File image: IOL.

Great offices are not merely well decorated and thoughtfully designed, but also have a profound effect on workers’ productivity and their sense of wellbeing. 

Richard Andrews, Managing Director of Inspiration Office, an Africa-wide office space and furniture consultancy, said:”It’s one of the main reasons why there’s a trend the world over for companies to make over their boring and old furniture by including stylish, pleasing chairs, couches and desks which is transforming utilitarian, drab spaces.” 

Here’s how great office space can enhance productivity in the work place:

Boring furniture will make you lazy - and bored

Being surrounded with boring furniture, individuals oftentimes lose interest in work and lead to a drop in productivity  “Even if we don’t think dull workplaces impact productivity they do by creating a subconscious listlessness that is associate with dreary surroundings, “ Andrews said. 

Vibrant colours bring enthusiasm

Lots of offices are choosing furniture and fittings in bright colours. “Bright colours assist in lifting a person's mood. It's a good way to alleviate stress, as well as increase productivity,” said Andrews. 

Standing desks making your healthier

Several studies have discovered a link between the amount of time an individual spends sitting and her or his odds of developing diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. 

For example, one 2010 Australian study, discovered that for every additional hour participants spent sitting on a daily basis, their overall threat of dying within the study period (7 years) increased by 11%. 

Said Andrews: ”A 2012 study discovered that if the average person in America decreased her or his sitting time to 3 hours a day, life expectancy would increase by 2 years.” 

Keep it clean, and orderly 

“Cleanliness and order are very important factors for an office that feels good to work in,” noted Andrews. “ A disorganised office deprives workers of the enthusiasm and send a message than sloppiness is OK.”

A clean and orderly office, helps to keep workers comfortable and productive. 

Fixed spaces for handy items

A good idea is to  always keep things in their place, as well as keeping them handy.

“Often workers put off their work because they need to get up and go to an additional place for finishing the task or wonder around trying to find something like a stapler. Keeping items handy won't just speed work up, but it also makes you more productive,” said Andrews. 

Where possible let the daylight in 

“We all know the uncomfortable feeling of being stuck in a windowless room under fluorescent lights during daylight hours,” said Andrews. “Lack of natural light has profoundly negative effect on people’s health and therefor productivity.”  

In a study titled, Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life, researchers at the Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago, reported that the detrimental impact of working in a windowless environment is a universal phenomenon. 

It concluded that there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers' sleep, activity and quality of life. 

“Employees who did not have windows reported reduced scores than their counterparts upon life quality measures associated with vitality and physical problems. Also, they had poorer outcomes within measures of overall sleep efficiency, sleep quality, daytime dysfunction, as well as sleep disturbances,” Andrews added. 

Furniture installed by Inspiration Office is created in South Africa by AngelShack. It is German designed but locally produced to international standards. All furniture is VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds such as adhesives and dyes) free, made from sustainable material and coated with anti-microbial finishing. 

AngelShack is one of the first companies in the world to apply this anti-germ technology.