It can be easy to assume that the workplace is simply a facility that houses people to perform their daily tasks. Whilst that is certainly true, it isn't quite the full story. The best office interiors are ones that can inspire, inform and impress, rather than simply facilitate.

By using intelligent office design techniques to create areas that will further aid employees in their work, productivity and the quality of work produced will likely improve; making for a successful business,as well as a great environment in which to work.

As a leading office design company in the south east of England, we've had a wide-ranging experience, working with all kinds of businesses, all with different requirements. This has given us a unique take on what makes a successful office fit out; including ones that can aid productivity by allowing people the opportunity to group together.

Below, we've put together some changes that can be made to your interiors to promote productivity.


Changes you can make to your office interiors to promote productivity

Break out areas

Breakout areas (sometimes 'breakout rooms') are multi-purpose spaces that can be used for informal, ad-hoc meetings, comfortable working, brainstorming, eating, relaxing or just somewhere in which to build rapport. Essentially, they provide employees with a meeting point that can be accessed as and when they need it and therefore, these areas should always be situated close to the main 'working arena'.

They can be made quite easily; either placed in a room or screened off from the working areas, furnished with soft seating such as armchairs, beanbags and sofas (anything that can help with comfort and the exchange of ideas and opinions).

Internal cafes/kitchens

Although some firms like to incorporate a 'cafe culture' within a breakout facility, many more dedicate space in their office interiors to solely help employees collaborate over their lunch breaks. Cafes and kitchen facilities are also great in encouraging people to take a more healthy approach to their meals; providing the means for them to prepare, cook and/or store food. As they spend much of their week at work, the effect of the workplace on their health cannot be underestimated.

Create openness

Supporting collaboration means that everyone should have access to mentoring, problem solving and be able to share information. This sense of openness allows for routine communication between team members; creating the collaborative effect that you're seeking. Open office design brings down the physical barriers that separate people, allowing employees to communicate with their neighbours and to work as a team.

The other great thing about open plan design is that it is less costly to organise; less time and fewer materials are needed. Also, due to an open office being better for airflow, savings can be made on heating and air conditioning too. Also, bulky items such as printers, scanners and photocopier scan be shared by everyone, rather than sectioned off for individuals or small groups to use.

Another thing that open offices cater to, is hot desking. This is the practice of allowing employees to choose when, where and with whom they work. Which brings us to...

Flexible office design

The fastest-growing open design trend (that shows no signs of abating) is the agile office; providing employees with the ability to chose their working space, based on their specific needs. Thanks to things like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, Wi-Fi and cloud storage, office workers have never had as much flexibility – so why should they stay chained to the same desk every single day?

Agile office design allows office interiors to be 'zoned'; each section can be dedicated to a certain style of working or activity. It gives the company the ability to take a more bespoke look at how they can shape the working day of their people; catering it towards how they work, rather than the space forcing them to compromise their natural working style.

Consider inspiration

Inspiration works like art; all the elements within the picture have been painted (put in place) beautifully, but it's how the picture as a whole makes us feel that sums up its quality. In short, putting in place all the tools employees need to complete their work is a great start, but not a full picture does it make; inspiration is needed to spark the train of thought that will lead to them to produce great work.

Making changes to the decor (such as placing in plants or artwork) and providing comfort, with easy-to-use furniture, is a great place to start, but what about the feeling that the spaces radiate? With the use of colours and materials, the different spaces of an office can communicate different feelings to people; whether that's the use of a multi-coloured palette to spark a sense of playfulness, right through to strong, neutral colours to communicate professionalism – there's much to inspire with.

It's important to note that the colours of the office (the furniture fabrics, paint shades and decorative accents) all play a role in communicating the brand of your business too. Getting it right will often be the difference in being able to inspire and impress visiting clients (as well as employees).

So that was how a business may encourage collaboration within their office interiors. If you're interested in learning more about this, or on any aspect of office design, why not consider getting in touch with our expert design and fit out team today?

Oaktree Interiors, expert office design and fit out

Please take the time to browse our website to learn more about the wide variety of works we can offer. As part of our service, we suggest that potential clients take advantage of our completely FREE, no-obligation consultancy service that works to understand your intended space, how you work and what your employees need, before creating 2-D/3-D representations of what your ideal office will look like. Why not try it out?

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you to create your ideal office interiors, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0345 21 86955. Alternatively, you can send any e-mail enquiries to hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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