A Connection Between Office Environment and Employee Performance

The modern office is far beyond a working space. It’s an area of inspiration, communication, and productivity, where ideas are born and businesses flourish. As such, it features a unique, inspiring design that aims at promoting work efficiency and creativity. In fact, numerous studies have proven that different design elements in the office affect the performance and general satisfaction of employees. Consequently, more and more employers are implementing elements and designs into their office spaces in order to enhance their employees’ efficiency, boost their creativity and increase their satisfaction.

The open floor plan for freedom

Not only does the open floor concept make an office space feel airy, bright and positive, but it also promotes togetherness and communication in the office. The popularity of this design lies in its practicality and visual appeal. Although employees work in an open area, they still have their privacy, which enables them to focus on their tasks. Such an open, airy design eliminates the feelings of anxiety, stress, and claustrophobia that one may feel in a small cubicle. Thus, the modern office typically features an open-floor design and high ceilings, which makes employees feel free and positive.

Lighting is crucial

Studies have shown that appropriate lighting, especially natural light, is of the utmost importance for employees’ performance and productivity. Natural light contributes to their sense of well-being and enhances their focus. Therefore, offices need to have enough natural light, as well as adequate artificial lighting. Large, exposed windows and layers of artificial light are one of the key elements of an office that promotes productivity and creativity.

The power of colors

According to extensive research, colors have a great effect on employees’ state of mind. Different colors cause subtle emotional and behavioural reactions, so introducing hues that will enhance employees’ performance is crucial. Green and blue are among the most popular choices for the modern workplace because they reduce stress and fatigue while promoting calmness, balance and efficiency. Occasional pops of red, orange, pink and yellow can bring about alertness, creativity, enthusiasm and energy. Nowadays, employers use a moderate combination of various hues to evoke different feelings and behaviours and to make their offices more inspiring and relaxing.

The role of nature

Apart from being a stunning decorating element, greenery is an essential part of a productive office environment. Research has shown that access to nature and natural elements can reduce stress, enhance mood and improve cognitive functioning. Consequently, the modern office features designs that embrace natural materials, such as cork, bamboo and wood, lush leafy plants, tiny succulents, green walls, fresh flowers and beeswax candles. In addition, such a nature-inspired design is quite stimulating, especially in the absence of lovely views.

Design hacks: functionality and organisation

Although aesthetics has an inspiring role in office design, other elements, such as functionality and organisation have an equally important status. Modern offices should have a functional, organised layout where everything employees need is within their reach. For example, most employers equip their employees’ desks with essential yet affordable office supplies, such as pens, staples, highlighters, document trays, organisers, etc. This promotes work efficiency by eliminating the need for frequent trips to the supply closet and keeping desks neatly organised and fully stocked.
Furthermore, offices feature functional layouts with great traffic flow so that employees can easily move around when needed. Different teams are grouped in enclosed areas that provide them with privacy.

Healthy and pleasant environment

Employees need to feel comfortable in their office that promotes their health and not only their productivity. Therefore, creating a healthy, pleasant work environment is also of the utmost importance.

However, indoor air quality and temperature are often overlooked as insignificant factors. Research has shown that employees feel more tired if they work in an office with a higher temperature because they invest more physical and mental effort. Furthermore, poor indoor air quality may cause sick building syndrome in employees. Therefore, maintaining an adequate temperature and eliminating airborne toxins and allergens is also an important step in creating a stimulating work environment.

In order to achieve this, employers may install smart thermostats that can maintain a consistent temperature and install a high-quality ventilation system. Air purifiers and plants can also be implemented as a way to increase the indoor air quality in the office.

According to numerous studies, employees’ workplace has a major effect on their performance and satisfaction. Thus, introducing design elements that will create a stimulating and inspiring work environment is of the utmost importance both for employees and employers.


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