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Just like how we choose the environment that surrounds us at home, the environment that surrounds us at work heavily impacts how we work and how productive we are. Office furniture is one of the easily fixed, yet commonly overlooked, facets of our workday.
The average employee spends eight and a half hours in their work environment five days week. That is a huge amount of time to spend in an environment you feel uncomfortable or unhappy in. Poor furniture choices can result in poor productivity and even employee losses when those negative feelings begin to build dramatically. Instead, business owners need to greatly consider how office furniture impacts their employees and thus their businesses.
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Office Furniture Tone
The ancient art of feng shui was taught with the intent of finding balance within the environment. If we take this idea, we can match it to the feelings that employees get from their own office supplied furniture.
For example, if a person is revolted by the color green, but they are forced to have a green-walled cubicle, it is no surprise that they would become unhappy. For instance, say a person had back problems and they were forced to conform and use a ball chair perhaps. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were extremely unhappy.
It is the business owner’s job to ensure that their employees are comfortable in their second home. If that means painting over the brown wall and removing the leopard skin couch, then bring on the bright paint.
In reality, these ideas are broad, and probably would not fit within a company’s dynamic. Instead, between color theory and neurological connections to color, every company is able to create a suitable environment for their employees. Particularly in the case of furniture. Offices have already begun to update and adjust their furniture. New, high quality, office furniture has made a huge impact in the changing of office culture already.
Office Furniture Design
Furniture designs are created with a particular personality in mind. They are signifiers of style and taste and messaging when combined with businesses. They impact the employee’s sense of self-worth, as well as their ability to do their job.
The furniture you pick is of huge importance. Since the company that picks the leather chairs may lose more employees than the company that chose the web-backing chairs. Break rooms and communal spaces are also important places to consider furniture in. For example, a love seat may be nice for a dining room. However, it may potentially be lawsuit inducing for the company.
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We know already that your furniture can impact the productivity of your employees. But, the details until now have been fuzzy. The idea is comfortable office furniture, organized, and clean environments will impact your employees. The addition of plants and sunlight also improves work habits, just as the addition of ergonomic chairs, keyboards, and mice. Indeed, the company must show investment in their employees for them to remain comfortable and productive.
These comfortable ideas can be mimicked in colors. Especially since bright colors have stress reducing qualities. Bright colors tend to increase enjoy and productivity, but they can also be overwhelming and distracting when done incorrectly.
The placement of a bright colored wall is good, and the placement of a set of bright chairs away from that wall is better. Add in splashes of bright colored paintings between the two statement areas, and there is going to be some increased productivity.
John Ofield of Rosi Inc., a top manufacturer of office furniture in Houston, suggests to “sit with the furniture you like most for a while. Sit in it, look around, check work email on your phone, and notice how you feel. This feeling will carry over to your office. So, you need to be sure you like how it feels before you buy it.”
This is the best piece of advice for an owner looking to buy for the office. However, always remember that you should buy for the majority and offer other options for those people who are not comfortable. This is one of those cases where inclusion means comfort for every employee, and that comfort needs to take precedence over other systems that are at play. The survival of a company may depend on the adaptation of a better office set, since it is what the employees want.
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