Many of us in the nonprofit sector understand that we’re too busy making community transformation happen to care about what we look like… and what our office spaces look like.

Yet, this is a major downfall for the success of our teams.

In a previous 2 Tips video and blog, we outlined the science behind how the office setting can positively or negatively impact a team’s morale and efficiency. This time, our guest Justin Kamimoto, Executive Director of Common Space, a regional nonprofit incubator, offers tips on how to transform your office setting even while most of your attention is on transforming the community.

Tip 1

Focus on the fact that the office setting conveys a message to the staff team; a message that they are appreciated, important, and their efficiency matters… or not. (links to research on the connection between a space and morale from previous 2 Tips).

Tip 2

Take small and affordable actions, scheduling them into your calendar on a quarterly basis for regular review. (See a list of ideas below.)

Research on the facts of how spaces impact effectiveness

1 |  Clutter and the psychological and health problems that come with it by Psychology Today

2 |  Workspace impact on climate and 2005 and 2012 studies are summarized on this by The New Yorker

3 |  Why privacy matters by Pearce & Hinds who outline their recent findings on how open space work environments can prove challenging in the Harvard Business Review

*More research links in our previous video and blog: “The Good, Bad, & Ugly of In-Kind Donations in Your #Nonprofit” by Dr. Alfaro and Katie Kellett

Affordable Options 

Choose two locations to source your decor materials and keep an eye on them for seasonal sales:
Michaels Craft Store
Home Goods
Free Green Programs

‘Must’ Practices

a |  Focus on vertical storage to make your office spaces larger (avoid horizontal storage)
b |  Choose a specific set of colors and stick to this set (e.g. gray, light blue, and white)
c |  Avoid wobbly furniture… this is a sign that it will not last… just wait until you find the right piece
d |  Keep knickknacks to a minimum since 70% of decor materials should have a functional purpose
e | Only place objects in rooms that they match with: No utility tables and no storage shelves in the lobby, no toilets in the conference room, no wall décor that isn’t linked to a theme in the room

Why did we develop 2 Tips videos?

We know that many professionals and organizational leaders do not have the funds to partner with specialists (like us) and/or the time to strategize on what might seem like extra projects.

We launched these 2 Tips videos to support you with making tweaks, adjustments, and refinements in programs and operations — doable for busy professionals like you!