With much of the population heading back to work this week after the new year, it might be time to think about an updating your office supplies. Can you even remember when you last bought new office chairs? For many of us, it was probably the start of the last decade… Not only will this help your office look modern and fresh, but can also significantly improve the mental health and well-being of employees. This guide will help you understand why it may be important for you to update your office supplies, and how you can easily do this.
Why Should You Give Your Office a Refresh?
Offices strive to produce efficiency and collaboration. While these two aims are very important, the trend towards staff well-being will continue to rise in 2020. A research report from Veitch in 2011 found that office workers spend approximately 33% of their waking time in the office. This leads to office space playing a huge role on an individual’s health and well being.
Due to this, office managers must consider the impact of the office on mental health. In return, refreshing your office supplies could encourage workers to perform better as well as have improved health.
Offices have been shown to negatively impact their workers by being dark, noisy, isolating, impersonal, disorganised, and having an artificial feel. We want to give you some fresh ideas on how you could update your office and improve these issues. This will help your employees to feel more positive, valued and productive. Have a think about what office supplies could help you and your workplace.
Lighten Up Your Office
The American Society of Interior Design discovered that 68% of employees complain about the lighting situation in their office space. You can use office supplies as well as some simple rearranging to help fix this problem. Lights being too dim or too harsh were found to be the biggest problem. Either can cause straining of the eyes and make focusing more difficult, along with other problems. The best solution is using natural office lighting when possible. A UK study named ‘The Responsible Workplace’ discovered that windows were the number one satisfying factor within an office building. In 2014, Cheung also explored the case that poor office lighting through the day had links with poorer sleeping patterns and depression.
When practical, we recommend having office desks moved near windows. If not, it will at least be beneficial to use artificial lighting which replicates natural light more than the likes of florescent tubes. Cheung suggests if natural lighting is not possible, encourage employees to spend 15-20 minutes outside each morning to regulate their sleep cycles. This should help increase productivity for office workers.
Increase Effective Collaboration With Office Supplies
Innovative collaboration techniques in business can increase productivity by 20-30%. In 2020, there will be a growing trend towards this. Virtual and augmented reality techniques are likely to play a big part in collaboration. While you may associate this with gaming, large investments are being made into creating more immersive experiences for collaborators. It is expected these techniques will quickly be adopted by industries such as architecture, healthcare and manufacturing. Collaboration with artificial bots, new visual collaborative tools, and data collaboration are just 3 more examples of fast-growing collaboration trends. With a strong emphasis on collaborative technology for 2020, it is important that office spaces can produce effective collaborative spaces where employees can easily communicate with one another and be productive. This also helps break down feelings of isolation in offices, leading to happier workers.
How To Use Office Furniture To Boost Collaboration
The way in which office furniture is laid out can benefit this collaborative trend. It is likely the growing trend towards office hot desks will continue. This allows for shared, flexible and relaxed working within teams.
Different employees in the company can share the space and use it at different times. The aim is that this will encourage innovation and generate new ideas between employees. You can easily create collaborative hot desking in your office. Arrange simple desks together into a hub, leaving them open for people to come and go between. This is also helpful for people who often work from home. They can then have chance to speak to others in the team. It is important to note that this won’t work for everyone. If an individual or team has regular tasks working with the exact same team, it can become impractical and unsettling.
Meeting rooms which are accessible for teams is another important space an office should have to allow productive collaboration. Comfortable office chairs, desks which can be shifted around a little, and large screens are essential. We like this modern design office TV stand, which will give an up-to-date and fresh look to the meeting room.
The final method for creating a collaborative office environment through furniture is encouraging your team to come up with the plan. The Journal of Experimental Psychology found employees displayed more attention to detail and information processing and management when they helped decide the office layout. This works best in a small and tight-knit team. Employees can then figure out what will be best for them and their team to increase the ease of collaboration.
Creating a Natural Environment Through Office Supplies
A study in 2012 found that white paint gives a ‘clinical appearance,’ leading to people feeling unwelcome and intimidated. It suggested that instead, you should paint your office subtle colours for a more natural feel. The image below is a great example of using an off-white paint, pops of colour and furniture to make the office space feel bright yet less clinical. Interestingly, the office furniture used in the example is very standard. The mesh chair shown is low cost yet comfortable for employees. The light coloured beech desks and white desk pedestals are also easily available and cost-efficient.
Also, incorporating house plants into your workplace can help create this natural feel. Just remember to water them, especially if you have heating radiators or a dehumidifier on! Furthermore, plants can help the office feel less artificial. Another aspect which is helpful is having a floor standing water dispenser so that employees feel they can easily get a drink and stay refreshed.
If you would rather add some pops of colour for a more exiting, fun feel to your office, you could get chairs such as these green mesh chairs below. The also come in other variations including blue mesh chairs, or orange mesh chairs.
How to Keep The Office Tidy
It is so easy for desks to quickly become cluttered. While it is important for the office to look fresh and up to date, the general morale and productivity will stay higher if everything is neat and in its own place. With disorganisation in the office being one of the key factors of negative health and well being, it is important you don’t forget about this. Have a look at some basic office supplies you could use to help with organisation.
First basic: a vacuum cleaner. Most offices will already have this, but you want to be able to quickly clean up any dirty mess. You should also keep a tub with other basic cleaning products. Think Mrs Hinch. Cleaning cloths are cheap and useful for lots. Make sure to also have some disinfectant, multi-purpose surface sanitiser and some glass and window cleaner. It may be helpful to set up a rota for completing basic cleaning desks within your team.
In terms of helping employees remain tidy, have ring binder folders for available for their documents. These are cheap and basic but important. Every desk should also have a simple desk tidy for their writing supplies, paperclips, highlighters and post-it notes to live in. If you have an organised space in the office, you will feel you have more control over the work being completed, and be more productive.
Will Refreshing Your Office Supplies Be a New Years Resolution?
We certainly hope so! By refreshing your office supplies and furniture, you not only create an updated and modern looking office, but you can also significantly increase employee health and well-being. We hope these tips will reduce the problems of office spaces negatively impacting their workers. They will prevent the space from becoming dark, noisy, isolating, impersonal, disorganised, and having an artificial feel. The research mentioned shows how helpful these elements can be for satisfying employees and increasing productivity.
While there may be some cost associated, it is definitely worth it for staff well-being. It will also make give positive connotations to office visitors. Also, Fairwayrock are great for providing the range of office supplies and furniture you will need at cost-effective prices to help further.
Comment below with your best office supplies refresh tips, and how they have helped you and your workplace!