We have often discussed how to choose the right type of office space for your business, and the interior design trends that will kit it out to match the aesthetic tastes and the functional needs of everyone – but what about for when your employees need to actually get to work?

Anyone who has spent any period of time working in an office environment will know that there are often points during the day when slumps are experienced, a mental wall is hit or motivation simply isn't there. The truth is that we all can't be productive in an office design all of the time –it's actually unhealthy for our minds (and the work) if we try and force it. This is why plenty of research has been placed into what can help to motivate our minds and boost our productivity naturally. One of the biggest factors uncovered with this has been the need for a change of environment; more specifically, the creation of a versatile workplace design.

The importance of a versatile office design

There used to be a time when an 'office' was comprised of a work area and scant else; indeed, the first office designs were based upon the idea of factory production lines that thrust out products as quickly as possible.

The trouble with this type of design is that many modern offices rely on creativity and innovation in the formation of their products. Therefore, its constituent parts ('the people') will need to feel inspired, motivated, healthy and even entertained in order to create truly great products. This is where a versatile office design can come in.

Aside from the 'traditional' working areas,many offices have created different types of working sections; taking advantage of flexible technology and wireless internet connections to give their employees the choice to work in a more comfortable room, with a brew in the kitchen, even sat outside in the sunshine. Then there are the additional facilities that can be placed alongside the working areas; relaxation spaces, gyms, games rooms and bars. The choices are endless.

How a versatile office fit out boosts productivity

But how do these different spaces conspire to create positive feelings within employees? Here's how a versatile office design can help to boost productivity:

'Novelty value' can be effective

Having a routine is seen as a good thing; it helps to set out your day before you embark upon it. However,if you find yourself stuck in a rut during your usual routine, it will help to have a break away from it and experience something else. This is why breakout rooms with their comfortable seating, games rooms that can help to regain concentration and even gym facilities that cater for fitter minds and bodies,are fast becoming a staple of modern office design.

The 'novelty value' of having such amenities in a workplace will work to provide the brain with an opportunity to feel good, thanks to the release of dopamine, which plays a big role in motivational behaviour. The brain will constantly be looking for new thoughts and feelings to process – by doing so, it seeks a reward too. By working or taking the time to rest in different environments, the stimulus release of dopamine will boost the motivational aspect of the brain and as a result, heighten productivity.

Breaking with routine can help to break bad habits too.

Whilst having a routine can be comfortable, comfort could actually be harmful in the long term. Whether it's what you have/where you go for lunch, having a longer lie-in in the morning or spending longer on your mobile during breaks, it can be too easy to develop habits that will harm your health and productivity.

The brain connects the environments it's present in with specific situations; this is important in the formation of habits, good and bad. Once our brains associate an aspect of our workspace with our bad habits, it will be hard to resist them. On the flip side, moving to new surroundings can help to inspire new habits, good habits; you will be associating these new environments within creased productivity and the feelings of working well, ultimately increasing the chances of you repeating the process.

The environment isn't magic; it's you.

You may be wondering by now whether the new environments(s) are the magical force behind your increased output, or it's simply the positive decision you've made to change how you work in the first place. It's actually both (although the environment isn't magic – as we've covered above, it's actually science!)

Whilst changing your surroundings does indeed have an impact on your brain and the level of motivation you experience, going out with the sentiment of 'I'm going *there* to take a break/get some work done' can often help you to do just that. The question is then, are the facilities in place for you to do so?

Grow the positive effects of your office interiors with Oaktree

If you're interested in improving the way your office design is set up, then please feel free to take a look around our website. As expert office fitters, we have spent the last 30 years creating innovative office designs that have made a huge impact on the way our clients are able to work. Our work has helped so much, that many of our clients have quickly outgrown their offices and return to us seeking additional works. Why not take a look at our extensive case study section to see our bespoke office interiors in their high-resolution glory?

To learn more about our workplace design services, feel free to give our friendly team a call on 0345 21 86955 or send any e-mail enquiries to hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.

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