Green devono wordmark

How To Turn A London Office Into A Creative Workspace

Are you a business owner wondering how to design your London office space to increase employee productivity? In this blog you will find a practical guide on how to make the most of your office space, for it to be a place you and your employees will be happy to work in.

A well-designed office space can help to boost employee motivation, building a positive and productive working environment. The furniture, accessories, light, and even the size and layout of the space itself can make a big difference in whether your employees can work to their highest potential or not.

Additionally, businesses should try to create a clutter-free environment as it helps to maintain a calm atmosphere where there are fewer distractions so that employees will find it easier to focus.

It is particularly important for start-up businesses to make the most of their office space to be able to adjust accordingly as their team grows. For example, they should use effective techniques to maximise storage space, such as fitting floating shelves or vertical cabinets, which will allow more room to add extra desks when required.

To help you write a fit-for-purpose office design brief and achieve a creative office space that suits your business’s needs, read our guide below.

1. Plants

Man working near plants in office

London is an urban jungle consisting of concrete and many tall buildings, broken up by very little greenery. So, to help your employees escape their urban surroundings, consider filling your office space with plants and flowers.

The vibrant colours of office plants will also provide your employees with relief from technology, such as laptops and computer screens. Small plant pots on desks and hanging baskets in windows can quickly turn a boring office space into a stylish and inspiring environment.

There are other benefits to having plants in the office, which include:

  • Improving air quality – Plants are effective air cleaners, which they do by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They also remove toxins and dust particles, helping to make the air fresher. Cleaner and fresher air can increase brain activity, improving employee performance and decision-making skills.
  • Reducing anxiety and stress – Plants help people to feel calm, which can boost their mood and help them to feel less lethargic. Most people are naturally drawn to nature, finding solace when they connect with other forms of life. This is why biophilic design is an approach that many designers use when creating a calming yet inspiring working environment. The word ‘Biophilia’ originates from the Greek word ‘Philia’, and it means ‘love of life and living things’.
  • Segregating office space – A plant partition can effectively provide a visually appealing room divider without the need for a permanent structure. Plant partitions are particularly beneficial in an open-plan office where an extra level of privacy is required, such as for breakout spaces or meeting areas, to effectively absorb sound.

Lastly, not only will they improve the visual aspect of your working environment, but buying plants for the office is relatively cheap, so it is an effective solution if you have a tight budget.

2. Natural light

Modern office interior with natural daylight shining through, and businesswoman on the phone by the window

Another area that falls under biophilic design to connect employees with their natural surroundings is an effective approach to help incorporate natural light.

Ideally, you should try to rent an office that has plenty of windows to let in natural light; however, since London is such a built-up area and popular amongst businesses, renting a space that has natural light may not be an option when offices are being quickly snapped up as soon as they become available.

Of course, not all businesses require natural light in their office. The industry of the business and the tasks that employees need to complete will determine the light that is needed.

The benefits of natural light in a working environment include:

  • Allowing eye relief from bright computer screens – People are advised to take regular breaks from their computer screens to help avoid eye strain and tiredness. By providing natural light, businesses can help to relieve employees from the fluorescent light used for most electrical devices.
  • Boosting Vitamin D levels – Exposure to regular sunlight allows people to absorb Vitamin D, which has many health benefits as well as helping to regulate mood and decrease the risk of depression.

There are many ways to bring natural-looking light to an office space where there are limited, or no, windows.

For example, you could:

  • Invest in daylight-imitating lamps – Pools of warm, artificial light will help to create brighter areas around a windowless office.
  • Hang several mirrors – Provides a surface to bounce light around the office space.
  • Use light-coloured paint for your office walls – Reflective colours include white or pastel shades, such as duck egg blue or shortbread yellow.
  • Decorate with reflective accessories – Choosing accessories that have a reflective surface, such as brass plant pots or metallic-looking vases, will also allow light to bounce around the office space.

3. Artwork

Business office with artwork in the background

Most businesses want to express themselves, showing who they are and what they are about to the world. A lot of businesses also want to encourage creativity in their employees.

A simple way they can achieve both of the above is through the use of office artwork.

In a working environment, artwork helps to:

  • Reduce stress – Artwork, particularly those of nature, can help to calm a person and restore their mental energy, which, in turn, reduces stress.
  • Boost creativity – Interesting art or photographs can provide a welcome distraction, allowing the brain to temporarily daydream, recharge, and refocus with fresh and innovative ideas.
  • Emphasise brand values – The type of art displayed in a working environment can tell a lot about the business’s values and ethics. Company values underpin the aims of the business, ensuring that all are working towards a common goal and help to build a positive culture.

Additionally, by placing pieces of art around your office space you will turn a blank wall into an interesting focal point, particularly if you display the work of a local artist, which will help to add character and relevance to the piece. It will also demonstrate that you are supporting local businesses.

4. Breakout space

Employees enjoying their lunch break in the office breakout space

Breakout spaces are areas that allow employees time away from their desks. It is an area that is less formal than a working environment, enabling employees to relax and recharge on their breaks.

More and more businesses are desiring office space that has breakout spaces as they understand the huge benefits that come with them.

The benefits of breakout spaces in an office include:

  • Provides a change of scenery for employees – A break away from the working environment can invigorate employees, which will help them to think in new ways.
  • Encourages better time management – With a breakout space, employees will have a better understanding of when their break starts and finishes since the areas where they work and relax will not be merged.
  • Promotes physical exercise – Sitting at a desk all day can have physical drawbacks on employees, so a breakout space can help in this area, encouraging employees to move around and get the blood flowing.

A working environment that only has desks and chairs for furniture will usually only inspire boxed thinking, whereas breakout spaces take employees away from that, allowing room for more creative thinking.

As previously mentioned, tall plants can be used to provide a breakout space by dividing the office space into sections. To help create a breakout space, you could also:

  • Segment the office space with bookcases – Similar to plants, bookcases will help to create a private area where sound can be absorbed.
  • Add comfortable seating areas – Sofa and beanbags will encourage employees to properly relax, so they will be more invigorated, physically and mentally, when they return to their desks.

DeVono has a portfolio of serviced offices that are available to rent, including London offices with breakout spaces.

We hope this guide on creative office design has given you ideas that you can implement within your office space to help boost the happiness and productivity of your employees.

Additionally, contact our workplace design team for further advice on how to create your perfect office space.

Enter Your Details To Download

How To Turn A London Office Into A Creative Workspace

First Name*
Last Name*
Company Name*
Phone Number*
Email Address*
Subscribe to quarterly market insights and latest information on the office markets.