What You Need To Know: The Effectiveness of a Well-Designed Office Space
Workspace design may seem like a simple task- arrange cubicles in a large room and voila the office is complete. However, before jumping the gun and hiring an interior designer to beautify your office space, it is important to understand the factors that come into play when designing an ideal workspace for your business. There is a vast difference between an aesthetically pleasing setting and an effective workplace.
In the past few years, workspace design has seen a massive transformation. Companies are taking notice of the significant impact the workplace has on employees and productivity. We derive our energy from our surroundings- the people, the colors, the ambiance, and more. As of late, companies have been harnessing this knowledge to create inspiring work environments.
For many of us, we spend the majority of our week in our workspace. The environment we are faced with at work is in turn largely responsible for our mental well-being. Studies have shown that only a mere 13% of global workers are highly satisfied with their office environment. Meaning, the vast majority of employees are unhappy with their workspace.
Anxiety and stress are prevalent problems facing many employees. In fact, it is estimated that 1,610 cases per 100,000 employees in the 2016 and 2017 working year were faced with stress. To put that into perspective, that's nearly half a million employees affected by stress and anxiety in a one-year period. Any way you look at it, unsatisfied and anxious employees hinder the performance of a business. Employees that dread their workspace are not nearly as productive, passionate, or enthusiastic as those who enjoy being in a work environment.
It is becoming increasingly clear that workspace design is a major contributor to the overall well-being of office employees. Dark and dreary office spaces, for example, are not conducive to a healthy mindset. Many employers don’t realize the profound effect of colors in the workspace. A study at the University of Texas found that the standard, bland office scheme composed of gray, white, and beige colors provoked feelings of sadness and misery, particularly in women. On the other hand, vibrant offices with well-designed spaces promote employee satisfaction and reduce the stress in the office space.
Workspace design also plays a major role in office productivity. Unproductive work environments can cost employers significant operating losses each year. Unproductive employees can take twice as long, if not longer, to complete tasks at work. Meanwhile, as an employer, you are losing valuable time and paying employees for fruitless hours.
Studies demonstrate that small changes in workspace design can have a dramatic impact on employee productivity. Employees in office spaces with natural features expressed feeling 6% more productive and 15% more creative at work. Therefore, it essential for companies to optimize the workspace.
Even small steps such as adding some greenery can make all the difference to office productivity. Attention restoration theory proposes that simply looking at nature can shift the human brain into a different processing mode which enables employees to feel at ease and concentrate. Additionally, incorporating natural light in the workspace has been proven to increase employee engagement while utilizing low-wavelength colors such as blue and green have been shown to stimulate focus and improve office efficiency.
The goal of the office layout is to cater to the needs of employees and increase productivity. Current workspace design trends seem to lean toward open spaces and exposed ceilings. This type of office layout is said to promote collaboration and communication. In open workspaces, management is able to easily mix with employees and nurture creativity and innovation.
However, the best workplaces are designed to accommodate both individual and focus work, along with ample open spaces that can be used for more social, collaborative, work projects. Office spaces should offer flexible designs that engage employees in a manner best suited for each company. It may mean finding a middle ground between vast open spaces and private areas or leaning towards one end of the spectrum that better supports the productivity of employees.
At the end of the day, workspace design is a reflection of each company’s culture. It is important to put thought into every aspect of the office space. Whether you are a direct business owner or a property owner, it is important to be knowledgeable of office space optimization and utilization. The results of your investment in workspace design will be reaped in the form of tenant satisfaction and efficient operating expenses or employee satisfaction and successful work culture.
Orange County property management company, the Kelemen Company, is extremely knowledgeable in the optimization of office design and can be an asset to any commercial property owner looking to stay up to date with the office trends. Their creativity and attention to detail are revealed in the vast portfolio of exceptional properties they have designed. For further guidance on how to best optimize your office space, contact the Kelemen Company here.