Commercial offices never seem to have a reputation for feeling inviting. Cubicles, white walls, and fluorescent lighting just don’t make things feel very warm. They’re built for function and most of the time companies are pretty happy to leave them that way. Unfortunately, having an office environment that doesn’t feel welcoming can be hard on employee morale.
Wanting to update your commercial office to make it feel more inviting isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great way to make employees feel more comfortable in the workplace and that can mean morale and production can improve. Trends in office design really have changed in recent years and refreshing how your office looks is a very popular thing to do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for used office furniture in Houston, or hoping to find some edgy minimalist looks for your office across the country there’s a design idea out there for you to try. If you’re looking for some design inspiration you’re in the right place. Here are five awesome office design ideas that will make your commercial office feel more inviting.
1. Make Use Of Area Rugs
Area rugs are inexpensive and easy to move around the office. They don’t require any major permanent changes and they can make a space feel warmer and more inviting almost instantly. You can bring color and intrigue into a room without having to do more than place a rug down.
Area rugs will cover industrial carpeting and that can make a huge difference in how the whole office looks. They can also be used to define areas of the office. If you have a reception area, placing an area rug there with some couches for your guests to wait can help define where people should be expecting to spend time in reception.
You can use the same idea to define break areas or meeting spaces. Area rugs are a low risk, high impact way to make an immediate change to how inviting your commercial office building will feel.
2. Bring In Other Light Sources
Another low risk high reward way to make your office more inviting is to bring in lighting that is more like home and less like an industrial building. Floor lamps, table lamps, or even installing hanging pendant style lighting can really warm up a space.
Fluorescent lighting just isn’t a good look for any space and it does nothing to make anyone feel welcome in any environment. It can even cause headaches for some of your employees if they spend a lot of time in the office.
You’ll probably still have to use at least some of the fluorescents in your office but you can really make a difference by bringing in lamps or other styles of lighting. Some offices even have chandeliers installed in break areas or reception spaces. It’s all up to you and how much you want to change permanently in your building.
Much like the area rugs, floor or table lamps won’t require permanent changes so you can make a big impact even if you do decide to skip installing new lighting fixtures for now. Your employees are likely to appreciate the more welcoming environment you create no matter which route you go with this one.
3. Bring A Little Outside Inside
You can make your office feel a little less standoffish by bringing in elements of the outdoors. Whether you decide to do that by placing plants strategically around the office or by doing something more creative like installing a skylight or floor to ceiling windows is up to you. The benefits of bringing the outside into your workspace have even been studied.
A Stanford University study found that walking outdoors on a treadmill vs walking indoors on one resulted in 81% of the participants having a higher increase in their creative thinking output after being outside.
Another study by the University of Utah had similar results, showing that workers who had outdoor elements surrounding them were able to be more productive and solved more creative thinking puzzles than participants who were not around natural environments.
These studies were both done to determine how bringing the outdoors into a work environment may improve creativity and production. As you can see, both have determined that elements of nature really do make a difference. Not only will your work place feel more inviting, your employees are likely to get more done during the day. It’s a win for everyone involved.
4. Pops Of Color Are A Great Idea
You can add in pops of color on the walls or in your office furniture to make things more exciting. You don’t have to paint your entire office electric blue, but you can focus on accent walls in meeting rooms or break areas.
You can also source your local art community to see if anyone is interested in painting something like a mural in your office. If you have a very large blank wall sometimes a mural can make things feel a little less cold and sterile.
Your employees are also likely to enjoy the idea of supporting your local community in a way that improves their work life as well. It doesn’t have to be anything that will be extremely distracting, but changing up the otherwise white walled atmosphere really can do a lot to make your office feel less drab.
5. A Grand Entryway Could Be The Way To Go
If you’re going to make permanent and expensive changes, an entryway that stuns and wows is the first think you should think about. If the first thing everyone sees in the morning is a grand entryway that has features that make them think “wow” no matter how many times they see it, it instantly puts them in a better mood.
Making an entryway that welcomes people into your building puts them in the mindset of getting ready to be productive and creative. It will help people distinguish work time from other things they have going on in their lives, and it will just make your office look better overall. If you’re going to go big with your office design change, this is the place to start.
Photo credits: eOffice