Aesthetics vs Function – Do Office Designs Affect Employee Productivity?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 1 in every 12 workers are either working more at home or working from home entirely. Worries such as job security, the need to perform, and working from the same cubicle everyday have contributed equally to a mounting amount of stress for many Australian employees. This has resulted in companies rethinking their office designs in an effort to alleviate that stress and make employees feel more comfortable. In last year’s “Workplace of the Future Survey”, it found that 77% of employers are employing, or plan to employ, open plan workspaces. Should an office adopt a cubicle-less open-office design? Or should cubicles remain for employees to be able to concentrate?
Like many things, the answer is in finding the balance. Having an office design that fits your organization’s culture, be it collaborative or independent, as well as having inspirations from home designs can improve employee productivity and retention significantly. Below are 4 ways that we suggest how incorporating home designs can be beneficial to your company.
4 ways how offices that replicate the comfort of home can benefit both employees and employers.
Productivity through the use of natural lighting. A study has found that lighting greatly affects the productivity of most employees and recommended that natural lighting should be used when possible. Like homes, natural light plays a large part in the office. Not only saving energy costs, it also creates a relaxing ambience for employees to work in.
Comfort increases performance, to an extent. Through the same study, it was also seen that comfortable and ergonomic office design motivates employees and increases their performance substantially. A comfortable environment requires more than just a comfortable chair and sturdy desk (although these are definitely important elements!), companies have to factor in rest areas, floor plans, heating – in general, to make the employee feel at home.
Little efforts can go a long way to help employees feel that they're treated as individuals. As offices are becoming more like homes for workers, employers need to be able to provide as much as possible to tend to the daily needs of workers. Although we can’t all be Google and have on-site gyms and masseurs, every little bit counts. Electrical massage chairs for break times or pristine restrooms can go a long way to make employees happy.
Reinforcing a company culture and brand image is beneficial to the company as well as to employees. Having style support function can improve productivity through unity. By having décor reflecting the business’ personality and culture, this can reinforce that culture in the minds of workers. Employees understand the company’s mission and works together in unity to achieve it.
Question: What is your office like? What way would you like to improve it?