Office Design and Productivity
A well-designed workplace can go a long way in increasing employee productivity and engagement. The right work environment can foster creativity, as well as increase employee satisfaction. Have you considered how your workplace is affecting the way you and your employees feel? While no set of factors will define the perfect work environment and it should look different at each company, here are a few of the biggest trends in office design affecting workplace productivity.
A few years ago, open spaces ruled office design. In fact, approximately 70% of American workers still go to offices with open floor plans. However, some studies have challenged these layouts determining that too much open space without a mix of options can be distracting and unproductive.
According to Christine Congdon of Steelcase, a Michigan-based company that designs corporate interiors, “People have to have places to rejuvenate and absorb and process information in order to be productive at work.” Because of this, design trends are shifting to mixed space.
According to research by design company Teknion, these spaces not only give employees the ability to collaborate, but also retreat. These mixed space offices support workers’ creativity and productivity with a variety of workspaces including:
- Open and enclosed desk spaces
- Conference rooms
- Bar height hoteling
- Break rooms
- Phone booths
- Huddle rooms
- Multi-purpose cafes
- Lounges and soft seating areas
- Multilevel offices
Color has long been proven to affect people’s productivity at work. While at work, the colors around us can affect our moods and brain function. They evoke both physical and emotional responses. Therefore, choosing the right colors for your workspace plays an important part in driving employee behavior and productivity. For instance, green is said to increase creativity.
A recent trend is taking the psychology of color one step further, as more and more offices are organizing their space by color. In an article by Fast Company, Jeff Miller of Poppin says, “I’m a strong believer that if you organize your work environment with color, it will help your thoughts be more organized and colorful. We’re seeing more offices integrate pops of color in unexpected ways and therefore strive to be at the forefront of offering a wide color spectrum of accessories and furniture.”
Sitting in a harsh, windowless environment can stifle creativity and make for unhappy employees. As humans, we are deeply affected by our access to the natural world. Natural light is important for our psychological and physiological functioning, which directly affects our ability to be productive. According to Teknion, nature lets the mind rest, replenishing energy, and helping to restore calmness. More and more, designers are incorporating parks, gardens, trees, small landscapes, and other natural elements to create more sustainable work environments.
Other recent natural trends include elements such as:
- Reclaimed wood panel installations
- Exposed concrete flooring
- Natural flora patterns in fabrics and artwork
- Plant life in the form of living walls
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to creating an office that fosters employee productivity. A workspace should be functional as well as match your company’s culture. If you’re thinking about making design changes to your office, a good first step is to ask for employee input in order to better gauge what they would want in a work environment.
Are you looking for some more design inspiration? Spaces is a design showcase celebrating innovative workspaces in Indiana. It’s a hub of inspiration and a springboard for re-imagining what the workplace can be. If your Indiana business already has an innovative office design, enter it in the Spaces contest for an opportunity to show off your workspace design and attract top talent.