We may be in an era of Generation Y, open plan and digital tech, but it isn’t that way for everyone.

There are still more than a few tired old offices where worn out furniture and piles of clutter create a Halloween horror show for those ‘lucky’ enough to work in them.

Productivity, team morale and staff attendance are all affected by the work environment.

Whether it is grey ageing furnishings that look as if they’ve been in place since the turn of the century before last, or piles of paper and cables ready to trip unsuspecting workers, an Addams Family vibe is likely to make employees feel like putting their heads under the covers and phoning in sick.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Office furnishings and accessories have moved on in leaps and bounds in recent years and even if the business doesn’t have unlimited funds for a complete re-design there are ways to add warmth and fun into any work environment.

Here are four potential solutions:

Friday tidy

Instigate a time at the end of the week for everyone to stop whatever they are doing and spend ten minutes cleaning up the clutter nearest to them. Make it fun but essential. Music could be played or someone could ring a bell at the start and the end, with prizes to the most prolific tidier.

When it comes to dealing with piles of clutter, recycling, shredding or disposal should be the first option, before filing. Decisions need to be made on whether the offending items are really necessary or need to be kept for legal reasons. If not they need to be recycled rather than stored indefinitely.

Smart storage

Make storage accessible and easy to use, with obvious signs or folders indicating what should go where. A culture of ‘store it away’ needs to be introduced if it isn’t already in place. Whether that’s showing everyone what has to be kept and where, or making weekly ‘putting away’ the new habit, team members should not see the office cupboards and filing cabinets as unfamiliar territory.

There is an array of fantastic storage options on the market including the EasyOffice Design Your Own Cupboard range which lets companies choose a bespoke design for their office cupboards.

Clever colour

Introducing a splash of colour to an office can make all the difference. Colourful desk dividers can liven up workspaces and give people the chance to individualise their space.

Office chairs don’t need to be black or grey. Some workplaces have been known to give the chair budget to each department and let people choose their own or vote on a colour scheme. It’s an easy way to give some ownership to employees and make their environment look and feel more human.

Streamline tech

Lots of cables running around desks and over office floors are not just a trip hazard but give an impression of a temporary and disorganised workspace. This can create a more chaotic atmosphere and give people even less inclination to be proud of their environment.

Cable tidies and power towers are an easy integration into any office, eliminating the potential risk of people tripping and creating a calmer workspace.

For more details on optimising the work environment with office furniture and accessories please contact your VOW account manager or visit www.voweurope.com