Has your workspace been in a holding pattern since May 2020? Perhaps you hastily threw together a desk and chair for your at-home set up or you have leased a building that no longer fits your needs. Spring is a great time to refresh your space!
When evaluating a home office there is even more room for autonomy and creating an environment that is uniquely yours. Find a flow that works for you and adjust items around that. Maybe you have a ritual to start working. I usually light a candle, start my music, and put my headphones on to signal to my brain that it’s time to focus. I place the things that I need within easy reach so that I can sit down and smoothly transition into the tasks that I want to accomplish. Organizing my space in this way allows for a re-energized routine. Design is about more than the colors and textures, it’s about thinking through how you function and how your space can support that.
A refresh doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. You can use many of the items that you already have! It is easy for our brains to become lax when everything stays in the same place for a long time. For example, we might stop noticing that piece of artwork that makes us smile. By moving it to a different location, it becomes this ‘new’ discovery that disrupts the normal pattern and again is a source of joy. This is an example of creative reuse, one of the tenants of sustainable design, meaning that you can feel good while saving money!
Investments in design are great for business. Bringing a fresh mindset into designing your place can maximize efficiency, lower employee turnover, and attract new customers or employees.
I wish the days of working in drab environments were gone, but now is the time to refresh the way we think about our workspaces! As we move through the world with an increased focus on health and inclusivity, our built environments need to reflect that shift in values. Using a human-centric design strategy focuses on implementing changes to promote well-being and productivity. If employees are being asked to come to an office, it should be a vibrant destination with thoughtful consideration of their needs.
Size-inclusive design is a great way to ensure accessibility and comfort for different body sizes. Often, chairs are selected with thinness as the default, excluding over a third of the American population. Inclusive design also means considering neurodivergence, gender, culture, disabilities, sensitivities, traumas etc.
Americans spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors. There has been a disconnect in our relationship to nature and an increase in stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. This creates a strain on the healthcare system and employers’ wallets. To counter these negative effects, designers have started using biophilic design, the art of connecting people to nature. It can be incredibly disorienting for our circadian rhythms to enter a building when it is dark outside and leave the building when it is again dark outside. Windows shouldn’t just be reserved for the coveted corner office, as many people as possible should have access to a view of the outside.
Plants in the workplace are another great way to bring life into your environment. It can seem high maintenance to have plants, but there are apps that can give you reminders or you can hire people to come and help take care of them. The presence of plants communicates that life can thrive in this location. An even better solution, no matter the location, is allowing a flexible schedule so that employees can go outside for breaks.
When it comes to acquiring clients, the impression of your business can happen before someone even steps foot in the location. Having clear signs to help people find you and any relevant details about the location on your website can increase foot traffic. I have occasionally picked restaurants based on how clear their parking instructions were or based on a picture of the interior.
Job seekers are thinking more about the types of workplaces that they want to work in and adding intriguing elements can help sell your company. If you are considering a hybrid work option, it is important to create an office that offers the needed flexibility while still allowing for a sense of ownership. You may want to emphasize the types of areas that cannot be found at home such as ones geared towards collaboration.
If you want assistance in refreshing your space, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. Your comfort is important and you should have the optimal experience, even on a Monday!
*Originally published in Lancaster Thriving Magazine: