- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 14 Feb 2022
Office environment design ideas
What elements make up the ideal office? Is it plenty of light and quiet areas for productivity? Is it a neutral colour scheme or bright colours that make the area vibrant and exciting to work in? When it comes to getting the balance right for the perfect office environment, it’s rarely the gimmicks that make it stand out. Understanding what employees need to work at their best, both individually and as a team, is far more important.
 Embrace natural light
Light should be a priority when planning an office, as it plays such a big part in how well staff are able to work. Natural light helps the body clock reset every day and boosts the mood, as well as releasing serotonin to make employees happier and more productive.
If your office doesn’t allow for much natural light, you can create a bright work environment through overhead lighting instead. Linear ceiling lights can be customised to tighter spots in difficult areas.
The open plan layout is adopted by so many businesses, but while there are certainly advantages to a bright, spacious layout, it’s not always the most productive for every employee. Instead, cubicles and partitions can be used to separate work areas and incorporate pockets of privacy so that employees can work in the locations that best suit their needs. If they need interaction to plan out ideas as a group, there will be spaces to accommodate them, while staff who need peace and quiet to meet a deadline will be able to work quietly without being distracted.
You need to choose supportive chairs that can be adjusted to each individual, have arm rests and neck support, and are curved to protect the lower back from excess strain. Likewise, desks that can be height-adjusted to keep staff moving throughout the day can help prevent back pain and improve focus.
The office is a place for work, but staff also need somewhere to catch up with colleagues, take 15-minutes away from their screen and brainstorm in a more creative environment. Give your team the chance to get inspired away from their desks with lounge areas and spaces for socialising – comfy sofas and chairs, tables that seat larger groups and additions such as pool tables or coffee machines that make the office somewhere enjoyable to be.
Colour can make or break an office – it communicates so much that it should be an element that’s carefully considered. Too many neutrals can make an office bland and sluggish. Too bright and it can be chaotic and overwhelming, while too dark can have staff feeling tired before they’ve even started their day. Instead, strike a balance by choosing neutrals paired with one or two bold accent colours that add interest without being too garish.
 Bring nature inside
Studies have shown that nature can help to brighten our mood and lower stress, so it should be a factor in an office design. Bring elements of nature into the office space with tall green plants and floral arrangements that will not only brighten up the space and make it look more inviting, but will also purify the air and have a positive impact on the stress levels of employees.
 Final thoughts
When planning an office design, consider the hurdles staff may come up against and work to mitigate those. For example, a hindrance to productivity might be too much noise or a lack of areas for focus – in these instances, having acoustic screens and soundproofing will help employees work in quiet when they need to.
Featured articles and news
BG 50 & VDI 2035 – your questions answered.
Will the way we heat homes change when winter comes ?
Can XR technology be leveraged in design & construction?
Or are you capping.
Digital gaming competition for UK students aged 16 to 18.
Heritage protection in England vs Australia.
Three-quarters of fire doors fail inspections
The role of geoparks, biospheres and world heritage sites.
Just one month to go ! Find out more here.
A new gallery for the University of Huddersfield.
What will it take to stop it ?
To celebrate world bee day 2022 !
Not forgetting part F and the new part overheating part O.
As energy prices jump up in cost.
With people in the UK from Ukraine.
Industry leader Steve Murray takes on role.
An abundant and versatile building material.
600,000 heat pump installations targeted per year by 2028.
Helping prevent those unwanted outcomes.
How has transport changed due to Covid-19 ?
Will you need it ? after June 15 and the new Part O ?