and how it is absorbed by others.
This starts with the introduction of carpets, acoustic panels and acoustic screens which can help reduce noise dramatically. Then create separate spaces for collaborative work so as not to disturb those staff members who prefer to work in quiet isolation from time to time.
The more you learn about architecture and the buildings we use everyday, the more you understand just how much they can influence us.
Do you ever find yourself sitting in a room at work wondering what might be going on in the office across the corridor or do you feel excluded from management who occupy a corner office hardly anyone ever goes into?
Despite open plan offices and glass partitions now being an established part of business culture, you can still be left feeling an unwanted sense of seclusion and separation.
As a business owner, having your office laid out in this traditional manner is more likely to put people off coming to work for your organisation.
The days when people coveted the big office in the corner are now numbered as collaboration is understood to be the key to effective working.
If everyone in your office is crammed into small rooms, then it can be little wonder that conflict between staff members can begin to develop and instead of working as a team, the organisation becomes fragmented.
This can all be changed by a re-imagining of your office layout to encourage rather than discourage collaboration and a more harmonious working environment.
The writer of an article in the FT this month seems to think so. The article Time to end male bias in office design highlights how male dominated design teams may not consider the needs of women when they plan out office interiors.
The issues raised include temperature setting inside being geared towards males of a particular size and age and even refilling paper trays. The former is the reason why a large number of women will report feeling cold at work.
Women generate 35% less body heat in relative terms than their male counterparts. This means that women require temperatures to be turned up 3 degrees centigrade higher than their male colleagues.
Having a female-friendly work environment may not be top of the agenda for certain business owners however ignoring the little things like heating may lead to disgruntled staff members which could harm performance which is not in the interests of businesses.
Even when it comes to something as simple as filling a paper tray, it seems women are often ignored as to what they can comfortably cop with. Hand grip strength is required to pull trays out of printers and here too men are likely to have the advantage with men consistently outperforming women in this area.
The only hope for women is to be included more in office design teams so that these kinds of problems don’t get overlooked or ignored.
So the other week we discussed the enormous advantages that glazed partitions can afford your working environment. But we realize that the segregation isn’t for everyone. What if you just wanted the partitions but not necessarily the separation. Ok so maybe that doesn’t quite make sense just yet. Imagine an office where people work in big glass cubes. They provide privacy, noise reduction and allow for the office to still be a light and airy place to work. But many companies prefer not to separate employees with doors. So you need partitions but not rooms? That’s where Glazed office screens come in.
Let the light in!
Glazed screens allow for perceived separation, desk privacy, and allow you to arrange your workspace in a variety of different ways. The screens mean that staff members can freely communicate across the office, but can also get some noise reduction and privacy from behind their glass screens if required.
Offices stay light and productive, with that satisfying hum of a busy working environment, without it becoming like a stocks and shares market.
Millennium Storage and Interiors offer a wide range of glass office screens, some offering more privacy than others. They can fit neatly into most workspaces without taking up too much room and come in a range of tints and patterns.