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Small space, big ideas:
Office revamping
16 February 2017

You don’t need Google’s massage room or a giant slide to make your office a place your staff will enjoy working in. Reinvent your workspace with these budget-friendly tips:

Private space

Although more offices are adopting the open office concept, research shows that this might be counter-intuitive as the lack of cubicles increase distraction in the office.

TIME magazine reports, “open-plan offices are generally associated with greater employee stress, poorer co-worker relations and reduced satisfaction with the physical environment.” i

Another study concurred that in an open office environment, “benefits that are often associated with open-plan offices did not appear: cooperation became less pleasant and direct, and information flow did not change.”ii

That doesn’t have to mean shifting back to stuffy cubicles. Take your cue from well-furbished offices like Singapore’s AirBnB which has a mix of open and private spaces for different work requirements. Consider sectioning off a private room for distraction-free working.  You could also install one or two enclosed sofas for a comfortable, fun alternative that cordons off distractions.

Elevated workstations

Height-adjustable desks could also be a worthwhile investment as they allow staff to alternate between a standing workstation, and take a seat when they would rather rest.  

A standing desk is not just a change of pace, it has been proven to reduce chances of back and neck pain, burn calories, and most importantly increase productivity by up to 46%iii.

This is a benefit that Facebook Singapore capitalises on, describing standing desks in the office as “a must”.

Writing’s on the wall

Why limit yourself to regular white board when your whole office can function as a creative space? Cover your office walls with chalkboard or whiteboard paint, so brainstorming can be done anytime, anywhere. Consider using the walls in common spaces for regular office updates and schedules, to keep staff in the loop. 

 

As a bonus, this solution is more eco-friendly than a traditional whiteboard, which emits high amounts of carbon dioxide during production.

 

Whiteboard and chalkboard paint can be found at Candy Paint Asia.

Add a spark of life

Go green with a few plants in the office. Plants are statistically proven to come with a slew of benefits. 

Apart from creating a more conducive environment, office plants reduce stress and can even cut absenteeism by halfiv.

Some of the most office-friendly plants are Spider plants, which improve indoor air quality and the Chinese Evergreen. You can also opt for the Peace Lily, which is easy to care for.

Note that the Peace Lily is toxic to cats and dogs, a fact that is becoming more pertinent to modern day offices. More businesses are becoming pet-friendly, given pets’ ability to reduce stress and foster better communication. If an office pet is too huge a commitment, encourage your staff to bring their own pets from home occasionally.

 

As the growing millennial workforce prioritises an enjoyable, fulfilling working environment over traditional aspects like high pay, businesses are creating more welcoming workspaces to boost morale and inspire creativity. If your office space permits, consider implementing other features like a games corner or simply deck creative images around the office. A little can go a long way in sparking productivity. 

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