Office Culture and The Power of Design
The heart of an office is the team working in it, not the building. Each member of the team works on a task together and individually to achieve one goal- the success of the business. An office space should represent more than just a place to work, but also what your company represents, it’s core values, as well as the culture. Having a workplace that inspires creativity, while still maintaining a space that is not disruptive to others is a hard but necessary balance to find. There are many different ideas on what the “perfect office” might look like, however, it varies from business to business. The design concept of an office dictates the culture of the workplace. Which is why when you design an office for your company, with the culture you want to create in mind, is so powerful. Keeping in mind these few tips when designing your office, is a great way to enhance the performance of the people working within the office.
Being surrounded by natural light or a view of nature is something that most people long for. Creating rooms filled with many fluorescent lights and few windows, upsets the circadian rhythms, or the daily cycles of waking and sleeping hours. When these rhythms are interrupted, people are more likely to experience stress. Having offices with windows or skylights promote general wellness. Since windows are only going to be on the perimeter of the building, using glass walls where visual privacy is not required, allows the outside light to come into the middle of the office, offering a more positive, upbeat space.
There are many generalizations about how certain colors are perceived, subliminally or overtly. Choosing colors that focus on calming, promoting good mental health and clear thinking is ideal for walls and accents. Brighter colors such as red, blues, and greens are usually associated with higher focus and inspires employees to be more creative while yellow, orange and pink can decrease the feeling of irritation, promote good decision making, and ease emotions. Using light colors can help reflect light throughout the space and increase the amount of natural light the room receives. Decorating or painting with certain colors can help promote desired behaviors and feelings based on psychological reactions.
Over the course of a lifetime over 10% of people will experience claustrophobia. When people start to feel crowded or in close proximities with others they tend to get stressed. This influences the work that they will complete. Setting up your office where it offers everyone some sort of personal space helps the office create a better flow throughout. Having walls with mirrors, high ceilings, or glass walls can be perceived as less crowded, yet still modern. Keep in mind that studies show men have better peripheral vision than women, so they are more likely to feel others in the same space as them. To find the best setup for your office, click here.
The amount of noise that goes through an office can increase or decrease productivity within an office. Keeping energetic and centralized areas such as the foyer or kitchen/breakroom away from quiet working spaces helps with feeling less crowded and stressed. Implementing a virtual door policy for open workstations or cubicles shows that you aren’t necessarily available to talk. This will help with productivity throughout the office as well. Make sure that people on similar task are next to each other to omit any banter or chatter across the office.
Spending on average over 2,000 hours a year at work, it is important that employees are as comfortable and happy as possible. Design an office that offers adjustable furniture, chairs, lights and desks to fit all the needs of those working. One thing that is often overlooked is technology. Incorporate efficient and seamless technology that can be taken to multiple spots in the office for employees moving from space to space. Although technology is such a great help in automating many business aspects, some may not know how to work every system and every piece of technology the company has to offer. Making sure the technology offered has clear and thorough instructions as well as being user-friendly is vital.
When employees are comfortable in their work they have a tendency to be more productive, profitable and build a lasting relationship not only with their co-workers but their customers too. Although having a quiet place to sit down and work is necessary, some form of interaction is a way to maintain a healthy office culture. A workspace that can supports both engagements with others and work equally is the true power of design. Design is not only about making the office look modern, chic, and cool; but also creating an area where employees enjoy and can accomplish all of their tasks easily.