An article in the small business section of Chron.com outlines the factors influencing the social environment in an organization: job satisfaction, teamwork, politics and conflict. What it doesn’t mention is that office design can have a significant effect on the way each of those factors plays out.
The Undeniable Link Between Work Efficiency and Office Design
Researchers in New Zealand discovered that an overwhelming 81 percent of surveyed office workers said office design impacted their overall happiness and job satisfaction, and nine out of 10 said that if they’re happy at work, they’re more efficient. This shouldn’t come as a a complete shock given the much-publicized phenomena of companies like Google and Facebook spending inordinate amounts of money to design über-hip work environments to catch and retain the best and brightest.
So, let’s look at the ways work efficiency and office design are linked, keeping in mind that happy workers seem to make more efficient workers.
A balance of public and private. Open office spaces are all the rage but increasing research is showing that too much public (open), and not enough private space can have a negative effect. Thus, more companies are working to balance the open office concept with quiet areas or modular furniture that can be arranged to create privacy when desired or required.
Access to natural lighting. A Denver-based company got serious about office design and did a tremendous amount of research to learn what works – and what doesn’t – for happy, productive office employees.
One way they implemented their findings was to prioritize daylighting, which has been proven to be healthier for employees – physically, mentally and in terms of productivity.
A little bit of fun. While you don’t have to let your employees ride scooters indoors, providing a cool break space, complete with TVs, ping pong, exercise equipment and so on can help employees move – both physically and mentally – outside the tedium of the routine, making them more productive when they return to work.
Is your company ready to explore an office design that caters to employees’ needs while still respecting the bottom line? Schedule a design consultation with Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors.