Interior Design for the Mind: Defining Space, Lighting, and Artwork for the Workplace
In Part 1 of our series, we discussed how first impressions and color choices are critical for your business space. Now let’s examine how furniture, lighting and artwork affect the psyche.
Beyond color, furniture can play an equally important role in establishing mood in the workplace. In essence, furniture is more than a place to complete a task. It also should match the task and be a positive influence for motivation and collaboration.
Ideally, a workspace is a mix of open areas that invite teamwork and private areas for more focused work. In either case, it’s important to consider a few basic ideas:
- Furniture selections should be adaptable, flexible, and ergonomic. This is why modular furniture and designs are so popular. Even walls can be movable so they can adapt to changing work demands!
- Creative spaces tend to be ideal for circular desks and tables that curve, while more formal environments lean toward straight lines.
- Lighting is not a one-size-fits-all design element, which is why many companies allow employees to control their own lighting. In addition, sunlight, and soft, indirect lighting can all have a place in creating the right mood in the work space.
- The floor plan should not only have a sensible flow, but it should also provide a balance for group work (the open space), focused work (traditional office space), and areas for impromptu breakout sessions (an alcove with comfortable seating, lighting, and a power source).
Don’t forget the break room
When designing your office space, don’t overlook the break room. Your staff will de-stress and unwind here, so it really shouldn’t be an afterthought. In fact, it’s a chance to get your employees involved in the design process.
- Colors should set this place apart from the rest of the interior. This will help employees feel like this is their space.
- Artwork shouldn’t be posters of company policies, which can have the opposite effect of instilling them inside your employees. Work with your interior designer to interpret your mission, vision, values, or policies using color, space, and flow to make employees feel them. Instead, try something that celebrates local artistic talent ─ or even artwork created by your staff.
- Avoid cafeteria-style lighting. Instead, create a space that looks more like a local café, with comfortable seating, soft lighting, books, and games, which will help relax the mind and make the space feel less, well, like work!