It can be hard to keep your focus surrounded by beige cubical walls, harsh fluorescent lighting and a desk filled with just boring office supplies. But if an office changes up its décor, it could help employees focus better and boost productivity. Here’s what Millennials say can help immensely in decorating an office environment.
Candles and Pleasant Scents
While this will have to be tweaked perfectly so that it isn’t overwhelming, the scent of citrus fruit has shown to be linked to increased focus and work efficiency. Infusing the office with a subtle citrus scent could keep employees alert and focused. If you have a more isolated office or work from home, burn a citrus candle at your desk. In a cubicle, try a more delicate approach, like a gel bead air freshener that would limit the smell spreading to others.
Bring in Some Color
The bland color of the office could be causing feelings of sadness and depression in you and other employees. If you’re the boss or have the power to petition your boss, try and see if the office could be painted blue or green. Blue is a great productivity color and has a calming effect. Green also helps workers to be calm and efficient, while also helping them avoid eye fatigue.
If you can’t get a change in the whole office, decorate your area with these colors and other accents. Accent your cubicle with blue, green and other colors that you personally are drawn to. Yellow is universally regarded as an optimistic color, so a couple instances of that can really help perk up those bland walls—and your mood.
Decrease Outside Noise
Busy streets, sounds of traffic and people having outside conversations can really mess with employee focus. Loud noises and hearing other people talking are distracting and take attention away from the task at hand. Curtains could be used to limit sounds a bit from coming through outside walls and moving furniture around is always an option as well. As an individual employee, you could bring in noise cancelling headphones, too.
However, if you really want to decrease the noise, consider insulating the walls. Making insulated, thicker walls means increasing the R-values, helping employees by eliminating the ability of outside noises to reach their ears.
Increase Natural Lighting
A recent study revealed that 68 percent of employees complain about their office lighting. If that many people are so displeased with the lighting that they took the time and effort to complain, it indicates that it’s a big workplace problem.
The artificial lights that plague most office spaces are too often unbalanced, being either too dim or too bright. Dimness makes employees drowsier, less focused and can cause headaches by straining to see. Harsh lighting causes the eyes to have trouble focusing and is a trigger for migraines. None of these side effects lead to productive employees.
Increase the natural lighting wherever possible. If you have blinds, open them up. Natural light provides Vitamin D and boosts employees’ moods, as well as making it easier to see. If you have an office where people often work when it’s dark or if it’s lacking natural light sources, light bulbs that mimic natural light are available, as well as light therapy devices.
Keep Employees Comfortable
In an office environment, employees are sitting in their desk chair for a good majority of the day. It’s not going to help them focus if their chair is uncomfortable or they’re unable to position themselves in a good distance from the computer.
Office chairs should have good lower back support, fit the employee’s height so that they’re able to touch the ground and not cramped, and the eyes should be level with the center of the computer screen. There’s no one size fits all for an employee chair, so make sure the office has ones that are adjustable and able to fit a variety of body sizes and shapes. If possible, allow employees to bring in their own chairs that they know are right for them.
As an employee, bring a cushion or pillow to make sure you’re positioned correctly and have back support. Bring in a stool or footrest if your feet aren’t in an ideal position. Ask your boss if they have risers to adjust the height of your computer screen, or see if you’re able to bring something in to boost it up. The less worry about comfort, the more focus on work.
Decorate with Plants
Plants have numerous benefits in an office environment. They bring some bright color and nature into the workspace, as well as decreasing stress, increasing air quality and boosting productivity. A study showed that in a workplace with plants, as opposed to one without, the employees in the one with plants came up with more ideas and innovative solutions to solve problems in their jobs.
A few décor changes could go a long way in helping employees become more productive—and happier—in the workplace. A couple small changes could mean a great reward for everyone in the company.