5 Office Design Strategies to Make Employees Happier

Interior designers and business owners alike have been experimenting with office designs that cater to the employee. One example would be an entirely open office. Originally, open offices were meant to provide easy collaboration, a sense of equality, and transparency, but the opposite effect is created. People are reportedly more distracted and frustrated, which makes them less likely to collaborate. Here are some office designs that add a personal touch for each employee.

Customize Each Space to the Department 

How people work is what should drive office design. Some people need privacy and silence, while other departments need a whole room for collaboration. Find out what your employees need and design each workstation accordingly.

Use Lots of Glass

Glass welcomes natural light, unobstructed views, and minimal clutter. Glass lets in a lot of sunlight as well as a more open feel which can possibly create a sense of transparency, energy, happiness, and morale.

Open Space Along Windows

Instead of saving all windows for enclosed offices, save them for spaces that everyone can enjoy. This includes, open workstation areas, lobby, break room, and conference rooms. Windows allow for natural light, which boosts mood and motivation.

Provide Multiple Communal Areas

If you provide one collaboration space then everyone will congregate there, which can become disruptive. If you provide multiple spaces, not labelled as collaboration spaces, then spontaneous collaboration seems to erupt. These spaces include, kitchen, lobby, conference rooms, and etc.

Make the Walls Interactive

You can make your walls interactive by having whiteboards, chalkboards, or glass to write on. This is great for brainstorming, notes, and ideas. Employees can also walk around the office and absorb other people's ideas for inspiration. Having the option to draw and be more visual causes people to ooze creativity. 

What strategies does your organization use to make employees happier? Let us know in the comments!

Top 9 Eco-Friendly Office Products

Today's Systems Corporation doesn't sell these particular products, but we offer these as some suggestions for an office going green. Let's take a look at some of these simple products that you can easily implement into your sustainable workplace. 

1.) Refillable Whiteboard Markers

Instead of creating more waste by throwing away dried up markers, try the refillable markers that can be used again and again.

Cost: 12 for $30, AusPen

2.) Hand-Powered Paper Shredder

It is possible to shred paper without using electricity with a hand-powered paper shredder. As a bonus, it is a great exercise!

Cost: $24, UncommonGoods 

3.) The Seven-Year Pen

No need to order boxes of disposable Bic pens. There is now a pen that will literally last you seven years. As long as you don't lose it, no need to have 10 pens at your desk that will dry out within a few weeks.

Cost: $8, See Jane Work

4.) 100 Percent Recycled Notes

Post-it notes are important, but they waste a lot of paper. Now you can get the recycled version of Post-it notes!

Cost: $18, The Green Office

5.) Recycled Tissues and Paper Towels

Marcal is the leading brand for 100 percent recycled paper products. They have been saving trees since 1950.

Cost: Contact for a wholesale price.

6.) Recycled Trash Bins

You can now buy recycling bins made from recycled materials. Terracycle's models are made from traditionally non-recyclable products such as chip bags, toothbrushes, and anything else that would otherwise end up in a landfill. 

Cost: $15,

7.) USB Cell

Instead of throwing away batteries, recharge them from a USB port with USB Cell.

Cost: $18, USB Cell

8.) ReBinders

These binders are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as an environmentally friendly product.

Cost: 10 1 inch binders for $34, ReBinder

9.) Moss Terrarium

Plants are great for the office. They clean the air and brighten the atmosphere. They are a lot of upkeep though. A terrarium requires a lot less maintenance and they last longer. This particular model is made from a recycled wine bottle.

Cost: $38, UncommonGoods

It's the little things that count. Each sustainable item you add to your office is a step towards a greener tomorrow.

What products does your office use to stay green? Let us know in the comments!

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8 Ways to Go Green & Save Money in your Office


Americans produce millions of tons of waste per year. Businesses are often the biggest culprits of this. Make sure you have recycling bins strategically placed in your office. The more convenient it is to recycle, the more likely your employees will follow through.

Donate Old Products

Upgrading your computers or furniture? Don't throw away the old ones! Especially electronics, which are full of toxic substances like lead and cadmium. Donate these items to schools or people in need. These donations are also tax-deductible!

Use Less Paper

Print back to back or e-mail documents instead of printing them, when possible. You can also easily replace standard printer paper with recycled printer paper.

Turn off Electronics at Night

Leaving on electronics at night is not good. It is a waste of energy and will rack up your electricity bill. According to the EPA, turning off your computers at night saves between $50-$150 per machine, per year.

Use Power Strips

Even when a computer is off, energy still flows. Smart Strips cut off that extra power when it senses the device is not on. Smart Strips are only $30!

Use Energy Saving Bulbs

Switch from incandescent to florescent. Compact florescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy and generate 75 percent less heat. Each bulb saves you $40 from your energy bill in its lifetime.

Add Some Trees

You can save 30 percent in cooling costs by planting trees around your building. Trees reduce the temperature by 3-6 degrees. Plus they keep the earth clean!

Let us know if you have any more tips on going green, that we could include in our future blogs, in the comments below!

Benefits of a Green Building

Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. In the US, buildings account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions and out-consume both the industrial and transportation sectors. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide.  LEED certified buildings have 34% lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy, and 11 percent less water. Not only is the construction of a LEED certified building green, but so is its function throughout its lifetime.

Green Buildings are Cost Effective 

Investing in a green building makes properties more valuable. The average increase in value for a green building is around 4 percent. The investment will start to pay for itself in about 7 years.

Buildings that have been LEED certified between the years 2015-2018, in the US, are estimated to have $1.2 billion in energy savings, $149.5 million in water savings, $715.2 million in maintenance savings, and $154.2 million in waste savings.


Green Buildings are Expanding the Market & Breaking Records

By 2018, LEED green building construction will directly contribute 1.1 million jobs and $75.6 billion in wages.

LEED Buildings Perform Better 

LEED is the international standard of excellence in green building with more than 90,000 LEED projects in 165 countries and territories.

LEED projects are getting results across the board, scoring an average Energy Star score of 89 out of 100 points.

Green Buildings Use Natural Resources Efficiently

These buildings have an enormous impact on the environment and climate change. Green buildings are expected to reduce water use by 15 percent and save more than 10 percent in operating costs.

LEED projects are responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. By 2030 that number is expected to jump to 540 million tons of waste.

Think your building is ready for a LEED certification? Take a look at how you can get yours here

Let us know what you think about green buildings in the comments!

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The Future of Work: How Office Design is Changing

University interiors are starting to become the inspiration for new office design. This is due to the open and flexible layout that universities provide. College graduates entering the workforce are noticing that the traditional office design doesn't work for them. Businesses are implementing changes. Let’s take a look at what they're doing.

Offer a Flexible Space

KI, a major furniture manufacturer, did a study on new hires and found that 82% of recent alumni hires don’t feel comfortable with the traditional corporate office.

Other KI observations concluded that 25% of employees noticed that new hires like to work “everywhere.” Universities offer libraries, studios, cafes, classrooms, and bedrooms, so recent alumni are accustomed to “working everywhere.”

KI also noted that new hires like to work in groups. The answer could be providing large rooms for collaboration.

The Active Workplace: What does it Look Like?

Active Design: The practice of designing a workplace that inherently encourages mobility. The benefit of implementing active design is to ensure employees are neither standing nor sitting for long periods of time.

Companies are starting to incorporate flexible furniture and wellness programs. Wellness programs offer employees gym memberships, doctor check-ups, and nutrition guides.

Businesses who have started these programs have found that 59% of their workers see actual reductions in health care costs.

In addition wellness programs, employers are adding:

o   Access to natural light- skylights, more windows, outdoor areas.

o   Quiet rooms- for private conversations

o   Greenery- to soften the atmosphere 

o   Treadmills- for mild exercise

o   Sit/stand desks- to balance sitting and standing

New office design also encourages movement by:

o   Making the stairs more convenient and attractive by using graphics, color, and nice lighting.

o   Designing paths for walking outside

The Well Building Standard

The International Well Building Institute was founded in 2013 by Delos in New York, New York. Delos is a huge wellness real estate and tech company. Their focus is the health of a building’s occupants. A building certified by the WELL Standard provides good quality air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and peace of mind.

“The move towards a healthier workplace should be everyone’s responsibility.” -CEO of Delos.

Case Study on Office Wellness

CBRE, a real estate and investment firm, was one of the first companies to be certified in the WELL Building Standard.

After surveying their employees, they found that 92% were positively affected by their new Los Angeles building design. They also found that 94% of the employees surveyed reported a positive impact on their business performance, and 83% stated they felt more productive.


Importance of Creating an Employee Experience

To better improve your workplace experience, you don’t necessarily have to become WELL certified. Gearing your workplace towards bettering the employee experience is a great start. Implementing a couple of these techniques to your office design promises positive results.

What do you think about these changes? Leave a comment below!

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