How to Brighten Up an Office Work Setting
Understandably, most employers design offices to economize resources such as energy and space, instead of creating an appealing ambiance. However, in the past twenty years, design firms, employers and researchers have begun to recognize the effect of the office setting on employee performance.
In 2009, the National Research Council of Canada determined that stimulating conditions such as noise, temperature and lighting significantly affect worker productivity and sense of well-being. Their findings support several ways to brighten your work-space, changing it from feeling cold and utilitarian to warm and welcoming.
5 Steps to Brighten Up an Office Work Setting
1. Increase directed light.
Florescent overhead lighting often fails to illuminate your entire desk, giving your workspace a tired, unenthusiastic atmosphere. Ask your office manager to purchase two or three individual lamps and space them out along your desk or cubical.
2. Color your walls.
Select a few tasteful, colorful pieces to hang on your walls or cubical partitions. Try using a print of a favorite painting or framing an unusual fabric you bought on your last vacation.
3. Hang up curtains.
If your office has a window, hang translucent curtains over the utilitarian mini-blinds. Avoid dark or heavy curtain fabric that can make a small space feel like a cave.
4. Grow a plant.
Plants are a great reminder of the outside world, especially if you are stuck in an office all day. Choose a large, potted tree or a few smaller potted flowers. Avoid having more plants than pieces of furniture to balance the space.
5. Add natural noise.
A small electric rock fountain or waterfall provides a gentle, calming sound to the bland monotony of tapping keyboards and ringing phones. Make sure the natural sound is not so loud that it distracts during phone calls or meetings.
Tips and Warnings
- Keep it simple. Clutter and imbalance depress a work-space, so avoid having too much of an item in your office, whether it is pictures, plants or decorations.
- Some companies have strict policies regarding acceptable work-space appearance, so check the rules for office décor before launching your work-space makeover.
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