Here at Digital Dialogue, we have started to outgrow our current office layout and decor. We have started to consider the best way to use our space without sacrificing privacy or productivity. Like many creative and tech companies, our office is largely open-plan with 11 odd people divided into two rooms. We have the all-important ping-pong table and coffee machine. Here are some useful tips that have come up while trying to create a more productive office.
Open-plan offices have become increasingly popular in the past decade. Small tech startups to Facebook’s planned 3,400 worker office are all enjoying open-space offices. Whilst open-plan style offices can increase collaboration and reduce space requirements, recent studies have shown that they can also negatively affect productivity and stress levels. We’ve made the best of our space by grouping teams that need to collaborate together. However, keeping a conference room for meetings or a bit of quiet working time was paramount.
Plants and Greenery
Plants in office spaces have been shown to improve air quality, absorb noise and reduce stress. They also add colour and life to a working environment. Research also indicates that plants can cool and add some humidity to a room. We have a few large indoor plants and some have brought smaller pot plants in to brighten up their desks.
Whilst the open-plan layout is great for discussions and getting feedback, sometimes it’s vital to work alone and undisturbed. Lately, some of the team have been wandering off to quieter areas when they need to work in peace. On the other hand, the conference room is also used for meetings, brainstorming, conference calls and other distracting discussions. Any changes that we make must create a more productive office space.
Office decor and branding
Decor is not just a frivolous investment – research has shown that having artwork and a beautiful workplace increases productivity, decreases stress levels and reduces sickness. Decor consistent with the overall brand sends a strong message to visiting clients, but also creates a sense of community and ownership for employees. We already have a ping-pong table that every visitor to the office seems to comment on, but want to do more to show off the fun, creative and innovative company that we are for both visiting clients and for ourselves.
Cables and Cords
As a digital magazine providing digital marketing news, we are very reliant on computers and phones, so easy access to power and network cabling are a big consideration, as is finding a neat way of organising it all. This makes moving desks away from walls a bit tricky, though not impossible. There are various cable management systems, from simple cable ties to complex clips and tubes for running longer wires.
Change always takes a little while to get used to but shifting things around as our team changes will keep the design of our office fresh and relevant. We’ll be back to report on how the reshuffle works out once we decide on a plan and can slot it into the schedule.