Jan 8, 2013

Redecorating the Office for Pleasure, Profit and Efficiency

Offices are often decorated in a rush. Colours are chosen in a hurry, there are deadlines to meet and carpet fitters and decorators need to be in and out before the furniture arrives. Better choices are promised for next time, but then business gets in the way and nothing changes.

How should an office look?

Coming into the same office day after day, it is easy to forget how the building will appear to new staff or visitors. Take time to step back and try to see it with fresh eyes. What image do you want to project? This will depend to a large degree on the nature of the business. All companies want to project reliability, integrity and honesty, but an accounting firm may also want to show that it is predictable, dependable and conventional, while a company that designs posters may want to show that it can think outside the box and produce work that is quirky or traditional, depending on the client's requirements.

Certificates displayed on the wall, such as staff qualifications or company awards, will help advertise the business. Framed news items or photographs of events or products will also project a positive image of the business, while shelves can be used to display awards. A good range of cheap office furniture can produce pleasing results, combining aesthetics and functionality. Tidy desks and files stored neatly will be appropriate for a law firm, while a table in the centre of a room with one or two projects in construction would be appropriate for a designer.

How to encourage staff

Most workers are encouraged or motivated by a smart new office with freshly painted walls, new flooring and plenty of filing space, but how long will this last? New furniture from a cheap office furniture supplier will make the office environment better, make workers more keen to win an important contract or get the new orders out early, but what else can be done to encourage them? How about pictures on the walls? There are many prints available, including those suitable for large spaces. These can be pictures of grand architectural structures or massive mountain ranges, maybe with words of inspiration added, encouraging everyone to strive for more.

Indoor plants bring freshness to a room. If they are looked after and kept healthy, they can improve the atmosphere in the office. Plenty of research has been carried out on indoor plants and it has been shown that the air quality of rooms with plants is almost always improved. Plants have also been shown to have beneficial effects on the health of people in the room; for example, there are observations of reduced sickness and also of improved mental health.

If staff don't have space to store their personal belongings, such as a place to hang a coat or somewhere to keep safe their sandwiches, wallets and handbags, then spending time in the office can be frustrating. A coat may be hung on the back of a chair, while a handbag might be tucked away underneath a desk. It doesn't take much effort or planning to make sure that all workers have somewhere for their personal belongings to be kept during the day.

Decorating an office may seem an unimportant part of getting the office up and running, but get it right and the office staff will be happier and more productive.


Andy  is interested in the impact the office environment has on the workforce and writes for a number of blogs and websites. He is particularly interested in how choosing the right cheap office furniture can improve the mood and productivity in an office.
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