The average person spends one-third of their life at work.  Creating an engaging workspace for your employees isn't just a matter of being on trend, it’s about maximising the experience for them so that their full potential can be released to the benefit of your company. It may sound simplistic but happy employees are productive employees.……..



Human and environmental well-being are intrinsically linked. Workspace factors that affect the health of an employee also equates to the bottom line. Lack of wellness drives up costs of health care, leads to more sick-days, and loss of productivity. This means unhealthy employees ultimately cost the company more money. I’ve been banging on about this point recently but colour is such an easy and inexpensive way to transform a space for an office re-furb/fit-out and the effect it has on your productivity shouldn’t be underestimated in workplace design. Yellow makes people feel optimistic and is a great choice for high energy, creative spaces although, perhaps restricted and used as an accent colour or incorporated into furniture because too much can make you feel angry, they reckon.

Red boosts heart rate and can keep night workers alert whereas green, my particular favourite at the moment, promotes harmony whilst boosting creativity. Blue is calming and encourages a sense of trust, communication and efficiency – no coincidence in our choice of company name……… Similarly plants are a very simple yet significant addition to a work space. Indeed, the current trend towards Biophipilic Design where plants are used to increase the workforce’s connectivity to the natural environment backs this up. Plants provide greenery that is not only appealing to the eye, but naturally calming.



A Norwegian study monitored the effects of indoor plants over several years in offices and found that they could significantly lower issues such as headaches, scratchy throats, or skin irritations. There you go. Go green and go bold. Offices have a tendency to foster sedentary behaviour. By making some simple changes like introducing some ergonomic furniture that allows employees the choice to sit or stand (note the popularity of sit/stand work stations), can foster a healthy and more comfortable office environment. Similarly encouraging small exercise breaks, introducing bike sheds and showers or even a small exercise/gym area can encourage more activity and healthier choices which in turn reduces sickness and has a positive impact on employee wellness. And if a company provides a stocked kitchen or just some complimentary fruits/snacks, the healthier and more nutritious the choice, the better fuel it offers. Junk food leads to junk productivity sounds a bit glib but it has a ring of truth to it.

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Design Flexibility

Here at Blue Fig Interiors we believe the best designed work spaces take an approach that’s multi-layered and creative. There’s an increasing trend in modern office designs to incorporate a ‘village or neighbourhood’ approach. This transforms a traditional office building into something akin to a grown-up playground that seemingly blurs the lines between work and leisure. With civic and private spaces, cafes, co-working areas, exercise areas, gaming or chill out areas and more, you really have got the opportunity to create something truly aspirational.



Also the best office layouts create a sense of collaboration and creativity by designing in some open plan spaces. No-one likes to be left out in the cold and this kind of space encourages interaction. Desks placed side by side create no physical barriers for workplace communication. Simple measures can be taken to provide a more collaborative environment. If you have removable walls between desks, taking them down can create connections among employees. We also think carefully about location of desks in relation to employee organisation, like team or departmental structure and whether it’s possible to create a more democratic environment. Are managers readily available for an employee to approach them etc?  Quiet reflection On the other side of the coin, while collaboration and inclusivity is important, there still need to be quiet areas available for independent thinking and private meetings. Some employees might not do well with constant interruptions.



Quiet Reflection

If you offer a variety of spaces for your employees to choose from, they can have a tailor-maid environment to match their needs.  When creating or re-purposing quiet spaces, they can also serve as a relaxation area. Small breaks on comfortable lounging units can be stress-relieving and offer a space for reflection, prayer or for nursing mothers or after hours yoga sessions etc. This can also boost productivity and help prevent employees getting over-stressed.




Statement pieces

Modern office design shows that branding isn’t just for customers. We’re not the biggest fans of inspirational quotes on walls because unless they are changed frequently they can end up acting like wallpaper; there but unnoticed. All those screamingly large ‘Carpe Diem’ wall signs beloved by football managers just leave me cold. But I do appreciate statement pieces that say something about your culture and values. It could be some stunningly large architectural plants or some beautiful modern art pieces or striking images of the written word on huge reams of paper or some poignant mono images or possibly Warholised images of your team members etc etc. Things which make your workplace a place of pride for everyone mean you’re more likely to have a team who are fully engaged with the company’s vision and more committed to their jobs. Equally we at BFI also believe that a sprinkling of against-the-flow furniture and accessories (ie art deco pieces in a modern setting or heavily-patinated industrial cupboards against a white background) can lift a fairly humdrum setting with their utter coolness. We offer a furniture sourcing service to create such impact. And your staff and visitors would love it too. And that’s another key reason to create beautifully engaging workspaces – it can impress all the visitors to your offices, be they potential new clients, investors or suppliers, and seriously pxxx off your competitors. And let’s not forget new recruits to the company….




Future employees

It isn't enough to have an engaged workforce, looking towards the future, companies also need to keep a healthy influx of new talent. As the natural progression of employees move on or retire, today’s new workforce is knocking at the door. These new millennial recruits as we’ve mentioned earlier are attracted to innovative workplaces. When these applicants come to your workspace, you need to charm them with the coolest office culture and setting etc – some organisations now allow their staff to decide whether or not they should get a pay rise. For your company to attract the very best candidates, the workspace environment must be collaborative, offer flexibility, and promote both well-being and value infusion. So while the workspace is imperative to your current workforce, it also equates to the future success of your company too.