With the colder weather setting in, it’s all too easy to start getting a little sluggish at work. However for most SMEs and startups, cruising through to summer is simply not an option when you need all hands on deck to make your Q1 a success.
Aside from cracking the whip and putting the pressure on your team, which certainly won’t do much to help the morale in your office – you could always try making some subtle tweaks to your working environment. Yes, we know, it sounds too good to be true…but did you know that the way your office is laid out can have a really big impact on your team’s productivity?
Not only do we perform at our best when we’re in an environment we like the look and feel of, but productivity levels have also been shown to drop when employees are uncomfortable. So it could be that the temperature of the room isn’t right, their desks are too cluttered or they haven’t got enough natural light – whatever the case, this stuff is completely within your power to change for the better. Here are our tried and tested office hacks for giving your office a much needed energy boost.
1. Natural lighting
There’s a proven link between natural white light and employee’s quality of sleep and energy as it supports the body clock’s natural rhythm. It might not always be possible to have loads of natural light due to just not having the windows for it, however there are some things you can do to make your office brighter.
If access to natural daylight isn’t an option in your office, we’d recommend investing in some “blue-enriched” bulbs. Cooler light is proven to support mental vitality and prevents sleepiness and fatigue, which is why it is often used in offices to support those high-energy brainstorming sessions.
You could also look into utilising more lighter colours around the office to bounce all that lovely sun-like light around the room.
2. Room to breathe
One of the key principles of improving your office’s energy has to be around using space to create channels of energy. All this talk of energy channels may all sound a little hippy-ish, but Feng Shui has been used for decades around the world to make creating a positive and productive office an artform.
Making sure there’s not loads of clutter everywhere will definitely help to open up those energy pathways and make sure it’s easy for employees to move around the office. For example, you don’t want to block any doorways or make it so that people have to weave around the room to get to their desks.
3. Colour theory
The colours you use around your office can have a profound effect on the way you and your team work. The science behind this is closely linked to wavelengths and how our brain perceives them, with blues and greens being low-wavelength shades and reds and pinks being on the higher side.
White represents purity and cleanliness and, although incredibly popular due to it being quite a safe bet, can sometimes be thought of as quite sterile and uninspiring. If you’re a little colour shy you could always keep everything white but add some colour accents to create a different dynamic.
As mentioned above, the reason why blue is so commonly used in offices and corporate branding is because it’s been shown to encourage stability and thought. Meanwhile green is renowned for boosting energy and reducing fatigue, making it a great colour to have round the office – perhaps even with a few plants to bring a little of the outside in.
Steer clear of colours like red and yellow as these have been known to be overstimulating and can be unsuitable for certain role types where clarity and level-headedness is needed. Greys and blacks on the other hand are under stimulating, and while they evoke authority, can actually cause low mood as they are light sapping.
4. Play with the senses
So we’ve addressed sight already pretty heavily during the course of this article, but did you know that scent plays a big role in your team’s productivity in the office? It’s true, adding certain scents to your office with a scented candle or reed diffuser can increase focus, alertness and even lifts your mood.
For a more energetic office, citrus is the scent to go with. Zesty orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime has been proven to wake you up and lift your spirits, while peppermint based aromas are shown to improve low mood. For an increase in focus you should stick to the more woody smells like pine or cinnamon.
Scents to avoid if you’re trying to inject a little extra energy into your office include sleep-inducing lavender, warming and comforting vanilla and you can forget valerian or juniper as these are known to be ultra-relaxing. Whatever you do, keep it subtle so as not to irritate any sensitive noses or overpower the room.
We’re always keen to hear from our tenants on the ways that they make the most of their UrbanWorkSpace office. How do you foster an energetic atmosphere in your business? Comment down below and let us know.