More often than not, when we talk about creating a positive and healthy workspace, we go straight to the needs and expectations of millennials without looking at the psychological factors of the job. Yes, things like flexible hours and even more flexible vacation policies are part of creating a positive working environment, but so is the actual layout of the office.

Find out what your team members need

This may sound like an obvious step, but many companies forget to include their team members in the planning process. What better way to get results than to ask straight from the horse’s mouth? Talk to your team members and find out what makes them comfortable at work. Ask about lighting, colors, floor plans – anything that you can think of – and then take all of that into consideration when designing a workspace that optimizes happiness and productivity.

Here are some ways how we can construct an effective workspace without reinventing the wheel.

1. Make use of open spaces

The days of the cubicle-labyrinth offices are over. Workers don't want to feel claustrophobic, they want open spaces. In fact, most team members seem to prefer an open floor plan where everyone is visible members can be seen and communicated with. Why do you think places like Starbucks and Hotel Lobbies are so crowded with people and laptops? It's because they feel comfortable and relaxing to work in.

2. Find a color that suits your brand

Choosing a color for the workspace should go beyond your personal preferences. It needs to represent your brand. Studies have shown that this can actually create a sense of belonging because people more actively associate themselves with being a part of the company.

3. Add a recreational room

Work is hectic. Even the best of us get overwhelmed at times, and your run-of-the-mill breakroom with a table, refrigerator, and microwave is hardly an adequate break away from the office. team members need a place to unwind for a few minutes and blow off steam, which is why recreational rooms have become a popular trend among some of the more avant-garde companies. Try adding a room with a couple of games, like foosball and Ping-Pong, to take a load off during break time.

4. Add some noise control

This one might come across as a no-brainer, but a noisy office space is hard to work in. Granted you might not have the money to tear down those paper-thin walls and build new ones, but you can look into buying sound-absorbing panels to take away some of the noise in high-traffic areas.

5. Keep your workplace bright

One of the best ways that you can boost efficiency in the workspace is by adjusting the lighting. Something as simple as changing the lights to daylight-color CFL bulbs can be enough to make workers feel energized and more productive. The trick is to try and simulate sunlight as much as possible.

Optimizing Your Workspace Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

The good news is that constructing an effective workspace doesn’t have to be a massive project to undertake. There doesn’t have to be any construction involved. All you need to do is design a work area that’s well-lit and comfortable to be in, and you and your team will feel more productive in no time.

We all have to remember that all of this is one big giant experiment. Failure is not an option. We all must keep testing the waters until we find the right formula.