Officiating an Office: Tweaking Your Workplace Productivity

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                Workplace \work●place\ noun : a place where work is done.

The Merriam Webster definition says it all: A workplace is basically the spot where you do your ‘thing’. This only means that a workplace is the magical place where you do your stuff. In this area, you enter into the zone, be productive, creative, technical and well, uh… a little less distracted. Of course, a workplace won’t be a workplace if you will play around and be lazy (might as well call it laze-place). How can you improve workplace productivity?

Why It Is Important for Designers and Developers to Have a Suitable Workplace:

  • To stimulate the mind, extract those creative juices and flex those intellectual muscles which are in hibernation
  • To direct the activity towards the completion of a goal.
  • To condition the mind

The workplace is your ‘spot’, ‘zone’ or, as many corporate entities agree, your ‘office’.

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Having said that, you might be under the impression that you should get your own office right now. You might even rush out and not even finish reading this because you’re too excited to start working on your own office. But don’t jump in the jetpack yet. You need to know some things first:

  • Location
  • Interiors
  • Ambiance

Location

Before even thinking of the set-up, you have to consider where will you put it. Here are some things you should think of

  • Where will my office be located?
  • How many are we?

Remember, the formula is simple, the more the employees, the more the space.

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Here are some pointers:

  • Find your unique spot.
  • Establish an office that is close to your business partners
  • Make it accessible.
  • Look for some place where you can focus.

As long as the location can tickle your brains in order to make you more productive, it does not matter if you prefer the quiet, secluded or the noisy location. Just find a good space where you can roost. Now if you really can’t afford that, you could always rent a small space in the city. But if you’re really short of bucks, you could re-use the unused spaces in your homes.

  • Have guest rooms where no one ever slept? Convert it to an office.
  • Have some vacant attic? Convert in to an office.
  • A shabby basement? You see the pattern right here right? Yes, convert it to an office!

With some wall spacing, a few reconstructions and sheer creativity, you could transform those ghastly places into lively workplaces!

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Interiors

Now, say you had acquired a space, what will you fill it with? Interiors are important. It’s the literal taking of what’s important is what’s inside. You need to ensure that the interiors of your office would suit your needs and stimulate productivity.

Interiors affect you, really! Here are some reasons:

  • Having a poorly designed interior makes you more stressed with work
  • Closed spaces usually make a person confused, making him unable to work
  • No one wants to visit an office that looks like a pot den!

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Choose your colors wisely. Remember what they always say in designing? Colors can make or break a design. It applies, even to your office!

  • Most offices add some greenery because it relaxes the eyes and makes you calmer at work.
  • Others also mix them with white paint which will enforce cleanliness. It suggests elegance.
  • Black is also used to imply luxury and authority.
  • Blue (which according to studies, is the brightest color) should be used in moderation.

Learn to mix colors and make yourself your own rainbow.

Next thing you should consider is lighting. Dim lights should be facilitated with bright lights properly.

Why Lighting is Important

  • Dimmer lights make you work better but it also makes your body excrete more melatonin (sleep hormone), the invisible draught of drowse.
  • Brighter colors makes you more energetic, but can be glaring.

So, when setting your office up, remember that just enough is just enough. What does that mean? Just enough lighting is just enough for your employers.

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And most of all, remember that all designs should aim one thing: increasing the productivity. It should foster to the needs of every individual to the point that they’ll love working. Your workplace should be tailored to your craft and each employee’s personality. They should like the office and then they’ll love the work.

Ambiance

Let’s face it, this is the most important aspect of the office: people. If the people in an office are like robots who just work and work and work all day, it will drive an average employer nuts. Having some breathing room will make employees feel relaxed and gives them more focus. Let your employees do this one for you, but you have to facilitate.

Why is ambiance important?

  • It’s what motivates people to working well
  • It’s what makes people stay
  • It can be good for the company image, especially when clients visit.

Suggestions

  • One thing you can do is to let your workers have liberty with their own space.
  • Allow them to put pictures, paintings, stickers, and even pets in their own spaces. This will somehow inspire them or alleviate them from stress. It will brighten the day, make your team be themselves and let them interact with each other.
  • You could also put up games every now and then. Spice up each day with some office surprise. This way, you could be able to balance work and play.

Remember,

                All work and no play makes jack a dull boy

  • Put out parties, birthday surprises, promotion parties and a lot of cool tricks to make your employees happy. Put in mind that the happier your team is, the better the work they’ll perform.
  • Lastly, you could add pantries, sleeping pods, game centers and interaction sections in your office. This way, everybody becomes at home, thus, relaxing those tired brains off.

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Now after taking notes on this, you probably might want to see some inspiration, right? Good thing, I have some for you. Here they are:

Selgas Cano – Madrid

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This office is superb because it makes the employees close to nature. Greenery, check. Ambiance, check! Lighting, oh yes, check!

Facebook – Palo Alto, California

Offices at Facebook headquarters in Palo

What’s so good about the Facebook office? Well, aside from this spacey and well-lighted facility, Facebook’s office has a giant bistro, free food and artwork almost everywhere!

Dtac Headquarters – Bangkok

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Dtac’s headquarters seems really cozy. Well, it’s probably because they used a dim-looking set up in their lighting making sure that employees feel relaxed while working. It’s like working in a coffee shop!

Buck O’Neill Builders – San Francisco

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This office is cool with the eyes because it used the liveliness of greenery and the immaculate-look of white. Working in this office would make you feel quiet at peace and never worrying about anything.

Urban Outfitters – Philadelphia

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Talk about greenery! This place utilized the cool soothing effect of plants and the cozy feel of warm yellow lights. It’s like a coffee shop in a garden or in an office.

BBC North – Manchester

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This office set up managed to pull off the techy feel of silver and white, plus the earthy motif of green. At one glance, you will know that this office makes you want to stay all night and just work.

Corus Entertainment — Toronto

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The spacious ceilings and the plant-laden walls of this office will surely make you want to stay. And what makes it more exciting? Well, I’ll tell you: It’s the slide!

Googleplex — California

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You have probably had a sneak peak at the Google HQ at California through the movie The Internship. And if you did not feel awesome seeing it, with the free food, the cool bikes and sleeping pods, then you are a grumpy old cat mister!

Conclusion

Stimulating your mind towards working is a good step in improving your productivity. But there are a lot of concerns that you still need to address. Building a good workplace is momentous because you start to recognize yourself as an entity in the workforce. You can even say to yourself that you are good enough to deserve an office. This would also improve your morale and would make you a better designer. Remember, creativity is not found. It’s dug up. And if one wants to dig, one needs a shovel.

Let your office be that shovel.

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Rudolph is a geek. He loves reading: books, blogs and even nutrition facts found at the back of products. He loves to read interesting internet stuff. Since joining 1stwebdesigner last year, Rudolph has written several articles that concerns Typography, Wordpress, Freelance Lifehacks, Graphic Design and Showcase of Beautiful Web Designs. He also write poems, movie reviews and he puts them in his blog together with rants and some daily life updates.

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