When you think of a typical office space, what normally comes to your mind is an austerely decorated room with bare walls, dominated by cold colours, sharp edges, cool white light and artificial materials. When employees stay in a space like that for too long, it affects their mood and well-being, and hence their performance. It is therefore no wonder that the trend to design “cosy” office spaces fitted with homely accessories has been on the rise recently.
Designing new office spaces, interior designers pay attention to their functionality, but also employee comfort.
“People always strive for comfort. Whether it's about comfortable clothes or the space we reside in.” - says Anna Marszałek , Global Portfolio Manager at the Nowy Styl Group. “When I want to have a cup of coffee and relax, I will choose a boho-style coffee shop with books and comfortable sofas, rather than a crowded and noisy railway station café. When it goes for working in the office, your impact on your environment is limited, but the environment has an impact on you anyway. Austere interiors without any accessories, plants, good acoustics and lighting are not the best working environment for most people.”
There are some tricks you can use to turn a cold room without a character into a warm and cosy place. You can warm up a space by introducing warm colours and lighting, using soft materials and finishes as well as wood or bricks. It is also a good idea to have small accessories such as pillows, plants and paintings.
Changing colour patterns is a simple solution that can give amazing results. To get a cosy interior, you should opt out of cool shades and choose the warm ones instead. You do not necessarily need to make drastic changes right away, such as repainting the entire office — just repaint one wall or a part of it. Warm colours work well not only for walls, but also for furniture and accessories. If you want to warm up a space a bit without going for a major renovation, you can choose to add some cut or potted flowers, colourful decorations or pastel-hued accessories.
Light has a significant impact on space design and largely determines how a space is perceived. It is the element that builds up the atmosphere in the room. Cool, white light has an influence on workers’ mood and well-being: it stimulates and promotes concentration. It is used in offices, shop floors, workshops and executive offices, which is where employees have to focus on their work. Warm colours are relaxing and make a room seem more cosy. In the office, this kind of lighting is normally used in areas such as dining rooms and chillout rooms. Well-designed lighting with the right intensity and hue is bound to make your office more cosy and more comfortable. Good lighting design and adequate daylight in particular have been linked to 15 per cent reductions in absenteeism and increases of between 3 per cent and 20 per cent in productivity.
If you want to create a cosy office, you must not forget about decorations to warm up the space and make it more homely. Colourful paintings on the walls, soft pillows, blankets and poufs or rugs and carpets in various sizes, shapes and patterns will give your interior a truly unique character. Plants set on desks or in fancy plant stands, in vases or in flower pots, will gently enliven the office. The role of accessories does not need to be limited to just looking nice – they can have other functions too. For example, an interestingly stylized lamp can give off light that improves workers’ well-being, and colourful soft poufs will allow them to sit back, stretch their legs and relax.
Adding just a few small accessories can make your space seem more friendly and better to work in. Research has shown that for 91% of employees workplace comfort is the most important factor shaping their well-being in the office. Natural materials, interesting patterns, practical accessories, warm colours and light will make your office feel like home. A space decorated in this way will be a great place to work and meet with colleagues, partners and clients.
 Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and the British Council for Offices. (2006). The impact of office design on business performance.
 Savills. (2014). The What Workers Want report. pp. 1-16.
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