Enticing Office Designs to Spruce Up your Workplace

Design ideas to make staff want to come to work

With flexible working arrangements being adopted at many companies, more employees can now decide whether to work in the office and how long they want to stay there. After such a prolonged period of working from home, enticing workers to return to the office is now one of the main challenges post COVID-19.

While many employees still favour working from home, they also admitted that they miss interacting with colleagues in the office. This has led some bosses to engage interior designers to create an office that will encourage staff members to return and regain the human connection that might have been lost amid the remote working arrangements over the past two years.

Mr Benny Chua, the Managing Director of a sports company, said, “Employees are not going to come into the office to do work that they can do at home. That was the foundation of the design of our newly renovated office. Our plan was to create more meeting and communal spaces that are comfortable and easily accessible.”

He has also not assigned permanent seats for employees and instead allocated spaces to teams working on the same projects to congregate on a temporary basis. He has found that this encourages more intermingling and better brainstorming – a key motivation for staff to return to the office.

More collaboration spaces

Other companies have opted for collaborative pods where staff working on the same project can retreat to discuss their work. Each pod may be linked to a large display screen that allows staff to interact with others who are not in Singapore or are working remotely.

Interior designers say that offices now require more collaborative spaces. In the past, nearly 70% of office space was dedicated for individual use. Today, employers are finding it increasingly necessary to make at least half of the office communal.

Break down barriers and walls

Bosses should also consider ‘opening up’ the office by removing partitions and replacing solid walls with transparent ones. This could make small offices look a lot bigger like having an open or decongested work environment to encourage meaningful interaction between colleagues.

An open-plan office layout does wonders for more than communication between workers. It promotes team spirit, which is great for morale and camaraderie, plus, it’s a simple way to make an office design feel spacious and airy. Another way is to replace partitions with waist-high cabinets or a row of potted plants. The latter adds vibrancy to the surroundings.

Legal secretary Stella Tan recalls how she grew “quite attached” to a palm-like plant near her desk in the office. She would look at it when she wanted to rest her eyes after staring at the computer screen and was pleased to see it growing new leaves.

She adds, “Then the pandemic came and we worked from home. I almost cried when I returned to office and saw that it was nearly dead. I nursed it back to health and now my colleagues call me ‘The Gardener’ as a joke.”

Colour it bright

An office doesn’t have to stay dull and formal with grey or black furniture or off-white walls. Instead, select an appropriate set of colours according to the function of the area such as welcoming hues for the reception. It is also good to apply bright hues like orange and yellow. These convey fresh summer vibes, making people feel energetic.

Complement the paint job with inspirational posters as well as well-designed furniture.

Ergonomic is the way forward

Uncomfortable furniture can reduce productivity. For this reason, ergonomic furniture makes for a good investment. Look out for adjustable pieces, such as sit-stand desks and chairs that can be adjusted to suit changing needs. Electrical wires are always an eyesore so examine the wide range of options available that stylishly integrate furniture and technology.

Put up an accent wall

If space allows, create an accent wall. It can be used to display artwork, your company’s name and logo and achievements such as awards and certifications. Spend some time researching creative ways to display these and be sure to position this accent wall in the reception area or the main meeting room where it can help inspire staff or impress visitors.

Plan for storage areas

Reducing clutter is another way to create an enticing office space. Hard copies of contracts, agreements and important correspondence can quickly fill up shelves. Some companies move these to a storage facility to free up space. Do take the time to mark the contents of each carton clearly as this will help greatly in finding the right file or document later.

Allow personal touches

Giving workers the freedom to personalise their work environment is a good design philosophy. Allow for personal expression at one’s workstation (but within reason). Ultimately, you want to create a personalised office space for your employees.

A workplace can be vibrant and uplifting at the same time – especially through excellent design. When it’s stylish, functional and comfortable, your employees will find it a joy to work there.

Remember, happy workers are generally more productive.