When designing your office, you have to consider not only the look and feel of the decor, but also functionality and brand identity. Every part of your office should provide a functional purpose within the space available. Consider what your business does, who your employees are, and what each of them need in order to get their job done right. These factors will help you to ensure that the area is utilitarian; however, you must still consider design features.
You want to ensure that your office is pleasing to the eye while still representing your brand identity. Regardless of your industry, you should have a clear sense of brand that is visible in every aspect of your organization – across all marketing materials and media sources as well as in your workplace itself. Clients and employees should immediately recognize your brand message in all aspects of your organization and how it distinguishes you from your competitors.
Window treatments are capable of letting in sunlight or blocking it out entirely, and in an office environment, there are different situations which lend themselves to either of these options. Light levels are directly related to productivity as well as office moral. A study by Alan Hedge, a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell, found that natural lighting in an office environment reduced symptoms of eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision by 84 percent.
“The study found that optimizing the amount of natural light in an office significantly improves health and wellness among workers, leading to gains in productivity,” said Hedge.
Lighting can affect an office work-space in three particular ways: vision, mood, and morale. Each of these factors contributes to the overall productivity and should be considered when making a decision regarding window treatments.
First and foremost, light levels in a room can affect one’s vision. A room can be too dim, making it difficult to read paperwork, or it can be too bright, creating a glare on your computer screen. Either situation can result in a headache and decreased productivity. Shades or blinds can be adjusted to provide the right amount of lighting in a work-space, giving workers control to let in enough light to allow them to properly see what they are doing, but not blinding them with excessive glare from the sun.
Window treatments are also effective for reducing the effects of computer vision syndrome (CVS), which is known to produce symptoms like eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes. CVS, which is also known as digital eye strain, is a group of eye and vision-related problems resulting from prolonged computer, tablet, and cell phone use. By reducing the glare associated with direct sunlight, you can protect your eyes from strain. Window treatments also allow you to direct the light so that it illuminates the room without getting into your eyes.
Natural light can affect emotions and our energy levels. Natural light is known to reduce signs of depression and actually make people feel happier. Studies show that exposure to bright light decreases sleepiness and increased alertness. It can also affect areas of the brain associated with executive functions, which are processes that relate to managing yourself and your resources in order to achieve a goal.
Natural blue light, which has a short wavelength and a high amount of energy, is linked to our circadian rhythms. Opening up the blinds will let in more natural light, energizing your employees and boosting productivity.
The window treatments can improve moral of your employees. Not only are they a beautiful aesthetic to the work-space, but they also give your workers control over the various lighting possibilities. Having the ability to open the treatments and let in more light gives employees a greater sense of freedom in the office. They can connect with nature by leaving the shades open, or they can close them to allow for greater privacy from those outside.
The style and beauty of your window treatments offer an added value to your workplace. Business owners shouldn’t overlook the potential for representing your company brand through the aesthetic appeal of your window treatments.
Color and material
The color and material of your window treatments should not only match the style of the room, but also the tone of your brand. For instance, draperies can represent elegance, while bamboo shades give off a relaxed, yet stylish, feel. The colors of your interior can resemble that of your brand to maintain continuity across all media and into your workplace.
The value of your window treatments may unintentionally reflect your business standards. If you skimp on the cost of your curtains, you may not only end up with an inferior product that lacks the functionality required of office window treatments, but you may end up sending the wrong message to clients.
It’s not necessary to reach the other end of the spectrum with elaborate, gold-trimmed velvet draperies. However, the perceived value of your window treatments should be taken into consideration, particularly as they will be viewed by potential clients.
Take into consideration the style that best suits your organization – both in a concrete manner, like the office boardroom, and in a figurative sense, such as the company brand. For instance, solar shades, which filter out harmful UV rays from the sun, reveal your concern for the health and wellness of your employees. Sleek motorized blinds can represent a company that is advanced and modern.
With all this attention to style and brand, it’s easy to forget the general need for your window treatments to be functionally effective. Most people think that all treatments are the same in regards to purpose, meaning each can act as a decorative element that can provide shade from sunlight and privacy from unwanted onlookers. However, there is a wide variety of shades, shutters, blinds, drapes, and cornices which can offer a myriad of functional benefits.
You never know what the future may hold, so it’s a good idea to choose window treatments that offer the greatest span of capabilities. For instance, you can include shades that fold vertically under drapes which open horizontally. A layered option is also effective in offering natural light when fully open, slightly filtered light through slatted blinds or sheer curtains, or total darkness when complete privacy is needed.
You should consider the possibility of motorized blinds in your workplace, particularly for executive offices. These window treatments can be activated remotely, allowing busy managers to easily adjust the blinds without interfering with their work pace. Not only does this represent appreciation and understanding of the intense schedule of your upper executives, but it also shows that your company is on the cutting edge of modern advances, from those sleek new computers to the window treatments on the wall.
Window treatments can also offer financial savings in the form of energy efficiency. In the summer, you can close the blinds to shut out the sun, preventing the interior of the office from overheating and decreasing the air conditioning unit’s running time. In the winter, closing the blinds or drapes can provide a layer of insulation that keeps the heat in your office from seeping out. You’ll see significant savings on utility bills when properly utilizing your window treatments.
In some cases, you may need access to blackout shades. Meetings in the conference room will never be the same with room darkening shades which prevent glare on PowerPoint presentations or other presentations. Blackout shades also provide next-level privacy to prevent onlookers from accessing sensitive information.
Overall, options for choosing office window treatments run the gamut from design and style to functionality. There are a lot of considerations to take into account when decorating an office setting as compared with your home, so remember to research the best options for your company brand and the efficiency of your employees. When done right, your workers, visitors, and clients will all notice the extra effort invested in finding the perfect window treatments for your office interior.