Office planning might seem like a rather simple thing to do, but in reality, it can get really complicated! Many offices out there still feature outdated office designs or designs that simply do not benefit their productivity, creativity or employee engagement.
There are, of course, stunning offices out there too, these are the ones who actually thought about the psychology behind kindergarten designs and proper reasons behind them. Following the principles and examples of kindergarten design, you can create an amazing office space that will not only show to improve the levels of creativity, productivity, and engagement, it will also manage to bring your team together, make changes and lead you to great business success.
What office planners can learn from kindergarten Design? These spaces are known for improving the social skills in children, greatly increase their creativity levels, productivity levels, lead towards a better collaboration and make them truly enjoy the visits to their kindergarten. Bright, lively, comfortable, fresh and interactive spaces are extremely important things to look at when it comes to kindergarten design. Office planners can learn a lot from kindergarten design.
While it might sound silly, our office spaces should be following the same psychology and principles of many kindergartens out there. Our offices need to have enough space, give us a chance to communicate better and motivate us to be the best we can possibly be. Who says work has to be dull and stressful at all times?!
There are many people who actually spend more time in their offices than they do in their homes. This is why more and more offices try and feel cozy as a home. It is no surprise modern office designs have been evolving towards something better over the last decade. Following strategies behind the kindergarten designs, many great companies managed to create a perfect office space for their employees. To understand how important office design really is and what makes kindergarten design so great, please continue reading.
Kindergartens Appreciate Natural Light, Offices Should Too
It would be very weird to see a kindergarten that is dark and without natural light, right? Children love the light and natural light is the best and healthiest choice after all. Offices might not be places with children, but that does not mean it should be any different. Light is often one of the things people overlook when designing an office, they often invest very little money in it and then, they get bad results. Sadly, bad light is known for causing headaches, fatigue, irritability and even depression in some people. It is extremely bad for our health to sit in an office for 8 hours and have no natural light to rest our eyes on.
Dim lights make our eyes forcefully work harder in order for us to see well, they are a reason most of the employees lack focus and motivation. Harsh lighting is a lot more common than dim lightning but it is just as harmful, it can trigger migraine headaches and makes it difficult for our eyes to focus. If your office features dim or harsh lights, please consider a healthier alternative.
Did you know that light is a key component of our vision? It is responsible for 80 to 85 percent of our perception and can greatly impact our mood, health, and vision.
Finding a way of increasing and making optimal use of natural light should be one of the most important things when designing an office. Just like you can see kindergarten children drawing in one of the brightest rooms of all, your employees should also have the same. Position your employee desks so they get a decent amount of natural light throughout the entire day. Your employees will surely appreciate the effort you put into natural light and other light sources, it will motivate them to achieve high-quality products or solutions in no time. Windows are something you can start with, they seem to affect our body in various ways, they affect what and how well we are able to see, they help us with our mood, behavior and even hormonal balance in some. Offices featuring natural light are shown to have happier workers, fewer illnesses, less absenteeism, and increased productivity.
Of course, not everyone can have a lot of natural light, some offices are not lucky enough to have much of it available but there is still artificial lightning that will turn out to be just fine. To successfully mimic some of the natural light, you can try using full spectrum bulbs, these will simulate the daylight and make your employees appreciate the decent light source. Many offices go for the cheapest lightning solution and that usually leads to headaches, fatigue, and laziness at work.
Colors Can Create A Lively Atmosphere; Kindergartens Know This
Kindergartens are probably the most colorful places out there, they are painted and decorated in a way that suits children. Children love bright lively colors, they love to see their favorite cartoon characters on the walls and they will always pick colors above anything else. Seeing how well colors work in a kindergarten, it is safe to say even us adults love to see our favorite shade of red, blue or green on the walls. Certain colors have shown to have a positive impact on us, of course, only if well combined.
Would you believe me if I told you that a spoonful of your dessert will most likely taste better or worse depending on the color of it? This same psychology stands behind your office and the colors you pick for it.
Offices and their wooden and white walls are very 80s, they were the cheapest solution back in the days. Luckily, we managed to figure out that these walls had no positive impact on our working environment and they actually made people feel a lot of stress. Figuring this out, many offices turned out to look like a rainbow, which is also bad. Finding a perfect balance with colors in your office is important, you do not want your office to get chaotic and feel unorganized! While brighter and happier colors are a much better solution and will surely make your office space a lot more lively than before, too much of them can also make it all too much to handle. Yes, kindergartens are colorful and there are not many color rules they follow, but offices are spaces filled with grown-ups, it is obvious we require a little bit of thought behind it all. Some of us might enjoy red walls and colorful tiles all around the place, but certain people will probably not feel very well in such places for a long time.
When it comes to colors, you will most likely have a great time if you get your employees involved as well. Take their ideas and opinions into consideration. You can always call a meeting and have this done, they will be happy to help and appreciate your will to have them involved. By doing this, you will not be risking to pick the wrong colors and you will be able to see the opinions of everyone, this way you will most likely end up buying reasonably good colors and paint your office the way you all had dreamed once!
Being Comfortable Is Important
Did you know that over 40% of injuries in the workplace are actually end-result of uncomfortable working positions and bad physical activity? Now that you know, it is obvious to say that investing in quality furniture is extremely important for an office. By investing a decent amount of money in your furniture, you will also make it clear that you really do care for the health and well-being of your employees. When your staff knows you care for them, they will most likely show their appreciation through motivation and great engagement!
Start with an easy strategy. Buy ergonomic office chairs for everyone and encourage good posture. These chairs are easily adjusted on-the-go and you can match the body type of the user, they also got a sturdy backrest which will most likely also boost your employee productivity. Furniture design and its quality are extremely important when creating the best office environment for everyone. Picking decent furniture for your employees and your office means you will be bringing an inspiring atmosphere and support collaboration between your staff.
To give your employees the comfort they deserve:
1. Get decent lightning all around the office, give your staff more natural light!
2. Get air filters and clean the air of your office at all times!
3. Get good quality chairs and desks to minimize lower back pain and other health issues.
4. Invest in decent monitors and make sure they are always at least 25 inches away from the eyes of your employees
5. Bring in some plants, ferns, spider plants, and snake plants, they look awesome and will bring a touch of nature into your office!
No one likes clutter and no one wants to work in it. Cluttered office spaces are showing to have an awful impact on our creativity and productivity levels. There are people who claim to feel less motivated, moody and lazy due to extreme amounts of clutter in their workplace. Many even believe that If you have a cluttered desk, your mind must be cluttered as well, which actually makes a little bit of sense right? Having an office filled with unnecessary items, papers everywhere, broken pens and no space for anything else also means a lot of stress for your employees. Giving them enough space to relax and breathe, your employees will love the environment you created, they will take care of it and gladly clean their own spots whenever it is needed.
Of course, to keep your office space clean, your employees will have to try and stay organized. One person cannot keep your entire office space clean and well-organized. Your entire staff should commit at least 10 minutes a day to keep their office space clean and decently looking. Making them do this will surely increase their work productivity and make them feel better. Thanks to Pinterest, you can find many great storage and decoration ideas for your office!
No One Likes Stuffy Places; Fresh Air Makes Everyone Feel Better
Oh, we all know the struggle of working or visiting a stuffy place. Stuffy places are usually classrooms in the summer, offices, waiting rooms and more. Kindergartens are usually less stuffy, they actually give the fresh air to the children and often have a nice scent in the air. To reduce the amount of bad air in your office, get in some plants, open your windows and set up air filters around the area. It is no surprise people simply do not feel creative or productive because they can barely breathe. While there are offices with air conditioning and air filters, it is still important to note that windows need to be opened every day! Another thing to look at is the temperature of your office space. If your office temperature is just too much for everyone, try setting your office thermostat between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no worse thing than having people change the thermostat temperature just how they feel.
To make it all even better for your employees, consider adding up some scents into the office space. There are certain scents that are proven to boost our productivity, mood, and creativity at work. Scents have always been important to us people, they can improve our alertness, reduce our error rates and boost our morale. Next time your team has a brainstorming session, put a bowl of hot water in the middle of the table and add a few drops of essential oil in. Your employees might surprise you with the outcome! While it all might sound unreal, certain scents can truly make a huge change in your office.
Did you know that essential oils actually have antibacterial properties? The essential oils may be harnessed in order to create a cleaner workplace. While scents may seem like a rather simple thing, they can actually enhance your brand values and give a feeling of premium service and comfort to your clients as well! Scents are a subtle branding channel, they are effective at very subtle levels and some might not even be aware of it.
Here are a couple of scents you might want to consider:
Rosemary is a perfect choice; it improves memory retention and simulates properties that usually fight out exhaustion, fatigue, and headaches. Rosemary goes well in the morning, it will help everyone get going, and it can also be used to relieve muscular pains and aches.
Cinnamon has great stimulation properties; it helps improve concentration and focus levels at work and can even help fight mental fatigue. While not everyone enjoys the smell of cinnamon, those who do, they will probably understand why you picked it in the first place.
Peppermint is an amazing energy booster; it invigorates your mind and promotes concentration and clear thinking at work. Peppermint is an amazing choice for brainstorming sessions and will most likely have your staff think of great business solutions in no time!
Everyone likes the smell of fresh lemons; it promotes concentration and gives us a calm feeling. When feeling angry, lemon can be helpful. While it makes us more relaxed, it also helps with sore throats and colds your employees might face.
Lavender is great for controlling emotional stress; it has a soothing effect on our nerves and relieves nervous tension at work. Many claim lavender helped them with depression as well as helped them treat migraines and annoying headaches.
Very much like lavender, jasmine is used to calm nerves; it is also used as an anti-depressant and has uplifting capabilities. Jasmine can make your staff feel optimistic, confident and filled with energy.
In case your employees dislike the idea of using scents in their office, do not panic, those who do, they can easily use cotton balls and give themselves a whiff of the scent they enjoy.
Interactive Spaces Create Friendships And A Better Business
You want your employees to interact and create a great bond that will lead them towards great business success. Interactive spaces will help you get all that, and your business will feel the improvement right away. Communicative furniture design and an interactive environment should have a positive effect on your staff and their collaboration.
In spaces allowing interaction and teamwork, your team will come up with the ideas they usually never would. It is no secret that children get creative in groups; they often want to draw the best and get praise. Kindergartens are filled with interactive spaces that allow children to be creative and create something that will make their space feel special.
You can do the same thing with your office. Give your employees large circulation areas or a new office layout, let them bring in some of their decorations and let them bring some life into their workplace. They will be doing a better job knowing they are surrounded by the things they created or they feel proud of.
Certain offices came up with a great idea, they made a blank office space, and they let their employees bring in their pets, play board games or play table-tennis. These spaces are interactive, they will help your staff bond and meet each other better. By doing this, you will spark their creativity and impact their sense of community and team. Blank office space should have no limits, it is a key element towards an amazing collaboration, innovation, and outstanding teamwork.
Aside from getting blank office space, you can also highlight the achievements of your company and your staff. Your staff does care about the work, but they are too only people outside of it. These people have families, hobbies, and friends; they surely have photographs they would like to share, achievements or interesting stories to share. Having your employees showcase their hobbies, achievements and memorable moments, they will feel a lot more lively and communicate better than ever.
Highlighting the achievements of their work success is also one of the things you can do, let them showcase their success and have them remember how great it feels. This will motivate them to do better at work and create better working relationships continuously.
Companies Who Followed The Principles Of Kindergarten Design
The following companies managed to realize their offices are their second homes. They created their surroundings in a way to inspire, and not only have four completely white walls to look at. Most of these companies are well aware of the kindergarten designing strategies, and they followed the principle in their unique way. Thanks to great creativity, effort and a lot of psychology, these companies impress with their office designs!
It is no surprise YouTube has found its way on this list. Not every office can brag about having a giant three-person slide, snack bars or miniature golf greens, YouTube offices can! If you ever get a chance, take a look at YouTube offices, their interiors are airy, bright and very open. YouTube is all about collaboration, their picnic tables, whiteboard walls, and employee-crafted art create a great bond between their employees.
Three Rings Office
This game design company makes awesome games but also has by far most creative office space you might have seen. Unlike most, Three Rings do not feature any ‘’normal’’ furniture at all. Their furniture is completely custom and unique, something you cannot buy anywhere. Tenta-couch, boat-themed couch, hidden passages behind bookshelves and interesting choice of colors is not something you can find in a regular office for sure!
Twitter’s offices are so bright and lively, there is no way their employees ever feel sad. Featuring bright colored furniture, game rooms, padded booths, and a roof terrace, Twitter’s offices are all about creativity. Large open spaces, meeting rooms, yoga studio, and break spaces are just a few out of many spaces you can find in Twitter’s offices.
Zappos is famous for its great employee engagement and creativity. Their desk decorations speak the story itself! Unlike most offices, Zappos offices actually allow their employees to move their desks however they feel like. This means giving your employees the freedom of movement. Moveable desk solutions are something Facebook headquarters were known for. Zappos offices are lively, energetic and filled with great atmosphere. Thanks to their lounge spaces and collaborative tables, Zappos employees easily connect with one another no matter where they turn.
WeWork offices have an interesting story behind. Wanting to create the space with the same level of comfort you get in your living room, WeWork came up with an amazing office design everyone adores. Their employees are not constantly looking at their watches/smartphones because they cannot wait to get out. Their office spaces are comfortable and feel very creative right away. WeWork offices appreciate the natural light more than most offices out there, take them as an example!
Netflix offices are something to take a look at, their interiors focus on the connection and movement of collaborative spaces. Featuring warm colors and varied textures, Netflix offices create a comfortable and collaborative workspace for everyone. Their architecture and design showcase a lot of light, nature, and imagination. Thanks to their light-filled meeting rooms featuring names of popular movies, their employees come up with awesome business solutions in no time.
While some of these companies feature expensive furniture and decor, it is evident that not everyone can afford the same. Do not worry, just because you cannot afford to build a giant waterslide in your office does not mean you cannot make it interactive, great for collaborations and increase productivity/creativity levels. There are many ways to bring good vibes into your office; all it takes is a little bit of creativity, thought, and understanding behind it all.
How important it is to have a kitchen in your office? Children in kindergartens surely do not cook their own food, but they do have kitchens and dining rooms. Your office should allow your employees to make their own food, buying multiple stove tops, an oven and a few counter spaces should not be a hard thing to do. Kitchens and dining spaces are often the places people strengthen their relationships, discuss their ideas and sometimes even come up with solutions for certain issues.
Should my office have a break room? Kindergartens have their own break rooms, children often rest there and refill their energy for the adventures ahead. An office should also have a break room. Break rooms are an amazing option for everyone, we all need a break every now and then, and having a break room will allow your employees to actually give their mind a rest. Break rooms can be used to relax, watch an episode of their favorite series or discuss the things causing stress at work.