How to Improve Your Office Space for Happier, More Productive Employees

Posted by Jason Wyrwicz on May 9th 2023

It’s no secret that an employee’s working environment affects their health and well-being. A messy and cluttered workplace negatively impacts any individual, both mentally and emotionally; it increases the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body, which can then increase one’s risk for developing various physical ailments, from simple migraines to heart attacks. Chronic stress also decreases focus and makes employees less productive, impairing their concentration and memory.

Keeping your office environment clean isn’t enough, though. Innovative office design is essential to the modern workplace for a variety of reasons. When spaces are designed and laid out better, they can encourage collaboration and communication between staff members. Beautiful workplaces also boost workplace morale while improving productivity and making employees feel more motivated to come to work.

Whether you work from home or manage an office, below are a few tips that can help improve your working environment:

Add touches of greenery

Greenery is one of the cheapest, yet most powerful, design elements that you can incorporate into any workplace. It provides much more than an improvement in aesthetics; studies into the long-term effects of plants in the office showed that having greenery around employees significantly increased their satisfaction in the workplace. Productivity can increase by up to 15% just by installing a few plants around a previously barren space.

How else does the presence of plants contribute to a happier, healthier workplace? Extensive research on the subject shows that indoor plants provide much-needed relief to stressed-out employees and aid in mental recovery by bringing in that distinctly natural element. Employees feel calmer and more relaxed when there's greenery around to look at as opposed to staring at blank walls.

Many people also view plants as fully alive beings with thoughts and feelings of their own. You can look towards how a solid chunk of the population started gardening as a hobby throughout the lockdowns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic to prove that this much is true. In an office setting, employees view the plants around them as friends, boosting their sense of personal accountability.

Finally, though scientific literature has shown that indoor plants decidedly do not purify the air in a standard work environment, the perception of them being able to do so is there–and that is still important. This perception makes people feel more engaged, refreshed, and ultimately, happier while going about their day.

You can easily incorporate plants into your workplace with tall narrow planters from our catalog here at Pots, Planters & More. A tall narrow planter is the perfect addition to any modern office design, with its slim and minimalist profile. This makes them perfectly unobtrusive, blending seamlessly into their surroundings while still providing all of the benefits of having plants indoors. Additionally, our tall narrow planters are available in a wide range of colors and designs to suit every office aesthetic.

Set the right temperature

Opinions vary on what the perfect office temperature is. After all, people perceive it differently. However, there is definitely a link between the temperature in any work environment and the productivity of the employees in it. Finding the right balance is the trick to ensuring that work gets done and that your employees’ output doesn’t get affected.

Traditional wisdom dictates that the temperature in the office should be kept between 70°-73°F. However, this number was determined when a majority of employees still wore suits and jackets to the workplace. Now that more offices are encouraging a more casual office culture, as well as the rise of women coming into the workforce, the ideal office temperature should be much higher.

Research on the subject shows that the best workplace temperature can be anywhere between 71°-77°F. This range, of course, should be adjusted depending on the area of the office, as well as its position in the building. Those who work on a high floor may be subjected to more sunlight, which makes for a significantly hotter office. Cooling needs, therefore, need to be taken into account for such an eventuality. 

Invest in good lighting

Lighting is yet another important design element that can dictate an employee’s energy level, mood, and overall productivity. Too dim and it will make people feel tired; too bright and it creates a harsh glare that can make it harder to focus.

Let’s start with the standards for lighting set by the U.S. General Service Administration. The organization sets the minimum standard office lighting for all businesses in the United States, and states that every normal workstation should receive 500 lumens per square meter. To put that number into perspective, a standard desk lamp makes use of a 60-watt bulb that produces 800 lumens.

Natural light is best in almost all situations, and choosing lighting that can mimic the conditions outside is vital. Keeping the windows open during the early hours of the morning will allow sunlight to stream into the office, helping employees feel more awake and energized. As the sun goes down, the light should get dimmer and warmer, which helps workers stay focused.

Here at Pots, Planters & More, we’re committed to creating a healthier and more harmonious work environment with you. Choose from our wide range of indoor and outdoor planters for your office now.