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7 Tips for Office Decoration

Last Updated: December 9, 2021

7 Tips for Office Decoration

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The functionality and appearance of your office space is important to your creativity, efficiency, and overall well-being. Since you spend so much time in your office environment, improving this space has many benefits. If you’re like most people, you can’t change everything in your office and you may be limited in what you can do. However, there are simple ways to update your space to make it more pleasant, increase its functionality, and give you a boost each day. These ideas will help get make your office space perfect for you.

Lighting

According to a 2018 study released by the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell, people who work in an office environment lit by natural daylight have a significant reduction in headaches, blurred vision, and eyestrain.

Increasing the amount of natural light improved not only health and wellness, but productivity as well. Workers in the study reported an 84% reduction in eyestrain, a 10% reduction in drowsiness, and a 2% increase in productivity. While that increase may seem small, multiplying that over a year and over the number of employees can quickly add up to a significant amount. According to the author of the study, Dr. Alan Hedge, “It is clear that placing [employees] in office spaces with optimal natural light should be one of the first considerations.”

It’s easy to see that having access to natural light is a good idea for an office space. But what if you don’t sit near a window? Consider using natural light bulbs or a light therapy device on your desktop. There are several styles to fit every type of use, from large light boxes to those that can sit on your desktop. The stronger the intensity, the less you will need to have the light on during the day.

Color

Nothing brightens up a small office area like color. Color has a unique effect on humans. In fact, a study in Journal of Experimental Psychology notes that certain colors have a real effect on productivity in the workplace. They found that saturated bright colors tend to stimulate, and softer muted colors relax and soothe. But both help with stress reduction and result in an increase in productivity and creativity. You can’t beat a pop of color to help brighten your mood.

Again, you may be limited in the ways that you can alter your workspace and repainting may not be allowed. But you can introduce color with accessories or art. If you have furniture in your office, like armchairs or a sofa, you can add a pillow or two to add a spot of color.

Nature

A unique experiment was conducted by scientists at the University of Exeter to analyze people’s output in different types of business spaces. Simply adding a plant to the environment increased productivity by 38%, boosted the participants’ sense of wellbeing by 47%, and increased creativity by 45%. The lead researcher of the study, psychologist Dr. Craig Knight, commented, “The experiment indicates that plants, in a well designed and personalized office environment can boost business effectiveness through improved staff productivity and creativity.”

magazines and plant on a table and artwork with artwork on the wall
Photo by Tanya Santos on Unsplash

Plants in an office environment improve the air quality. Plant-filled rooms contain between 50-60% fewer bacteria than rooms without plants. Houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins within 24 hours. This results in fewer coughs and colds and a reduction in fatigue. Plus, plants add a burst of color and beautify the space. Place plants in individual office space and common areas for the most benefit.

Furniture

To add some interest to your office space, you may be tempted to get some trendy pieces, but make sure that you pay attention to their ergonomics—a fancy word for the efficiency of people in their working environments. This is especially important for the furniture you use the most, like your office chair and desk. Proper ergonomics improve productivity by making you feel better. You are less likely to suffer from neck strain, back pain, arm and wrist fatigue, and headaches.

An adjustable chair, footrest, and wrist supports can make a big difference in your comfort level, too. An adjustable standing desk can offer you the ability to move from sitting to standing during the day.

Office furniture can brighten up a space and make it more inviting. Be sure to keep a professional look as you add pieces. While you probably can’t ditch the conference room chairs and table, you can create warm collaborative spaces in your office environment with the addition of a sofa, comfortable chairs, and a functional worktable.

An open floor plan might seem appealing, but surprisingly, it can lead to a decrease in employee communication and collaboration. Social science researchers have found that employees in offices with a lot of open space regularly look for ways to separate and work independently. This leads to a habit of separating, which is the opposite of the intended effect. In fact, offices with only open space result in a 70% decrease in face-to-face interaction. The best choice is a combination of personal separate spaces for employees with ample space for open and collaborative work.

Organization

While a little clutter can spark creativity, research says extensive clutter increases stress and inhibits productivity and focus. Too much brainpower is taken up with trying to find what you need to allow for maximum creativity. And it slows you down too. A survey of American workers finds the typical unorganized employee wastes up to $4,800 per year just trying to locate important paperwork.

a modern office setup. computer on the table screen says "do more"
Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

In addition, a study conducted by The Princeton Neuroscience Institute reveals your brain struggles to figure out what to focus on when you have more things in your sightline leading to more distractions and less productivity. Letting papers, files, equipment, and even trash pile up leads to a less safe work environment and stress. It sends a message that you are not as professional as you should be.

These days, it is easy to convert much of your paper clutter to a digital format. Cloud storage is readily available and helps reduce the clutter in your workspace. Switching to a calendar app and a digital to-do app helps eliminate your desktop, and personal calendars and planners and reduce your need for all those sticky notes on your desk.

Noise

Finally, one of the best ways to improve your office space is to cut down on unnecessary and distracting noise. Again, the more open your office space is, the more noise you’ll be dealing with, from people coming and going, to fellow employees making phone calls or having meetings. While being annoyed with excess noise may not seem like a big deal, annoyed employees are stressed and aren’t able to work to their full potential. Employees report they are less satisfied with their job and suffer from reduced employee morale in noisy office spaces. In fact, a 2013 study from the University of Sydney found a lack of sound privacy was the biggest frustration reported by employees.

There are simple ways to improve the noise environment in your office space. These include adding some carpeting or a couple throw rugs, some wall partitions or acoustic wall panels, improving insulation in your office space, and introducing more plants to the environment.

Have designated quiet spaces, too. Noisy office equipment can be placed in smaller, set-off rooms to control some of that type of noise. It may seem counter-intuitive, but try using a white noise machine to reduce the distraction of office noise. Ambient noise played in the background helps reduce the effect of room noise. If all else fails, invest in some good noise-cancelling headphones when you need a break from the noise and chatter.

Final Thoughts

If you do have the ability to remodel your office space, you have an advantage. Each of these areas of improvement can be included in a remodel of your office environment. If you want to undertake a full remodel, include painting to add color, get new and improved furniture, install noise-reduction features, and update organizational solutions. Replace hard noisy flooring with carpeting in some areas, add some windows to increase natural light, and set out lots of plants and interesting art. With a full remodel, you can improve employee happiness, productivity, creativity, and reduce stress in the workplace.

If you plan on remodeling yourself, follow these guidelines for DIY remodeling.

About Monica Mayhak

I am an expert content writer with a depth of experience in the waste management and dumpster industry, with over 25 years of experience writing about construction, home improvement, property management, and education topics. As lead research writer for Discount Dumpster, I have expanded my knowledge and understanding of waste management, construction, and environmental issues over the past several years.

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