Five Cues For Designing A Better Workspace

If you want to create a comfortable office environment that boosts productivity, take a cue from lifestyle hotels. They pay close attention to how people move about a room and where amenities and services are best located.

Tracey Sawyer, co-founder of a SoHo, New York-based boutique design studio, says that with a few tweaks, any business can create a dynamic office space. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Sawyer's five cues businesses can borrow from lifestyle hotels to boost productivity.

1. Biophilia. Enter a newly opened hotel lobby and you're likely to find a cacophony of hanging plants and green features. Studies have proven that biophilia can reduce stress while enhancing the workplace. By implementing green walls, plants, natural materials, wood and stone, Sawyer says employers can create an environment that stimulates the mind and minimizes anxiety, allowing for more productive output. The use of natural elements creates a sense of calm in what can be an otherwise chaotic space.

2. Multifunctional spaces. In the past, maximizing every square inch for a singular purpose was a vital consideration in office design. With the advent of smartphones and portable technologies, spaces that may have been deemed "useless" just a decade ago allow for a variety of iterations now, from informal meetings and brainstorms to private nooks for more delicate communications.

3. Open storage. One simple way of making a space more efficient is open storage. In a hotel, this system allows guests to see all of their belongings, making it easier to ensure they remember them. Visible supplies and materials increase effectiveness by minimizing the time employees spend searching dark, stuffy closets (or just hiding out) and give a clean visual on supply levels, as well.

4. Statement lighting. In an open-plan space, a statement lighting fixture can make an impact in several ways. First, it serves as an element that creates an entrance moment, according to Sawyer. Second, a well-considered lighting feature can serve to create a succession of vignettes within an open space, subconsciously separating a reception area from a workspace. Adjustable levels of lighting also help adjust to changes in daylight and can soften and warm long afternoons in the dark of winter.

5. Mental wellness space. As hotels adapt to guests' needs, they are paying attention to their mental needs alongside the physical. Many airports have adapted to provide quiet spaces for travelers to reflect while in transit, and meditation spaces are becoming increasingly common. Similarly, in stressful work environments, a meditation space can help employees take time to unplug, creatively ideate and balance the weight of startup pressures, says Sawyer. Providing a space for quiet contemplation will help your team to work with a clear mind and maximize their efficiency.

What does your office environment look like? Sometimes, all you need to do to boost productivity is create an atmosphere where your team members feel comfortable and productive. Consider the tips above to refresh your office space.

Source: Tracey Sawyer is co-founder of Krause Sawyer, a SoHo, New York-based boutique design studio.

filed under August 2019
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