How Including Nature can Improve your Office Environment

 

Here are a few ways to introduce nature into your working environment to make it greener and more natural

 

Offices are rather sterile environments. Even if you have great views, most offices are cut off from the outside completely, without fresh air or any hint of nature. Now existing offices are hard to change from a structural point of view, but there are a number of things you can do to make your working space more natural. If you are building a new building or revamping your existing one, you have more options.

 

But if not, what can you do to introduce nature into your work environment?

 

Plants

 

This is the easiest and best way to introduce any kind of nature into your work space. Plants are known to reduce stress, enhance productivity and help clean the air. Every desk should have a plant and others should be scattered aesthetically around the office. They will green your work area and can help reduce noise. Make sure you get low-maintenance indoor plants that do not need watering every day and are hardy and long lasting. That way, when you return after the weekend or holidays, your plant will still be thriving.

 

Office Aisle with Individual Plants for each work station

 

The following plants are known to thrive in an indoor environment.

 

  • Ivy
  • Succulents
  • Rubber plant
  • Aloe
  • Cactus

 

Windows/Fans

 

Many offices do not have any openable windows. This is difficult to remedy when it comes to letting fresh air into your office. If you do have windows, make sure there is a decent amount of fresh air circulating into your work space. This will make for a much healthier environment compared to plain air conditioned offices. If you do not have any access to fresh air, some kind of fan used in conjunction with the air con will insure that stagnant air will at least be circulated

 

Green your roof

 

If you have a flat roof and enjoy relatively easy access from your office, then make use of this area.

 

Typical Green Roof Garden atop a skyscraper

 

Planting a veggie or herb garden on the roof will make it a pleasant place to hang out for some fresh air, help insulate your building more naturally and provide your staff with some fresh produce to go with their meals.

 

Switch off the lights

 

Some offices keep the lights on because it’s convenient or it makes the office more attractive. But often during daylight hours, if you have sufficient windows, you could switch off the lights and make use of the natural light, which are usually adequate for your needs. This way you also use less energy and cut down on the harsh fluorescent lights many offices are so fond of.

 

Get out

 

Get outside. Use your lunch hour effectively and go suck up some fresh air. It will rejuvenate and refresh you and help you get though the rest of the day. While this does not exactly enhance your indoor space, it will make you feel better and ensure that you get some fresh air during the day. If you work close to a river, sea or park, go for a quick walk, you’ll reap the benefits.

 

Whatever you decide, do something to alleviate the monotony and stale air that can invade your work environment and affect both your mental and physical health.

 

When you decide your office is in need of a new fitout and you want to make it greener and more natural, speak to the specialists.

 

How Office Design can Increase Productivity

 

How do you think you can improve office productivity? Give your employees financial incentives or streamline office procedures?

 

Sure, that will work, but you might not have considered how office design can play a role in your company’s efficiency.

 

It has long been established by architects that space influences how we feel. When they design buildings, they think about how spaces will affect people’s moods and behaviors.

 

It makes sense, especially when you reflect on how much time we spend in our office. The vast majority of us spend 40 plus hours a week at work. Chances are we see our co-workers more than we see our spouses, children and friends.

 

By redesigning your office layout it is possible to make your employees feel more relaxed, focused and content. Workers with a higher morale are more motivated. That directly impacts your businesses’ bottom line for the better.

 

In this blog, we are going to look at design elements that increase the output of your office.

 

Different spaces

 

You know what it’s like staring at your computer monitor all day long – it becomes tedious. A recent trend that has been emerging in office design, headed by innovative companies like Google and Apple, is having different spaces for employees to use during the day. Different environments include lobbies, break rooms, kitchens, lounge areas and eating areas.

 

 

These areas are designed with two things in mind – work and recreation (relaxation). When people take a break from their desks to do a bit of work in a lounge area, it shifts their brains and allows them become more focused.

 

Apple are well known to change the environment of workers when they are at a road block – a lot of the time this change allows them to come up with a creative solution to the problem they were having.

 

While you might think having a break room with a television and a game console is a bad idea for productivity, it can actually improve it. Allowing your employees a chance to take their mind off what they are doing for a short period of time can decrease stress and improve morale.

 

Happier workers are better workers.

 

Colour me impressed

 

Colour psychology is a science that studies how colours influence how we feel. Having the right colour in your office can have a positive physical and emotional effect on your employers.

 

There is a lot of speculation about which colours are best to use in an office. Neutral colours like blue and white are believed to illicit productivity.

 

TISC Office

 

Our Design of the TISC Offices includes the use of white and blue tones

 

That’s not to say a dash of something bold like yellow can’t get the creative juices flowing.

 

It is generally agreed that red should not be used, especially in conference rooms, as it is an emotionally charged colour and can make people act in a more aggressive manner – not something you want during a delicate meeting.

 

Natural light

 

Human beings are diurnal animals – that means we are active during the day. We are geared evolutionary to respond to natural light. We are more productive, have more energy and creative when the sun is shining.

 

So why aren’t you catering to this in your office design? It’s unrealistic to assume that your office can simply knock out a few spots to install more windows. However, you can make the most of what you have by cleaning your windows regularly so that the maximum amount of light can enter your office space.

 

Westport

 

The Westport Innovations offices were designed to maximise natural light through the use of clear partitions.

 

If, for whatever reason, you are unable to source natural light, use indirect light. What this means is that the artificial light is not directly pointed at employees, but instead bounces off walls and ceilings.

 

These have been some tips the team here have come up with after years of experience. We hope it’s got you thinking a bit more about the benefits of well thought out office design.

 

LATEST PROJECT: Backlot private cinema fitout

 

We do we a lot of creative fit outs for Perth companies but every-now-and-again we get handed a job that lets us do something truly unique. The fit out of Backlot private cinema in West Perth is one of those jobs!

 

We transformed a tired, boring warehouse space into a purpose built private screening room for film and corporate presentations. Seating 50 guests, the venue has full catering facilities and is perfect way to treat your staff or clients to a special screening, host a product launch or throw a function for your social club!

 

If  you have a corporate event coming up and are looking for a location that will bring the ‘wow factor’ look no further than Backlot private Cinema. Book the Backlot private cinema online here.

 

…And if you or somebody else you know as a very special fit out requirement be sure to get in contact with us.

 

The Backlot Cinema Perth

Picture 1 of 16

The best seat in the house.

 

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Working from Home – 8 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity

Working from Home Productivity Tips

working from home

Working from home has plenty of perks (flexible hours, no peak hour traffic, no dress code, pants-optional) – but it can also be distracting and unproductive if you don’t have the right environment.

 

Here are 8 simple ways to supercharge your productivity, as recommended by the experts.

 

continue reading »

2014 Workplace Design Trends

Liquid-working_1
There are a number of design trends that have emerged or grown in popularity, which we can expect to see even more of in 2014.

DIY technology and BIM

3D Printing continues to excite designers with fast prototyping, testing and the promise to change the way we make things. Expect to see an increasing number of workshops and claims that printing will revolutionise the way we manufacture and test. No doubt machinery and material will eventually reduce in cost and make this new technology within reach of commercial designers. Building Information Modelling (BIM) will continue to evolve as the preferred documentation output.

continue reading »

OFP on the road

OFP hitting the roads in style…

 

OFP utes

LATEST PROJECT: Skilled Offshore Karratha

skilledoffshore

 

We have been given the opportunity to fit out the office of Skilled Offshore in Karratha WA.

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It is quite easy being Green.

(written by Jane Bright – officedesignblog.com.au)

Kono Designs Urban Farm

Going green” means different things to different organisations. Think about it as a global term for everything that makes a positive impact on our environment. Going green is about introducing systems, processes and products into our office designs that consume fewer natural resources, save energy, reduce waste and minimise pollutants.

 

There are many expensive and complex systems that aim to “green” our office interiors, but often the most simple things are the most environmentally effective.

 

Let’s call this going “light green”.  If recycling office waste, reusing existing furniture and automatic lights were adopted globally, it would have an enormous impact on the environment. As an office designer, I actively encourage our clients to consider these simple things.

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Spring Clean Your Office

HR-spring-cleaning12

 

 

Whether you’re working at the kitchen table in your home, or you’re logging your work hours in a cubicle, staying organized can be a big challenge. The aesthetics of a messy, cluttered desk aren’t ideal for any office environment, but the real issue is the unnecessary time and energy you have to spend looking for important documents or handy office tools – and how that wasted time can affect your productivity. Here are a few tips to keep your workspace organized.

 

 

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5 Ways to Slash Your Fitout Costs

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Simple and effective ways to cut costs, not corners.

 

1. Don’t move
This is always the first option to consider.  You can refurbish your existing office.  New desks, carpet, ceilings and lighting, upgraded air conditioning, adding the latest technologies – all these things can be done while you are still working there. Yes, the refurbishing will have to be done in stages and yes, it will take longer to complete, but the costs saved by staying put can be substantial.

 

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