Think of your happy place. Does it include a nice diffused light? Or an airy sense of openness? Maybe green, leafy things bring you calm. Or a peaceful, enclosed space where you can really parse your thoughts. While it might be unrealistic to turn work into the happy place for employees, we can at least analyze some of the characteristics that make spaces enjoyable and imbue some of that in our workplaces.
Some of the basics are no brainers. Let in the natural light so employees don’t feel like they’re working from inside a cave. While you don’t want harsh bright light that might create glares, a diffused light can help employees feel energized and ready to take on the day. Look into glare-controlled lighting for a setting that strikes the right balance.
Less Natural Views = More Sick Days
A study at The University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts sought to see if there’s a correlation between sick days being a response to lack of light along with natural views. The report states, “The study investigated whether employees with a view of nature will take fewer sick days than those with a view of urban structures, or with no views out at all.” The findings? “Workers in offices with poor ratings of light quality and in offices with poorer views used significantly more sick leave.”
While we’re at it, let some more of the outside in. Studies keep reiterating the powerful effects of having plants in the office. Do some research to find the more resilient plants to begin with, such as ZZ plants, snake plants, or pothos. After you’ve mastered the more low-maintenance varieties, maybe you can try out next level varieties with philodendrons and ficus.
“Productivity can be improved by offering a variety of interior settings that allow employees to choose where they want to work that day based on the mode of work required. For example, in the morning, workers can gather in a bistro area for coffee and informal interaction; in the afternoon, they can move to a gathering place designed for teamwork or to a privacy ‘hive’ for focused work,” states an article from Work Design on third spaces.
So, the key just might be to give employees a variety of settings that can help facilitate all the different types of work accomplished in a day. One way to do this? Utilize smart office pieces that are flexible in use. Waddell has a line called Pallet that’s perfect for versatility. The space division furniture provides plenty of potential for customization. Pallet forms collaborative workstations for meetings, brainstorming sessions, and even impromptu desks through optional accessories.
A More Appealing Office
Combining a few of the approaches above is sure to draw new employees in and cause current employees to stick around, all while creating a workspace that’s attractive and endearing.