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November 01, 2016

Form and Function in the workplace

It’s no secret that an organisation’s working environment will directly affect overall productivity, provide a capacity for innovation and creativity while embodying its unique company culture.

The idea that “form follows function” in the instance of office design comes from the idea that the shape, design and layout of a workspace is primarily based on its intended purpose. Therefore, depending on the nature of your business and with strategic planning the design of your office could improve overall productivity, drive success and even promote employee wellbeing and satisfaction.

The Design

Whether you’re considering a complete refurbishment or only looking to make a few changes to stimulate further productivity it’s important to take the time and evaluate whether your current workspace is performing at its best. Try looking at it the same way that your employees do and identify any areas that need to be changed or redesigned so as to improve efficiency. The colour scheme, furniture and condition of the walls and lighting etc. all need to be examined.

If you can see things that you would like to change, you’ve already made a start on the redesigning process. It’s important to identify problems at the start so that you can come up with practical as well as stylish solutions.

Simple changes, major results

Simple and small changes can make a huge difference to office design. Steps such as minimising waste, removing clutter and organising office equipment effectively can go a long way in maximising efficiency. While we will look at some small changes that you can make below, see our blog about how small changes to the workplace can make a big difference.

Ensuring that your employees are equipped with optimum conditions is vital. Studies have shown that ideas as simple as increasing the amount of natural light available in the office will go a long way in creating a positive environment. Artificial and fluorescent lights combined with harsh glares emitted from computer screens are all culprits of causing headaches, stress and fatigue for workers. Yes, ideally installing large windows would be ideal in allowing natural light to flow but this can be costly. Small changes such as rearranging furniture so as not to block light and creating a passage for it to flow will be advantageous

See our blog that covers the advantages of natural light within the workplace to find out more.

Another simple way to arouse your employees and stimulate productivity is through the colour scheme within your office. Different colour schemes have been proven to have different associations. For examples, cool colours such as blues and whites are correspondent to feelings of tranquillity and relaxation; whereas warmer colours such as reds and yellows are more energising and can stimulate activity. See our blog on the impact of colour within the workplace for more information.

Listen and engage

An aesthetically pleasing workspace can create a positive impact on the productivity, motivation and general wellbeing of the staff that work in that environment.

It’s of the utmost importance that when carrying out any office redesign or refurbishment that you include your employees. After all it’s your staff that are going to be working in this environment and they ultimately know what is needed to keep them motivated throughout the day.

Take the time to find out what they feel constitutes to a productive working environment and involve them in the planning stages. Some of your staff may have past experiences with office design. Engage with your staff and not only will you create the perfect workspace, and a unique aesthetic complying with company culture but a sense of proprietorship will be given to your employees.

For those of you considering an office refurbishment or redesign for the first time, at Workspace Design and Build our team of specialists are on hand to give you the best advice.

And you?

What do you think? Do you think that the form of workspace design ultimately dictates its function? Get in touch by leaving a comment below and check us out on Facebook and Twitter.