A recent study has ranked Australians amongst the most overworked people in the world. Yikes!
Despite people spending on average, an incredible 2,000 hours per year in their offices, it's surprising how bland our offices can look.
Plus did you know everything from the colour of the office, to the layout, style, colour and brightness, can affect your mood and productivity?
So how can you jazz up your work space a bit?
Sergio Pires and Jacqui Esdaile, Head of Design at Valmont, has these tips:
Bring the outdoors, indoors
"Think outside the box and get creative. At Valmont, we're huge advocates for environmental and sustainable fit outs. One of the ways we like to do this is by using modern planter boxes as dividers on top of storage units. Another strategy we have used is the creation of 'living' walls (planted walls in offices, which provide a fantastic healthy working environment by increasing air quality and oxygen, as well as creating a more holistic and pleasant workspace."
Let there be light
Sergio believes greatly on the benefits of a bright office: "Natural light impacts greatly on people's energy levels, positivity and concentration and so it's really important to ensure your office has plenty of windows to inspire and brighten employees moods and improve overall productivity. When implementing an office fit out we always try to utilise the natural resource of light as it can make areas appear larger and even reduce demand on energy, thereby helping improve the workspace's green credentials. For Calibre Global's fit out we structured the enclosed offices internally and placed workstations on the outer edge of the building, enabling the office layout to take full advantage of the natural light available. Simple stratregies to implement, yet they are extremely effective."
"Every workspace should include a social area, where colleagues can meet internally and brainstorm ideas", notes Sergio. "A workplace should inspire creativity yet, all too often, colleagues spend their days staring at a computer screen. Creating break out areas enables employees to clear their head and talk through challenges or issues with fellow colleagues, helping to improve collaboration within the workplace."
Deciding on the colour of an office is not a decision to be taken lightly. Pantone, the world's renowned authority on colour, notes how colour can "stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness" (http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone), and so it's important to get the right balance in your office.
Jacqui comments: "When looking at colour for an office, we generally recommend lighter hues to make an office look professional, clean and non-intimidating. However, this does not mean an office needs to looks clinical. Where we may paint a muted shade, we would always break it up and add some personality to the workspace by adding bright prints, and quirky furniture (often in the company's colours) into the mix to make the colours really 'pop' against the blank canvas. We also like to create statement walls in offices to add a bit of fun to an office interior."