Creating a productive and stimulating office environment – one that really fosters the creativity of its workers – is easier said than done. Bland, sterile décor can lead to low morale, yet too much pizazz can be distracting, thus, finding a proper balance is crucial.
Whether you are working from home, in a shared space with a small group, or supervising a large staff in an equally large office, sprucing up your workplace might just give you that boost in productivity you’ve been looking for. This is where a few simple tips might come in handy.
Address Your Color Scheme
While whimsical, psychedelic décor may not be the best fit for an office. Likewise, off-white walls, bland carpets and cubicle dividers may not be the best option. Try bright colors, but not noisy ones like orange or red. Calm yellows, greens or blues are a good fit for daytime productivity.
Make sure your color scheme is consistent to avoid a sense of disarray. Avoid different colored walls, floors, etc., by sticking with a theme. A feeling of order is important in a place of business!
Take Advantage of Natural Light
That’s right – a little vitamin D can go a long way. If possible, make sure your office is equipped with properly oriented windows and glass doors. Casement windows are a good bet year-round, and screens can help keep the airflow circulating in the warmer months. Make sure you have quality, double or triple-glazed windows for the colder months.
Get Creative With Hardwood
If you’re like me, flimsy, plastic office furniture just doesn’t cut it. Depending on the size of your workplace, consider new or recycled hardwood for desktops, cabinets, and other office furniture. Such projects will not only encourage that creative spark, but might even save you a few bucks in the long run.
Spice Up the Office Message Boards
Working as part of a team should nurture a sense of community. While the all-purpose, business-related notice board is certainly important, why not make another for the purpose of boosting camaraderie? And why not frame it? And decorate it? Consider having a monthly, themed bulletin board – one with pictures, quotes, or anything else to make office life a little more personable.
Consider Office Plants
Something about having living plants in a room can really add a touch of serenity. Creating a peaceful environment while improving the oxygen flow in the room is sure to jumpstart that office morale. While too much artwork might be a bit distracting, plants give that sense of comfort without attracting too much attention.
Take Pride in Your Doors
What is the first thing most folks are likely to see when they come to work? That’s right – the front door. While it may often go un-pondered, doors have the subtle ability to shape your psyche. They can be intimidating or they can be inviting. They can push you away or they can pull you in. They can frown or they can smile. I prefer doors that smile!
Consider the doors at your facility. I prefer glass, but wood and fiberglass doors may be better suited for your particular needs. Sliding doors afford more space and add a general appeal to a room. Replacing existing doors is easier and less expensive than one might think, so be aware of what is out there.
The average American spends a third of their life at work. No matter your particular work environment, it is important to take pride in your personal surroundings. After all, where you work can play a major role in who you are. Work together. Sprucing up an office as a team can build community, boost camaraderie and ultimately strengthen how you feel about your job.
Depending on the size and purpose of your workspace, preferences will surely vary. What works for one might not work for all. Finding that balance can be tricky, but with a little creativity and ingenuity, any workspace can be transformed into one that inspires greatness.
Chris Long is a Home Depot on-the-floor store associate in the Chicago suburbs. Chris also writes on DIY windows and doors projects for the Home Depot website. He has been working at Home Depot since 2000.