Office design’s affect on employees

The average American spends at least 40 hours a week in the confines of an office. While the job itself plays a large part in an employee’s attitude and morale in the workplace, the office needs to be taken into account as well. From the art on the walls to the layout of the desks, many things come into play when it comes to an employee’s morale. Here are some of the design factors that influence an employee’s mood at work.

Art
Incorporating art into your office’s interior is a great way to give the workspace a personal touch. Many businesses use this opportunity to utilize the brand’s colors or the logo. However, that’s not the only way to add some creative flair. Give employees some ownership and pride in the office and decorate with photos of employees at company functions, or hang some works by local artists in your conference rooms.

It’s especially important to give your workspace a personal touch with some art or graphics if you regularly bring clients or customers into the office. Whether you’re using signs and large infographics to relay information or to just show off a more creative side to your brand, this method is a great way to give some aesthetic appeal to your workspace as well as a personal, more human touch.

Color and layout
According to The Wall Street Journal, a reason behind this could very well be the human brain associating the color blue with openness – like the sky, allowing employees to relax and think, opening their minds to more creative ideas. A similar connection has been made with the height of the ceiling. According to a study from the University of Minnesota, students were able to perform better in a more open space with high ceilings than in a typical office space.

Color psychology has found plenty of links between the colors we wear and how we’re perceived by others. The study of color also found the colors represented in a workplace can help or hinder when it comes to problem solving, creative thinking and stress management. For example, the color red in the workplace is considered to be best in environments that require employees to pay attention to detail, but blue is ideal for creative workplaces that don’t require as much stringency.

“Blues give employees the feeling of openness and space.”

As the years go on, cubicles and even separate offices become a thing of the past. More and more workplaces are beginning to place an emphasis on collaboration, meaning open offices are the way of the future. The absence of walls is intended to make it easier for employees to chat and communicate with each other, simultaneously giving the workspace a more casual, laid-back vibe. These office layouts also give employers more wiggle room when it comes to growth and downsizing of the company. There’s no need to build more cubicles if a certain department expands when you can just roll in more desks.

However, not everyone in the modern working world is happy with the cultural switch towards open office plans. This layout has been noted as stress inducing, as employees who are lower on the totem pole may always feel as if they’re being watched. Having no barrier between you and the person next to you, or you and the rest of the office, can make conversations and collaborations that have nothing to do with you distracting.

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