If you work in an office, chances are you spend a lot of time there. Some of us even spend more time in the office than we do at home. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial, but in today’s workforce, it isn’t always a reality. 

So, it makes sense that you would want certain office perks and a relaxing and comfortable environment. But where do you start? And how do you ensure that the office space you create is enjoyable for everyone? 

There’s no set manual for turning a lackluster space into something more enticing for your employees. While you don’t have to aspire to Google or The Wing office spaces with slides, mini-golf courses, and beautifully curated furniture and decor, there are some specific things you can focus on that will ensure you have the perfect office space to get the job done.

1. Open Space

A cramped workspace is not fun for anyone. While it doesn’t have to be overly spacious, gone are the days of little cubicles and compartments that make employees feel stressed, restricted, and like they’re in a confining cage. Open up the area so you and your staff can enjoy the space freely and move around without the constant fear of bumping into desks and filing cabinets. Also, an open office space makes for more open and easy communication. 

2. Lighting

Lighting is one of the most critical aspects of any office environment. Lack of lighting can affect your productivity and energy levels, so it makes sense that there should be plenty of light surrounding the work area. Natural lighting is best, but if you don’t have that, then make sure there is ample overhead lighting in the office to avoid any dull or poorly lit corner spaces. Opt for blinds over curtains, so your staff has more control over the amount of light and shade. And if the natural light in your office is really great, build a vibrant indoor plant garden. Having live, indoor plants add to the overall aesthetic and provide a calming element to any space.  

3. Color

The paint on your office walls doesn’t have to be all eggshell, white dove, pearl, cream, or cotton. A pop of color on an odd wall or two can enhance a work environment and make it more conducive to productivity. Consider accent walls to brighten up the area. Clever use of color can also open up the room and make it seem larger than what it really is. And color isn’t only applicable to your walls. Try using colorful office furniture, chairs, or tables to add some life. 

4. Heating/Cooling

Ensuring you have a comfortable climate in the workspace is essential for happiness and productiveness. A lot of offices are either too hot or too cold, and it can upset the comfort balance and disrupt healthy workflow. Double-check that you can turn the temperature up or down, or at the very least, can add space heaters and fans, to warm up and cool down as necessary.

5. Connectivity

This is an absolute given, but every modern office requires an internet connection. Having areas where your team struggles to get online will not help anyone and will eventually prove to be incredibly frustrating. If your team can’t get on client calls or set up remote meetings, how will you function properly? Confirm that you have an adequate internet connection throughout the entire office space, so employees don’t have to be wandering around the building in search of a corner just to send an email.

6. Décor

While décor may be low on your priority list, and dependent on your budget, even the simplest of objects can have a considerable effect. Consider well-placed artwork or prints on your walls to break up large expanses of wall space, an interesting sculpture or statue to act as a talking piece, and a plant or two to add some variety to an otherwise lifeless area. 

7. Kitchen/Dining Space

A kitchen furnished with the basic commodities can come in handy. Make sure that you equip the kitchen with a toaster, microwave, kettle, and coffee maker. Also, take care to have a never-ending supply of tea, coffee, water, and snacks (if they’re in your budget) to keep your employees hydrated and nourished. You also need to ensure that there is a clean space to eat, so your employees don’t feel like they have to stay at the desk the entire time they are at work. 

8. Amenities

You might want to consider a lounge area with a couch or two to encourage socialization; this way, your employees will feel like they can take a break at their leisure or chat about a particular project away from the confines of the desk environment. Also, don’t underestimate the versatility of a large-sized meeting or conference room with plenty of whiteboard space for brainstorming.

9. Ergonomic Furniture

While you may wish to keep a tight rein on your purse strings, ergonomic furniture is essential for your staff. All desks and chairs need to be fully adjustable, without exception, so that they are comfortable and well-suited to each staff member. This will help minimize injuries such as RSI, sore backs, and stiffness. A quality functional office chair that can support their lower back and maintain perfect posture will make your staff happier too.

10. Electrical Outlets

One area which is often overlooked in the office is a plentiful supply of electrical outlets. Verify there are ample outlets to avoid draping extension cords from one end of the room to another. Not only can this hinder your workplace activities, but it can also pose serious health and safety risks. When in doubt, more electrical outlets are certainly better than less.

Creating a space that your employees will enjoy working in doesn’t have to be difficult. Just focus on what is important and when in doubt, ask them personally how they believe you can improve the area, so it is more beneficial for them. At the end of the day, you want an environment that will inspire them to be motivated and creative, and your decorating and layout ideas can play a huge part in making that happen.