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Is your office designed for enhanced productivity and well-being?

By Gill Wilkinson, GMW Interiors

Office design is always a hot topic with large corporations spending significant sums of money to ensure their working environment promotes both productivity and the well-being of its employees. Longer working hours and wireless technology mean flexibility is key; employees need spaces to work collaboratively as well as quiet zones for more focussed endeavours. Break out areas for rest and relaxation are also important.

As small business owners with so many different hats to wear it’s easy to overlook the importance of translating some of these principles into our own working environments. As an Interior Designer when I’m working with clients creating new spaces one of the questions I ask is: ‘How do you want this room / space to feel?’ Focussing on how a space will ‘look’ is rather two-dimensional but once you hone in on how a client wants a space to feel, that’s when it comes to life. So how do we create that feel-good factor in our own office environments?

Are you sitting comfortably?

This may sound obvious but with the majority of us now spending a good deal of our working day at a desk in front of a computer screen, the right chair is important. Long periods of sitting down are now deemed bad for our health and ‘standing desks’ are becoming a popular alternative.

Colour

Much has been written on the subject of colour psychology and how colour can affect our mood. Fast food restaurants previously adorned with bright primary colours, to encourage a certain pace for both employees and clientele, have now adopted less frantic colour schemes presumably to counteract the general pace of everyday life nowadays. Neutral walls are great as a backdrop for bold artwork but if your workspace is feeling a bit drab an injection of colour will certainly give it and you a lift.

Add some greenery

Bringing the outside in is a great way to make a space look and feel more inviting. Not only that, studies have found that having plants in an office environment can increase productivity as well as reduce stress.

Things that make you smile

‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ This William Morris quote is still as relevant today and given that we spend an increasing amount of time at work, surrounding ourselves with things we love in our office environment is equally as important as it is at home.

Gill Wilkinson runs GMW Interiors from the North East BIC’s Darlington office – Business Central. Gill specialises in interior design and home staging.

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