Emma Morley is Founder at interior design agency, Trifle, based at Pill Box in Bethnal Green, which has worked on projects for business-card maker, moo.com and sports agency, Octagon.
Morley says, “Space is not just bricks and mortar, it’s a powerful asset to any business. You can have some very radical impacts on the way that companies work and how staff feel about the place they work at.”
Connection to nature is a long-proven reducer of stress.
Emma Morley, Founder at Trifle Creative
Hard surfaces can be softened with a few soft chairs or a rug, and soft furnishings like drapery are useful to conceal distracting office mess. A good chair can make all the difference to how well we work; Morley recommends an ergonomic chair to support the back.
The right kind of lighting can also impact our mood; swap harsh, white light for cosy warm lights and small table lamps. One of the best – and easiest – tips is to add a plant or two to the office. Research from Washington State University shows that plants can noticeably lower workplace stress and enhance productivity.
Morley says, “Connection to nature is a long-proven reducer of stress, plus plants help freshen the air by producing oxygen. Particularly good mood boosters are anthuriums, Kimberly ferns, Chinese evergreens, golden pothos and mother-in-law’s tongue, also called snake plant.”
For a more radical way to encourage quiet time, consider buying an off-the-shelf phone booth. The Shoreditch Phone Booth from Meavo is equipped with noise insulation and an interior felt lining made from 100% recycled polyester. It even comes with a power socket and a bar stool. Prices start from £1,999.
However, simple things like providing healthy snacks and filtered water can also make a difference to our wellbeing. Make the time to tweak your environment to boost your wellbeing, and work that bit better.
Natural light not only makes us feel good, but also boosts our health. Sunlight helps our brains release the hormone serotonin, which is a natural mood booster associated with feeling calm and focused. Low serotonin levels are associated with a seasonal form of depression. Try to catch a few rays every day to keep your serotonin topped up and help your skin generate vitamin D.
Workspace’s business centres are designed to make the most of natural light. Metal Box Factory in Southwark has a large atrium that is flooded with sunlight on a sunny day, attracting people to its worktables for informal meetings. Edinburgh House in Kennington has the added benefits of very high floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby area, which means that customers are spoilt for sunlight.
John Robson, Asset Management Director at Workspace, says, “People are drawn to natural light. It offers a feeling of refreshment so we know if we put a sofa there, people will use it. It gives that feeling of space."
Try filling your space with as much natural light as possible, along with Emma Morley's DIY design tips to boost productivity and improve mental health in the workplace.
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