Design an Office Space and Boost Morale Using Natural Materials

Natural Office Design Trends Arcadia Wordsmith Cart

Want to go natural in the office? Smart move. Let’s look at the natural office design trend and how it helps benefit your office!

Bringing nature into the office boosts overall morale and helps workers be more productive. But how do you connect the office space with the great outdoors?

In Southern Californias urban sprawl, we see evidence of natural beauty all around us—from the mountains forming a backdrop behind downtown LA, to the coast, and to the national forests. Dont forget the sun. A few years ago, the Harvard Business Review referred to natural light as the #1 Office Perk.

Its one of the elements that should be part of every companys wellness program.

Light

Sunshine is worth harvesting indoors, especially since downtown LA gets about 290 total days of either full sun or partly cloudy skies, according to most estimates. Benefits of sunshine are proven to reduce employeesstress and improve their natural sleeping cycle.

If its possible, enlarge windows to maximize the amount of sunshine that can filter indoors. Try to have desks and workstations within 25 feet of windows and use center spaces for storage equipment or break areas. Install skylights or sky tubes.

What happens if your office is in a windowless setting?

Advice in CareerTrend says to upgrade your fluorescent lights to a color “’temperature’ that mimics daylight and use focused task lighting to reduce eye strain.”

Regardless of the setting, consider using translucent partitions for cubicles and space dividers instead of solid walls.


Photo: Loftwall Hitch Space Divider

Fabrics and Materials

The most basic of all building materials remain popular. Wood has environmental benefits. If sustainably sourced,” says a UK design company, Insightful Environments, wood is one of the most environmentally friendly materials available as it is infinitely renewable and acts as a carbon store, giving it an important role in reducing carbon emissions.”

Pine, oak, and beech are three types of wood that can be effectively used in the office. So can bamboo, a grass, which is a beneficial plant for a variety of uses. It can be used as furniture and grown in pots as space dividers.

Bamboo also absorbs carbon from the environment and releases high oxygen levels into the atmosphere.

You can use wood in strategic ways. Light-grain wood floors can help lighten the office environment, even if little natural light is available.

Use natural fabrics for upholstery like cotton, leather, and wool or wool blends. Hemp is another natural fabric choice thats described in Better Homes and Gardens as feeling similar to canvas and its resistant to mold and mildew.

Lounge seating has options with natural-looking fabrics like the OFS Realm Lounge Seating. There are fun ways to customize it like adding wood to the curved armrests.


Photo: OFS Realm Lounge Seating

Walls

Imagine natural elements on your walls with rocks, wood, and plenty of greenery. Check the Nevins Bio Canvas Frame that not only brings natural elements into the office, but it helps control acoustics, too.


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas

Get Naturally Inspired

See these elements coming together in 2010 Office Inspirations The Green Office page. Notice how greenery and light are fused to create a welcoming environment.

You dont have to shut the door on nature when stepping into a corporate office.

Use furniture with natural fabrics and natural wood.

It doesnt have to take a huge budget to green up the surroundings. Real wood shelves filled with pleasing office plants are an easy way to start.


Photo: OFS Obeya Architectural Structure

Re-imagine cubicles or meeting spaces with office design solutions like the OFS Obeya Architectural Structures. Its made with plywood cores and real wood grain details, and a great way to incorporate natural office design trends to your office.


Photo: Arcadia Delen Table

Need meeting tables or a breakroom surface? Check the Arcadia Delen Table thats available in different shapes with solid Ash and Walnut wood finishes.


Photo: Arcadia Livia Bench

The Arcadia Livia Bench has a classic look and comes in both straight wood beams and scalloped wood. Optional removable seat pads can be easily added.

Remember This …

No matter how little or how much sunlight or other natural materials you have in the office, keep an orderly environment. Everyone will think better and feel calmer when their work environment is organized, clean, and orderly.

Heres an idea from The American Society of Administrative Professionals. Choose a day each quarter when everybody cleans and organizes their personal office space and another day when you team up to clean common spaces.

Freshen Up with Natural Office Design Trends

What do you need to improve your office environment and workflow? How do you incorporate natural office design trends successfully?

Get input from the team at 2010 Office Furniture. Theyve got more than 50 years of combined experience furnishing and planning spaces for clients who are among Southern Californias most distinguished corporations, universities, and small businesses.

Theyll show you how to keep employees engaged and promote their overall well-being.

Contact them with your questions and potential project needs.

Read Also: Designing a Healthy Office
Main Photo: Arcadia WorkSmith Cart
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia Contract, Loftwall, Nevins and OFS

How to Create an Experience-Driven Office Wellness Program

An effective overall office wellness program goes beyond checking blood pressure and office exercise to fight work-related illnesses or weight gain. Let’s take a holistic look at making an experience-driven employee office wellness program that’s right for your office.

Office Wellness and the Ambiance

Provide value to your employees in the same way that you offer value to potential customers and existing customers.  Look at the overall atmosphere in the office and find ways to make large or small improvements. Provide an espresso bar and baskets in a break area filled with healthy snacks like granola, fresh fruits and vegetables.  Natural lighting has been proven to boost morale and is a desirable perk. Maximize the flow of outdoor light and green up spaces using indoor plants. In our tech-heavy world, a connection to nature becomes more important than ever for an overall sense of well-being.  Bottom line: create a satisfying and nurturing experience that your employees will love.

Office Wellness and Workspaces

Give employees the freedom to work where they’re most comfortable, or to stay put in one place. An office design should bring out the best in people so they can be as productive as possible. Structure and habit work well for some while other staff may like more of a free-range office concept.  There are now a huge variety of desks and chairs that are available to meet a variety of needs. It’s possible to have assigned workstations and more flexible areas where someone can move to and work.  Don’t require someone to sit in one place and work on coding or do market research. If they’re achieving what they need to do, and they have the furnishings to support their work then let them take responsibility for their outcomes.  All in all, provide an atmosphere that keeps stress to a minimum and rewards quality.

Creative an Office Wellness Program

Find ways to integrate wellness into daily work. Do postings on an attractive cubicle partition or architectural wall that encourage fitness and good health.

Food is a major ingredient in a person’s approach to wellness.

  • Post recipes of easy-to-make salads.
  • Arrange employee discounts with local stores on produce and organic lunches.

Exercise is another key to staying healthy.

  • Set aside an area that’s no more than 8 feet by 10 feet and have an exercise ball and free weights.
  • Install a treadmill.
  • Post pictures of favorite walks and hikes that employees like to take.
  • Bring in a personal trainer once a week to give ideas and answer questions on topics like staying in shape despite a busy lifestyle.

You’ll see that an investment in a holistic office wellness program will yield to a payoff that will translate to a healthier, happier and more productive company.

Read Also: Create an Office Wellness Plan for Optimal Thinking
Main Photo: OFS Brands Eleven Wood and Obeya Booth
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS Brands