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How to Boost Happiness in an Open Office

Lean or minimalistic offices have gotten a lot of bad press. Workers have complained about the lack of privacy and the increase in distractions while trying to work. When an office doesn’t have any decor and the employees are all put in the same office with only an “open plan” in place, it can be […]

Lean or minimalistic offices have gotten a lot of bad press. Workers have complained about the lack of privacy and the increase in distractions while trying to work. When an office doesn’t have any decor and the employees are all put in the same office with only an “open plan” in place, it can be difficult to be productive. However, this doesn’t mean all open offices are destined to fail. Instead, there should be added comforts, such as private work areas or an office plant service, to bring basic comforts to workers.

Millennials, in particular, have noted they would take a lower salary if offered a better work environment and work-life balance. Company culture is expressed more through the aesthetics of the office space than many managers and owners realize. An open floor plan can lead to more collaboration or it can mean a dissatisfied staff, depending on how the space is handled. There are a few considerations that can help lower the costs with an open floor plan while still giving employees the basic necessities for daily work routines.

Privacy Barriers
An open office space allows employees to interact frequently and quickly, which is great for collaborative tasks. However, sometimes it can feel like living in a fishbowl. Having barriers that block direct views of screens or small pieces to put barriers between desks can lower the fishbowl effect. If there are shared desks, blocking off the direct view can help workers feel like they have their own space.

Further, having designated areas as private workspaces can help during difficult tasks. Allowing workers the choice in privacy can help facilitate better work attitudes and lower the feeling of being on display. The office environment becomes much more manageable when workers are able to frequently communicate while having their own space to work in.

Add Greenery
An office plant service can bring life into an office. Plants have been shown to reduce stress, clean the air, and heighten happiness in workplaces. In fact, it has been found there is a 38% reduction of fatigue, a 44% reduction in anger or hostility, a 58% reduction in depression, and a 37% reduction in tension or anxiety for workers that utilize office plant design with indoor plants. Design has a strong impact on mood, so adding something full of life from nature inherently boosts mood and productivity.

It has also been shown that plants boost creativity. Best of all, they can be incorporated in a way that increases privacy in the office but in a more aesthetic, less barrier-creating interior design solution. There are plenty of plant varieties to choose from, making it easy to find plants that fit the interior spaces that work the best for each office in consideration of design, installation, and maintenance, along with minimal levels of plant care.

Take Suggestions
Each office is different. Depending on your staff, having more healthy snack and coffee options could help boost morale. For others, having holiday decor and artwork will help foster creativity. In some groups, the company culture of an open office simply doesn’t work. However, listening to your employees is the best way to figure that out. If employees feel the best way to become more productive is to embrace the old ways of cubicles, maybe they’re onto something.

In some cases, your workers may want cubicles but there could be another solution. Having a meeting where they can express why they want something, rather than only talking about what they want, can lead to a solution that works just as well for management. Perhaps only allowing music on headphones or having quiet areas can address these daily issues. The only way to find out is to listen.

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