How to Update a Tired Office Space (on a budget)
There’s plenty of evidence that shows that the working environment has a significant effect on employee morale and productivity. Indeed, most workers would agree that there’s nothing more discouraging than being stuck in the middle of a sea of indistinguishable cubicles.
So, how do you revamp your office space? Do you add glass balustrades? Do you set up a pool table? How do you get the same office atmosphere as some of these big tech companies without having the same budget?
To answer those questions, we will discuss a few ideas on how to modernise an old office. Hopefully, by the end of this, you will be able to create a healthier and more encouraging working space.
Open it up
If there’s anything that outdates an office space, it’s those boring partitions. It limits employee interaction, limits the flow of natural light and obstructs the view across the office.
Open-plan office spaces are becoming more and more popular. Open offices are more conducive to person-to-person collaboration and encourage more socialising at the workplace. They also allow an ample amount of natural sunlight to fill the room. According to the National Library of Medicine (US), exposure to natural light can improve your mood and by extension your productivity.
If you want a certain space to have a little more privacy, you can also install glass balustrades as separators. This will retain the open atmosphere of the office while also providing the employees with a private space to do video conferences, phone calls and quiet solo work.
In that same study by the Nation Library of Medicine, it is said that artificial lighting has a similar effect on mood as natural lighting. As a result, it’s important to have sufficient lighting in your workplace. This is especially true if an office operates at night or if it doesn’t get enough sun exposure.
Working in a darker room not only impairs your vision, it also affects your circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycle). Exposure to ample lighting during the work week will ensure that you’re alert and awake during the day and ready to go to bed when night time rolls around. If you don’t get enough light exposure at the right time of day, it can have an adverse effect on your sleeping patterns.
Older offices used fluorescent lighting due to their cool light and low cost. However, studies have shown that fluorescent lighting can cause migraines. Because of this, a lot more businesses are using LEDs. LEDs are more energy efficient, don’t emit much heat and allow you dim or brighten the lights on command.
Repaint the walls
If you feel that the colour palette of your office space is getting a little out of date, maybe it’s time for a fresh coat. Repainting the walls is a quick way to enhance the atmosphere of your office space.
By using bright, light colour palettes, you’ll be able to create an illusion of a more spacious working environment. Combine this with an open plan or glass balustrades and your office will seem even bigger. You’ll no longer feel like you’re cramped inside a claustrophobic corporate cell for eight hours.
That being said, some parts of an office can get away with darker walls. For example, in movie, animation and video game studios, it helps to block down any outside distractions. This is especially true when working on visual projects that involve colour grading and adjustments.
Change older furniture
Another major part of your office space is the furniture. If the leather is beginning to fade and your office chairs are starting to squeak, it’s time to do some shopping. Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy the most expensive office furniture. Good quality chairs from second hand stores will do wonders for your work space. Additionally, if the paint on the desks or drawers are beginning to peel, consider giving them a fresh coat.
If you’re really on a budget, you can also try just rearranging your furniture. Maybe lay the tables out so that they face each other. This layout is much more collaborative compared to a layout that separates each desk via spacing or via separations. Even just placing the desks towards the windows can really change things up.
Adding greens to your office space livens up an otherwise monotonous environment.
It also gives your workers something to look forward to. Some office workers make it part of their job to water and take care of the plants.
On the other hand, you can also opt for artificial plants. This will give you the same type of atmosphere without having to worry about the leaves dying on you.
Hopefully, this gave you a few ideas on how to revamp your office space. When it comes to office designs, we need to be pragmatic. Yes, the workplace is about work, but we can’t just ignore the fact that we have moods and feelings. By modernising your office space, you can improve the morale of your colleagues and, therefore, help them complete their tasks more efficiently.