How Workplace Design and Settings Impact Office Productivity
Workplace productivity is defined as the efficiency with which workers accomplish their allotted tasks in a given frame of time in a particular work environment. This quality has a direct impact on an organisation’s ability to churn out results and its workplace culture.
Workplace design is often overlooked when it comes to enhancing productivity. However, research suggests that good office interior design can help maximize productivity, create a collaborative work culture, and boost worker engagement and job satisfaction.
Office interior design firms and office fit out companies should pay heed to the following factors when designing a productive workplace for their clients:
1. Ergonomics – Ergonomics is the art or science of designing office interiors with respect to the capabilities and limitations of workers, in order to improve productivity and worker well-being.
Organizations need to conduct employee surveys and make observations as to how workplace ergonomics can be improved.
Research suggests that companies lose up to millions annually due to poor office interior design leading to low well-being and musculature injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendinitis.
Ergonomically designed corporate interiors can lead to lower costs related to employee compensation and much higher employee engagement and well-being. Workers also tend to feel safer in an ergonomically designed workplace.
2. Environmental Factors – The main purpose of office interior design should be to provide healthy, comfortable, and productive environments for employees. An office interior design firm must create spaces that stimulate productivity at a business. Factors that should be planned out and considered for a productive office fit out should include thermal comfort, indoor air quality, acoustics, distraction-free visual environment, secure spaces, and colorful workspaces.
- Thermal Comfort –One of the first things that should be necessary for an office’s interiors should be an appropriate temperature range. That’s why determining the heating and cooling HVAC requirements of space is a critical component of commercial building architecture. Incorporating heating, air conditioning, and ventilation are the main factors but office interior design firms must also take into account a building’s orientation.
Studies show indoor temperature has a 39% effect on worker productivity. The optimum level of productivity is achieved with a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius or 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Indoor Air Quality – Natural and mechanical ventilation options, when designed properly, sufficiently dilute any contaminants or possible toxins. This is important to protect inhabitants from possible irritants
World Green Building Council’s Health, Wellbeing, and Productivity in Offices study research points to many different studies linking improved ventilation with marginal gains in productivity. Other studies linked poor air quality and elevated temperatures with a consistently lowered performance by up to 10%. Sick leave was 35% lower in offices ventilated by outdoor air supply. also
- Acoustics – When acoustics are planned and executed properly, it makes a huge difference in how productive employees are within an office’s interiors. Sound absorbing materials and sound masking are primary tools when designing office interiors. Outside noise, as well as interior sounds, can be muted with the implementation of high-sound transmission class walls. Modern work-spaces can also take advantage of enclosed or separate group activity areas that facilitate noise reduction.
- Color -Productivity is rarely correlated with color. Colors in an office’s interiors are very important to ensure efficiency in the working environment. Each color affects the human body in different ways. The perception of color differs from person to person.
Some colors stimulate moods whilst some dampen moods. So, the appropriate color chosen to ensure the mood of the employee is good in order to encourage productivity.
Color plays an important role in space configuration. For instance, a long, narrow room can be made to seem more normal if the end walls are painted in warm, deep and intense colors, while the side walls are painted in lighter, less saturated colors.
- Lighting – Lighting in an office is debatable as some suggest little lighting keeps individuals focused while others argue that well-lit corporate interiors increase productivity. Modern office design factors such as furniture, noise, lighting, temperature and spatial arrangements revealed lighting as having the greatest impact on staff productivity. It was also revealed by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) that 68 percent of employees complain about the light in their offices. Lighting in an office obviously has a greater impact than ever. Inadequate lighting can lead to eye strain, tiredness, stress, and headaches. Office Interior Design firms should Try to take advantage of natural lighting as much as possible, and introduce adjustable lighting systems if they can.
3. Facility Management – Timely removal of waste, cleanliness in common areas such as washrooms, provision of drinking water, maintenance of an office’s interiors are just some small but important amenities, office workers have come to expect from their workspace. These amenities usually come under the scope of facility management service providers.
Research shows workers are more productive when not having to worry about these amenities and their provision.