There's been a major rise in work-from-home setups over the last few years, and creating strong home offices is naturally a more common topic as a result. Many people still go to the office five days a week, though, and the inverse theme is becoming more popular among these folks as well: Making the office space feel a bit more like home.
At Urban 9-5, we offer everything from office desks and seating options to quality office rugs and many other items that help improve the feel and aesthetics of any space. When working with clients who want to give their offices a more homely feel, both for themselves and their employees, what are some of the themes and concepts we typically recommend? Here are a few to consider.
Accents and Details
Much of what makes a space feel like home comes down to the little nuances and details. In an office, this might manifest as art on the walls that's personal and not just generic stock photography, or perhaps some fun and unique office supplies. Adding a few personal touches to your office can go a long way in making it feel more inviting.
Down similar lines, encourage employees to bring in a few items from home to make their desks feel more like their own. This could be anything from photos to plants to coffee mugs. It's these little things that often have the biggest impact in making a space feel more personal.
Guest Seating and Comfort
Making an office feel like home often relates to themes of relaxation and comfort. After all, your home is likely the most comfortable place you spend your time, so it stands to reason that you'd want to bring some of those comforts into the office.
One way to achieve this is to focus on guest seating and common areas. Investing in quality furniture for these areas, as well as adding personal touches like blankets and throw pillows, can make a world of difference. It sends the message that you're not just focused on function, but also on making people feel comfortable in your space.
Where possible, there should also be a strong focus on employee seating and comfort. This is their home away from home, after all, so they should have everything they need to be comfortable. Ergonomic furniture and adjustable desks are a great place to start, but small touches like footrests can also be helpful.
Plants and Greenery
Another great way to make an office feel more like home is to add some plants and greenery. This not only looks great, but it can also help improve air quality and make the space feel more natural. If you don't have a green thumb, there are plenty of low-maintenance options available that are perfect for offices.
Some of the best plants for offices include things like Peace Lillies, snake plants, and pothos vines. These are all relatively easy to care for, and they don't require a lot of light or water.
Incorporating some greenery into your office is a great way to make it feel more inviting and home-like.
Rugs and Floor Themes
It's tough to make an office space feel like home if every floor surface is a hard, cold material. Adding some rugs is a great way to help with this, and it can also add a bit of personality to the space.
When choosing rugs, look for something that's comfortable and inviting. A plush rug in a common area can make it feel more like a living room than an office, and that's exactly the goal. You can also use rugs to define different areas within your office, which can be helpful in making the space feel more cohesive.
Other Visual Accessories
While many of the furnishings in your office will naturally be present primarily for practical reasons, that doesn't mean there can't be a few visual accessories as well. These might include things like wall hangings, sculptures, or even just interesting desk lamps.
The goal here is to add a bit of personality and life to the space. Even something as simple as a colorful vase can make a big difference.
Ensure Good Lighting
One theme that's vital for both employee comfort and practicality is lighting. Poor lighting can cause eye strain, headaches, and a general feeling of unease. This is the last thing you want in an office, so it's important to make sure you have good lighting throughout the space.
There are a few different things to consider when it comes to office lighting. First, you'll want to make sure there's plenty of natural light coming in. This can be achieved by adding windows or skylights, or by simply rearranging furniture to make the most of the light you have.
In addition to natural light, you'll also want to make sure there's plenty of artificial lighting. This should be bright enough to adequately illuminate the space, but not so bright that it's uncomfortable. A mix of overhead lighting and task lighting is often the best approach.
Smells, Sounds and Other Senses
These may not speak to furniture in every case, necessarily, but they're still important factors in making an office feel like home. Soothing scents can help people relax, and pleasant background music can make the space feel more inviting.
You may also want to consider things like the temperature of the space and the level of humidity. If it's too hot or too cold, people will be uncomfortable, and that won't help the homey feeling you're going for.
Making your office feel like home is all about creating a space that's comfortable and inviting. By incorporating some of these ideas, you can make a big difference in how your employees feel about coming to work every day.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our industrial office furniture and how we'll help with this pursuit, speak to the team at Urban 9-5 today.