Our environment influences our behavior and how we are motivated to act. This is why if you want to infuse a positive drive into your employees, creating the right environment really counts. How they feel about their direct surroundings is reflected in the work output, so in that respect, it pays for employers to consider how the workplace affects a person’s mood.
Your workplace and your mood
There are several studies which support the physical environment of a workplace playing a significant role in the worker’s well-being and behavior. Aside from other factors that also affect the work performance of employees, it is their direct surroundings that they are immersed in every day. Hence it is a factor that is largely influential in the work they produce.
According to Roger Ulrich, whose work, ‘View through a window may influence recovery from surgery’ was published in the Science journal, ”Many physical workspaces are typically designed for functional effectiveness, and do not typically take into account the needs and goals of those who will use and interact with this workspace.”
He further contends that “in order to promote wellness through physical surroundings it is imperative to consider the needs, goals, and motives of the end user, as a central and guiding component to the design of the physical work environment.” When the goals, needs, and motives are taken into consideration, the physical environment can then be used to cultivate and support a work environment that is “psychologically supportive.”
Furthermore, another study by Lee and Brand published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology 2005 supported the first author’s claim. They found that when employees have more personal control over the physical workspace and have easy access to meeting places, this leads to a better-perceived group cohesiveness and job satisfaction.
These are valid reasons why taking the time to plan out a good office design is paramount to efficiency at work. Just like an antibiotic that has been prescribed indiscriminately, several design concepts end up being widely and dogmatically used.
What does your office need?
In order to create that healthy working environment, there are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration. What most companies have overlooked, as these might seem to be trivial, actually creates a significant difference to those who understand its importance.
So what then are the characteristics of office spaces that move people?
Among one of the most interesting office spaces in the world is the one that Google employees are now enjoying. You can see that it is not like your typical office space with its fun and colorful details and structures, all reflecting the company’s principles. This breathes life into what customized spaces mean.
A good office design is one that is planned around each job function, instead of some ideology about how an office space ought to be. So if you have a creative team whose job is to constantly brainstorm and pitch ideas for project, a communal area within their workspace would help channel creativity. In fact, there has been emerging evidence which claims that face-to-face interactions was the most important activity in an office as it improves performance.
Employees who deal with sensitive issues in the office such as finances, are best situated in personal offices. Applying this allows employees to fit in well with their job, peers, and environment.
Windows and open spaces
Working inside a space closely similar to a box can only do so much in a person’s efficiency in his work and his well-being. In the study mentioned earlier by Ulrich, it detailed how windows can help improve a person’s morale as opposed to the discombobulated feeling of being stuck in a closed room under fluorescent light.
According to a study, working in a windowless environment scored lower when graded in terms of quality life measures related to physical problems and vitality. As a result, these workers experienced poor sleep quality, sleep disturbances, and daytime dysfunction. Meanwhile, wide spaces that are naturally illuminated by a window improve health and efficiency at work.
The reason why it is beneficial for a workplace to have this incorporated into its overall design is that it ushers in natural light. Unobstructed light allows the eye to have a wider field of vision, and take in a more relaxed atmosphere. As opposed to opaque walls, these create better visibility throughout the office. Above and beyond its aesthetics, glass also builds a sense of unity and connection as it allows co-workers to interact with each other more frequently.
Function and Fashion
In planning for an office design, don’t simply go with what is fashionable. Aside from considering the aesthetic aspect, let functionality have the upper hand. It’s one thing to have an attractive design, but it’s another thing to have one that is also functional, and when you are able to get both in your workplace, you are then able to create an efficient work environment.
In this process, it is important that you also take the input of your employees into consideration. For instance, you may ask about what augments or inhibits their work. This will give you an idea of what is best for the people who will be in that environment for hours a day, rather than simply abiding by a certain idea.
Wise employers should already think of their office designs as an essential tool to gain a competitive edge. Don’t deprive your employees of the kind of environment that would help them produce the quality work your company strives to accomplish.
The typical office design was literally a box of cubicles and desks, common spaces and meeting rooms. But for the office interior design for the Singapore of the future, OPUS will be thinking and designing outside of it! If you have more questions, come and talk to us today!
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