By Megan Doyle, Marketing Intern

Making employees comfortable at work is vital to create an environment that allows productivity and culture to increase work satisfaction. How each company decides to design and decorate their office space is really up to the person in charge.  Here are some of the things that I have recognized while DoubleDutch has gone through an office transition.

People want to be different

Not everyone is going to agree with the layout of the office.  Some people want to be up against the wall, in the corner, next to the window or in the middle of the room.  While everyone may not be happy with the set-up, make them happy with their own areas.  Give them freedom to decorate their workspace, whether that is picture frames or other tokens on the desk.  Careful though!  Desk clutter does not promote positive energy- keep desks fairly open.

What DoubleDutch does:  To keep things organized, we used corkboards to divide up the wall space and keep each person’s items in their own section.  Much of the staff plans on using their wall space for work-related information.  Productivity increase? I think so.  Also, the desks that we use in the office are fairly large.  The engineers use the depth of their desks for multiple monitors, but others keep plants, trinkets, or random Nacho Libre masks…to each his own, I guess.

Paint a wall!

White walls may allow for space to feel clean or spacious, but it definitely does not create warmth or comfort in workspace.   Adding color to the office adds a tremendous amount of creativity to the environment- even if it’s just one wall.

What DoubleDutch does: We created a lobby area of the office- complete with couch, pillows, rug, water cooler and a plant.  In that area, we painted the side wall a simple tan color and then threw some blue on an accent wall.  We liked that so much that we decided to paint a larger wall in the office blue, too!  It had added a tremendous amount of comfort in the office.  To top that off, our in-house designer took time to paint a cityscape mural on our large white wall.  The office went from being white and dull to being fun and colorful.  You definitely don’t have to go all out like we did – just one wall can change a lot.

Get some plant life

This is a tough one for me.  I am most definitely not a plant lover.  Here’s the compromise: find plants that don’t require too much maintenance.  And find that person in the office with a green thumb.  Even with a smaller office, someone will be willing to take on the fairly basic responsibility.  Plants add life and color to the office.  They bring the outside in, and in a place where you may be working 10 plus hour days, it will be a refreshing addition to the office.  Even if you aren’t the designated office gardener.

What DoubleDutch does: We have 5 plants in our reasonably small sized office.  Jen offered to make sure that these plants stay alive (Yes, for the office gardener!).  We have truly enjoyed having them in the office.

Do not be a hoarder (My personal favorite!)

It’s easy to accumulate things around the office and say “we could use that for…” or “what if we need it for…”  You need to make a quick decision on what’s junk and what’s not.  My guess is that it’s junk.  Less is more and that’s the truth.  While it may be true that one day you will find a use for something in the office, I’m quite sure it will be a long while until you are able to do anything with it.  Don’t keep it hanging around the office!  One of the worst things you can do for the productivity of the office is to maintain clutter.  Clear out the clutter and breath in some cleared out space.  This also helps with keeping the office clean.

What DoubleDutch does: We threw out a lot of furniture and electronics that we had no use for (or were broken).  The items had been slowly accumulating over time; a chair would break, but no one really had time to take it to the dumpster or have someone pick it up.  We took an afternoon and collected all of the “junk” we had no more purpose for, loaded it into the truck, and took it to Salvation Army.  Their volunteers were pleasant and helped us unload the giveaway items. Plus, it’s for a good cause!  Doesn’t get better than removing useless stuff from your office and maybe helping a few people out in the process.

We’re still making improvements, but we’re excited to be working in a welcoming environment.