Office environments have been proven to be crucial towards the success or failure of businesses in many instances. It is undeniable that when an office is setup to be comfortable and conducive, employees actually like to be at their office environments as much as they like being at home.
It becomes a ‘second home’ to the employees provided the office environment offers that ‘feeling’ of wanting to be there as much as anywhere else that they enjoy being. From this perspective, what renders an office environment as a second home?
Obviously the first elements that come to mind would be comfort, good aesthetics, ambience and such things, but what does these elements actually mean? First and foremost regardless of how big or small the office space is, the office must have proper lighting, lighting that doesn’t only make everything look nice, but lighting that is friendly to the eyes, lighting that does not cause eye strain and then there is the décor, which should be ‘light paced’ yet pleasing.
Then of course there is the equipment and furniture in the office that the employees utilise for 8 or more hours daily. Most people often imagine small cluttered desks and squeaky chairs and rusty cabinets and dusty shelves when the word office furniture is mentioned and this is in fact how most offices are and these types of environments are the primary reasons behind poor performance.
The role that office furniture play towards productivity is more often than not undermined by office managers and business owners as ‘bad or poor quality’ office furniture often results in employees being less productive and causes employees to play truant because of the less inviting environment of the office. In contrast high quality office furniture on the other hand has been proven to enhance productivity and even the mental and physical health of employees.
Therefore, what is high quality office furniture in general? “High Quality Office Furniture” does not necessarily mean ‘expensive office furniture’ they actually mean practical, comfortable ergonomically designed furniture that also have an acceptable level of aesthetics that are pleasing to the eye. This is where ‘office space’ and workspace design and management plays a very crucial role.
An ideal office environment is generally ergonomic from all perspectives, from ergonomic office chairs, ergonomic desks and even ergonomic cabinets and electronic equipment (keyboards, mouse etc.) that ensure the comfort of office staff throughout the day.
Ergonomics is a field of study that revolves around how the office environment is designed or modified to fit the employee and not the other way around which is the usual case in most circumstance, which is not a good thing. Sitting on a non-ergonomic chair for long hours every day for years gradually leads to back problems, and similarly extended periods of using keyboards that are not ergonomics eventually cause issues with the hands, wrists and elbows.
In summary, the ideal office environment promotes the wellbeing of employees, increases productivity and some studies even indicate a higher level of collaboration among employees in well-structured office environments.