How to Improve Your Open Office Decor

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Open office decor has stood the test of time and somehow managed to remain popular through the decades. However, just because the general idea of it still works, it does not mean that there is no room or need for improvement. Especially considering that we are still in the fog of a pandemic where social distancing is of the essence.

That said, this is not another run-of-the-mill decor blog about throw pillows and fun wallpaper. You have probably read enough of those by now. So, instead, let’s talk about more practical yet essential changes that your staff will likely appreciate. 

Let’s dive in, shall we?

The Right Light

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Fluorescent lighting has, for years, been the go-to lighting solution for corporate institutions and commercial premises. Nevertheless, given all the warnings from ophthalmologists about the importance of healthy lighting, perhaps it would be best to provide better lighting for your staff. 

One of the challenges of fluorescent lighting is that it can be too white and bright. It can make an open office space seem cold and unappealing which is not really the kind of space anyone would like to work in.

In its place, consider installing custom LED lights. They can be designed to deliver ambient lighting that is bright enough but not too harsh. You could even opt for warm lighting as opposed to unwelcoming white light. Plus, in terms of cost, LED lights are more affordable in the long run and last for ages. 

Suitable Storage Spaces

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The layout of an open office mainly prioritizes employee workspaces. As a result, most of the storage spaces that employees get are the drawers attached to their desks. This can be a major inconvenience and cause of disorder especially in professions like the law where hard copy documents are often a necessity. 

Consider setting up an easily accessible file storage room where documents can be sorted and stored. For better organization, you could use storage crates or boxes to differentiate departments or any other separation criteria that you would like to use. Try and work with a good mold manufacturer to create a compact design for such storage boxes so as to make them space-efficient. 

However, if some of your staff handle critical data or documents that require limited access, look into more advanced storage solutions. A fingerprint safe, for example, could prove ideal. It can be installed in a file room among other documents but only one or a few authorized individuals can access its contents. They are also available in different sizes depending on your needs. 

Quiet Spaces

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It is not uncommon to hear people in crowded places say, “I can hardly hear myself think.” If you have found yourself in such a situation you probably understand that some tasks require uninterrupted silence which an open office may not provide. 

It would be helpful to create quiet spaces like a library or solitary nooks where staff can retreat to when they need some peace and quiet. They may go a long way in boosting staff productivity and promoting mental wellness as not everyone can cope in a shared workspace for an entire workweek. 

If you have the space, you could also set up meditation spaces. These spaces could be large or small spaces, what’s important is that the spaces are quiet and away from hallways. If you have the budget, you could also incorporate air sanitizers or humidifiers to make the air easier to breathe. You could also incorporate warm lighting methods to create a more serene environment. You could also invest in cushions. This will provide your workers with comfortable sitting areas, and allow them to meditate to the best of their abilities.

Better Workspace Allocation 

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Many arguments can be made in favor of hot-desk systems or assigning your staff desks arbitrarily. The problem with such systems is that they are likely to undermine workflow order and create a beehive-like atmosphere. 

For illustration, let’s stick with the law firm example. Compare a scenario where all associates are arbitrarily assigned desks in an open workspace versus one where desks are assigned based on departments. 

In the first scenario, associates may have to either confer online or go across desks to compare notes. In contrast, the latter allows associates in one department to be clustered in the same area which makes conferring easy without them having to travel around the office. It would be a simple yet impactful change that could make a significant difference in the open office environment and positively impact productivity too. 

Demarcated Workspaces

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The world is still uncertain on how the Covid-19 pandemic will evolve or resolve. As such, regardless of your personal stance on the matter, it would be prudent to physically demarcate workspaces in your open office layout. 

Glass is a highly recommended option for separating cubicles as it still allows a great flow of light and does not hinder communication or the openness of the layout. It is also relatively easy to install and can just as easily be removed in the future if necessary. Just make sure that your workers will still be able to see the borders or edges of the glass panes. If the glasses are too transparent, there may be a chance that your workers may bump into them. Aside from the visibility of the glass, you could also invest in durable glass panes. Remember that accidents could happen, and some of your workers may bump into the glass panes. As a rule, you should make sure the glass you use is shatterproof.


Gone are the days where workers only considered paychecks as a prerequisite for taking on a job. Most people now also consider the safety and conduciveness of workplaces before signing their contracts. Consequently, implementing changes such as those mentioned on this list is not just about investing in better decor but improving the future of your business too. 

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