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Inspire creativity with your new workspace

Staying productive in the office can be difficult, especially if you aren't in a productive work environment. Dealing with outside noise, bright lights and other distractions can seriously affect your work, so it is imperative that you give yourself every advantage in the workplace. Interior office design isn't always easy, and you may feel a bit overwhelmed if you've never tried to redesign your office space before. A good work place should combine both form and function, and contemporary office design isn't always easy to visualize on your own. Fortunately, there are several easy and effective ideas that can turn any casual office into an efficient, organized and comfortable work environment.

First of all, it is important to make your office inviting but not distracting. Don't bring superfluous electronics or other items that could hinder your workflow or tempt you to procrastinate. Keep all electronic toys and gear away from the office so you don't get easily distracted. Electronics not only serve as an unwanted diversion during work hours, the LED screens and ambient lights emitted by tablets and smartphones suppress your body's melatonin, which can disrupt your internal biological clock. With prolonged exposure to LEDs and soft "white light," efficiency decreases while fatigue increases. This can have effects on your productivity and work; so don't allow spaces to cater to mobile device and other accessories.

Likewise, try to incorporate natural and indirect lighting into your office design plans. Windows and other sources of natural light have a positive effect on employees, which in turn creates a happier and more productive work place. A study published in The Responsible Workplace reported that reputable office design companies in London found that windows proved to be the number one factor for employee satisfaction in the workplace. Naturally lit work environments experienced a decrease in absenteeism as well as improved health for workers; so don't underestimate the influence of organic light!

Try to choose colours that will make your office come alive. Often businesses choose to paint their offices in neutral tones that are inoffensive but also a bit bland. Frank Mahnke, author of Colour, Environment, & Human Response concluded that certain colours and tones unknowingly evoke specific responses from human minds. For example, harsher shades of red imply hostility and aggression, while yellows stimulate the mind and comfort the body. White is an easy choice because it is neutral, but neutral colours do not increase productivity like brighter yellows and warmer hues. Always be very direct and intentional when choosing your office's new colour palate; it could have serious ramifications for your company's overall work ethic and environment.

If your workplace still feels dull and needs a little life added to it, put potted plants and other easily maintained vegetation throughout your office. Uninspired commercial office design is doomed to kill creativity and happiness in any workspace, so liven things up with a little bit of greenery. Dr Chris Knight of Exeter University has studied the effects of plant life in the workspace for over ten years and his research has yielded some interesting results. Just as animals living in cages or other forms of captivity flounder without vegetation, people also lose energy and motivation without plant life and other forms of nature around them. Dr Knight's studies indicate that employees are 15% more productive in work environments that have a few plants scattered about. Next time you are planning a new interior office design, don't forget to bring some plants along to inspire creativity.

In addition, don't forget to have pictures and artwork in your office that can inspire you during your workday. Remember, less is more, so you shouldn't overcrowd your walls or desk with a plethora of photographs or memorabilia; however, studies have shown that a meaningful image or motivational phrase can help immensely while working. Choose whatever image comforts and inspires you and put it in a clearly visible location. This also works with larger offices as well; so don't forget to install motivational images throughout your business!

Ergonomics is a real factor to consider when planning your new office space, and you will want to be sure you use furniture that is both comfortable and effective. Choosing the correct office chair and desk may seem like a simple task, but you might want to think ahead before making any purchases. It's a good idea to actually try any furniture you are considering using in your office before you buy. You should examine height, surface area, potential workflow and convenience before you buy a desk or chair that you will use for the coming months. Studies have shown that ergonomics are directly linked with employee productivity and happiness. Also, proper facilities can reduce risk in regards to musculoskeletal disorders developed within the workplace. Office interior designers in the UK found that approximately 1.1 million people in Great Britain suffered from MSDs caused by work. With a little forethought, your ergonomic furniture could save you time, money and physical pain!

You may have found the perfect office interior designs for your new work place, but it will make little difference if you can't keep it clean. Cleanliness and strong organization are paramount for any office to succeed, and you should equip your new work area with the right tools to keep everything tidy and well regulated. Keep rubbish bins nearby to reduce clutter around your desk and encourage recycling. Also, don't forget to have adequate storage for both personal belongings and work related items. Half-height roller racks are a great way to introduce new storage areas into any small office, or large filing cabinets can easily help you organize all of your documents in one place.

Finally, if you are able, consider dividing your workspace into "zones." Having designated areas for specific tasks, such as work, socializing and relaxing can really keep your mind focused on the job at hand. Stepping out of your work "zone" and into a social "zone" can have dramatic effects on the brain, and studies have shown that when certain rooms or areas are linked to certain tasks workers perform much better. If you are feeling stressed, you probably won't feel comfortable relaxing at your desk. On the contrary, if you are able to step away and gather your thoughts in a new environment, you will be much less tense when you return to your designated workstation.

Interior office design may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be stressful. If you think ahead, you can create an office space that is both comfortable and efficient. With the right resources and a little planning, your new office can be the ideal work environment for you and your employees.


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