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Remodeling Office Space? Don’t Forget to Bring the Outdoors In

June 26, 2017 / by Tommy Twardowski

If you’re considering remodeling office space, your primary motivation may be to accommodate an increasing number of employees, freshen up a dated space, or change your office layout from cubicle workstations to a more open concept. Remodeling or even rearranging office space is logistically challenging. (Download our complimentary office installation checklist to make sure that you  don't miss anything!) It’s understandable that you’ll be focused on the big picture – ie: making sure you have enough workstations for all of your employees; installing furniture in office space that is sturdy, attractive and functional, etc.

As you plan for remodeling office space, though, don’t underestimate the importance of thoughtful details! Research shows that employees exposed to natural elements during the workday are less stressed and more productive. Office spaces that promote physical and psychological well-being by bringing the outdoors in is a definite trend – and one that’s expected to continue for the foreseeable future. A movement known as biophilic design, incorporating nature into the design of living, working, and learning spaces, is gaining momentum worldwide. If you’d like to be a biophilic design trailblazer, here are six ways to incorporate nature into your office remodel.

  1. Incorporate plenty of plants. The easiest way to add natural elements to the office is by incorporating plants. You can green up your office simply by positioning potted plants throughout your space. Or, you can make plants a focal point by adding a vertical garden (also known as a living wall.) Ask your office furniture installer about modular systems that can be created to fit any space. Not only will a plant wall be an aesthetic focal point of your office, it will purify the air, naturally! Some ambitious companies have even created actual gardens inside their workspaces!
  2. Use windows strategically to maximize natural lighting. If you want to incorporate nature as you’re remodeling office space, by all means, bring plants in. But also go with an office layout that maximizes employees' access to windows. Bathing your office in sunlight is soothing to employees (and cuts down on energy costs.) Of course, windows also provide views of the great outdoors.
  3. Decorate with nature-inspired artwork. If your windows allow natural light in but have views that aren’t exactly awe-inspiring, supplement those views with artwork that is inspiring. You’ve got plenty of options! Beaches, mountains, desert landscapes, flowers, majestic trees … whatever your color scheme or theme, you can find photos and paintings of natural elements that enhance your workplace.
  4. Incorporate natural materials in your design. According to a survey of 3,600 workers in eight countries, employees whose offices in include natural elements are happier and more productive. Wood or bamboo flooring, stone accents and natural-fiber rugs are all natural alternatives to synthetic products such as carpet and plastic.
  5. Incorporate the sounds of nature. In open-concept offices where noise can be distracting, some companies have begun sound masking with white noise. Research shows that employees subjected to natural sounds, such as running water or gentle ocean waves, are able to retain focus longer than they are in an office that doesn’t provide sound masking. Another alternative to sound masking is to incorporate small fountains into your office design.

If you’re about to remodel your office space, why not make it more enjoyable in addition to making it more functional? It will be a win-win for your employees’ quality of life and your business’s productivity and workplace morale. Find out how to save time and money on your upcoming project. You can contact Houston Installation Services for more workspace ideas and ways to space time and money on your next project.

 

Sources:
http://www.biophilicdesign.net/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072911/
https://workdesign.com/2017/01/2017-office-design-trends/
http://www.decoist.com/indoor-vertical-gardens/
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/06/the-office-sounds-that-make-us-more-productive/394541/
https://www.good.is/articles/japan-office-workers-share-their-space-with-garden 

Topics: Office Design, Facility Managers, Managers

About The Author

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy began his career in the office furniture installation business in 1978 and started his full-time career in 1981 with Houston Installation Services. Starting as a furniture installer, he developed a passion for the process of installation and learned to install all major manufacturers’ lines.