From comfy couches to soft lighting; taking inspiration from domestic interiors can do wonders for your new office design.

Second to the home, the workplace is the most common place for us to spend our time, but for many that space is imposed upon them, providing a one-size-fits-all location for all people to accomplish all tasks. It’s no surprise that people are starting to hit back at open-plan office design and choosing to take advantage of mobile technologies that allow them to work remotely and from home.

Whilst studies have shown that working from home can boost productivity or make employees happier, it may actually inhibit collaboration, learning and sharing of ideas. Businesses are continually battling this conundrum of productivity versus collaboration with companies like Yahoo famously banning home working in 2013 to mixed reception. Perhaps the answer to this problem is to create a working environment that encourages the productivity and happiness of being at home whilst in an office? With this in mind, we look at what the home can teach us about office design.

A Softer Touch

Office design is about more than just desk space and floor plans, and we are seeing a growing trend for offices designed with a more homely feel. Break out spaces now have comfy sofas, cool rugs, cushions and soft lighting. By creating a more comfortable, ‘homey’ space at work you can replicate the benefits of being at home whilst bringing people into the office.

Let There Be Light

There are is no doubt that access to natural light in the workplace benefits not only work but also employee wellbeing. We need only look to a typical British home to understand the importance of natural light to people. We would rarely choose to have a living space in the home without access to daylight – so why should the workplace be any different?

The Heart of the Workplace

The kitchen has traditionally been viewed as the ‘heart of the home’ but now it’s increasingly being viewed as the heart of the workplace. They say people come together over food, and having a communal space to prepare and eat food encourages relationships, collaboration and serendipitous interactions. These, in turn, can all help to fuel ideas and innovations – a valuable commodity in the modern business world. It is also a place to work away from your primary workspace and to refuel your body and mind. It is important to remember that when you rest your mind, concentration is improved and creativity can flourish.

Anomoly creative office design with views of St Paul's
Rackspace office furniture design ideas chesterfied sofa

Financial Benefits – The Bottom Line

The two biggest cost centre’s for any businesses are people and property. Attracting the very best talent is critical to overall success and increasingly we are seeing office spaces being used as a tool to attract and retain this talent. People want to work in a nice environment with the best available tools to complete their work so investing to create a space where people want to work can reap dividends.

This can lead to greater staff retention that will not only lessen recruitment costs but may also lead to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and the development of a reputation as a great place to work, making it easier to recruit.

There are a lot of things the home can teach us about office design but the main lesson is of choice. When people can choose their homes and surroundings they will be happier, more satisfied, and want to spend time there. And the workplace is the same. If you give people the opportunity to work in a comfortable, flexible space of their choosing, you can create a positive, productive workplace for everyone.