Good Office Design Creates a Better Work Environment
You’ve spent the past few weeks searching for a job. A few days ago you saw a listing for what looked like the perfect career. The office’s location is ideal, and you perfectly fit the job requirements. It’s what you’ve always wanted to do, and the best news is that the pay is fantastic.
Unfortunately, you’ve just entered the building for an interview and you find it to be stuffy, grey, and depressing.
After the interview is completed, you feel confident about your performance, but you aren’t sure you want to work there anymore. Against your better judgement, you end up taking the job. Within just a few weeks, however, you regret it. You’re not happy.
Hopefully, you haven’t had an experience like that, but it is common. In fact, in many places around the world, suicides have been found to have a connection to bad weather. In Japan, the number of suicides was found to have repeatedly risen after several consecutive days of bad weather.
Humans are products of their environment in many ways. If you work in a drab office, you might end up feeling dull yourself.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a healthy and happy work environment, of course, but it turns out that office design is at the centre of that.
How a Good Office Design Creates a Happy Work Environment
The idea that a living or working space influences how we think and feel is ancient. The Chinese philosophical system of Feng shui is thought to date back around six thousand years, first appearing around 4,000 BC.
Whether or not you believe in Chinese metaphysics or not is up to you, but the idea has obvious practical applications.
In analysing the idea of beauty, scientists have found that symmetry has proved to be important, but in other cases, this is contradicted. When it comes to photography and videography, for example, there are principles that guide each artist which have more to do with asymmetry. Fibonacci’s ratio, the rule of thirds, the 180° rule, and many other aspects of composition result in more attractive images.
It’s hard to nail down exact factors that make a face or an environment attractive, but there are certainly principles which can make an image or a space enjoyable to look at or work in.
How does having a work environment that’s more attractive make workers happier, though?
In simple terms, a good design is organised. An environment that’s organised, compartmentalised, or arranged appropriately can help reduce stress.
We can make an obvious connection between organisation and stress relief if we examine our personal lives. If our lives are filled with an endless list of things we need to do, especially things that aren’t pleasant, we’re going to be stressed.
If we have a pile of debt and don’t know how we’re going to relieve it, we’re going to be unhappy.
In contrast, if we schedule all the events that need to be handled, and then make a workable budget, we’re going to feel better.
A good living space or working space replicates this organisation outside of our minds and puts it right in front of us.
Besides good organisation, a work environment that’s attractive can also make workers feel important.
How a Good Office Design Creates a Productive Work Environment
The aspects discussed above also apply to how productive employees are at work.
Have you ever struggled to find a file that you need for a presentation just before an important meeting? Even if you haven’t, you can certainly imagine the kind of stress this would create for you.
The general feeling of disarray that can result in workers who have to contend with an unattractive or poorly designed workspace can create stress. A work environment that has an effective design, however, gets out of the way. The fewer the number of things each individual in the office has to worry about, the easier it will be for them to concentrate on work.
Going back to the point about feeling important, a design that makes employees feel like they’re part of an essential and collaborative mission will result in increased dedication.
Think about the story described at the beginning of this article. If you had to work in a depressingly lit, disorganized office, what would you think of the quality of the employer? Would you be confident that they would reach their goals? Would you be sure that they would pay you on time?
A good design creates confidence in the company.
There are different aspects of good office design that can contribute to feelings of happiness, confidence, importance, and collaboration.
Using glass can help people feel happy, for instance. The use of glass throughout the building creates an open atmosphere. In a more physical sense, it also allows light to travel to the different areas of the office which can support good moods.
Customizing different work areas can also be effective. For example, a room that’s planned to be used for meetings should have a design that promotes collaboration.
A whiteboard, open seating, and space to move about can help promote this feeling.
How a Good Office Design reflects on the Company’s Values
As has been discussed to a limited degree, the design of an office reflects on the company’s values, and that can be either good or bad.
Every aspect, even the colours, can contribute to how employees or prospective clients feel about you.
Imagine driving up to an old, poorly maintained building in the worst part of town. The lift creaks as you ride it down to the basement. As the doors open, you’re greeted by a water cooler and a mint green rug that are obviously decades old. Some of the walls are wood panelled, and some have terrible peeling wallpaper.
Would you feel that the company is forward thinking?
In contrast, imagine driving up to a recently constructed building in a new area. The entryway of the building is attractive with marble floors. An attractive receptionist happily greets you and offers assistance. The glass lift quickly takes you up to the top floor, where the office space has been designed by Oktra London. When you exit, you notice it’s quiet and calm, the space is open and attractive. You realize that the employees are using the latest technology. Would you not feel much more confident and comfortable with this company?