We spend a lot of time at the office. Actually, it seems to be more and more time, so it’s becoming very important to start thinking about our workspace in a different manner. In fact, there are thorough studies that show how space truly influences our productivity and even our work satisfaction.
So today’s tendencies in interior design for offices with open spaces, natural lighting, areas that stimulate interaction etc. are not the consequence of superficial fashion trends. On the contrary, it’s a fact that furniture, noise, light, temperature and spacial arrangements are all influencing our work.
Noise, despite the fact that you might not perceive it as being aggressive and you might actually think that you can completely ignore it while focusing on working tasks, was actually correlated in a 2010 study with an increased risk for stress.
Light is supposed to be, as much as possible, natural, which means large windows and desks that are correctly arranged around them. Otherwise, artificial lighting sources (especially fluorescent tubes that are far from mimicking the natural specter) tend to impact alertness or mood in a negative way and they have also been known to cause sleep disorders.
The ideal temperature seems to be around 21,6 degrees Celsius, and each degree on the plus or minus side is associated with a decrease in performance by 1-2%.
And spacial arrangements that stimulate performance or even well being of employees should be about enough personal space, areas that allow contact (glass or partial walls between offices), open spaces that allow and encourage collaboration and ideally employees should be able to choose where they want to sit and they should also be free to change that seat whenever they feel like it.
Also, modern spaces are more and more about flexible furniture that can be reconfigured according to new needs. Companies nowadays are more dynamic and they change at a different pace, so they should be more open to change. But even if you want to stick to the classical arrangement, furniture is still the element that influences workers the most. It should be ergonomic and it should allow adjustments on different levels so that the body can have a natural, healthy posture and comfort.
Of course, the height of the desk is important, but the key to a good posture is a good office chair. What is a good office chair? It’s a chair that allows a healthy posture, so it won’t allow slouching, it will thoroughly offer support for the lumbar area, it won’t cause stress on the back, shoulders, hands and legs and it won’t put pressure on the back muscles and the spine. Here you’ll find a couple of tips on good posture, but keep in mind that, no matter how good your chair is, you’ll also have to plan breaks for moving around from time to time. There are studies that show how sitting for long periods of time comes with high risks for your health and not even regular extra physical activities can’t fully compensate the long hours sitting down at the office.