Lead Designer at Workframe Dishes on the Reasons to Value Office Design.

Thoughtful office design matters to employees — there’s no way around it. We associate our identities with our work more than ever, which means that offices now also serve as a physical manifestation of company and team ethos. There’s quite a bit of incentive for companies to make their employees feel valued — from levels of productivity and creativity during work hours, to employee retention overall. After all, we know that engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share*.

But creating a work environment where employees feel valued and nurtured can be extremely difficult, and the task often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the daily work flow. Here are a few reasons why my team launched a tech solution to help start-ups, media companies, and hedge funds alike create spaces that their teams love and that represent their company culture. Smart office design:

  1. Establishes a Sense of Community

Office renovations are the perfect time to take a step back and think about the company culture you want to emulate through office design. Employees who say they have a space that helps them connect with coworkers are 1.5 times more likely* to be engaged throughout the day. Communal spaces are an easy way for employees to get together throughout the day — whether it’s a central kitchen to gather for lunch, or couches for an afternoon brainstorm. Self improvement spaces are also another way to increase a sense of community — think a wellness room for meditation or an in-office gym for convenient workouts.

2. Impacts Employee Productivity

All employees work differently, so it’s important for office design to reflect multiple work styles. While an open-office allows for employees to easily collaborate, quiet workspaces can be beneficial for those employees who value a little more silence. Employees who have privacy when they need it are 1.7 times more likely* to take an active approach to their job. These can come via phone booths for quick calls or larger conference rooms for group meetings.

3. Affects Employee Health

Typically, employees exposed to natural light and plants tend to be healthier, leading to a decreased number of sick days taken. 70 percent of employees* have office spaces with comfortable temperatures, windows and good lighting. Ergonomic furniture solutions such as sit-to-stand and treadmill desks, exercise balls and adjustable chairs can foster a healthy and more comfortable office environment.

4. Boosts Company Morale

According to Gallup’s 2016 State of the American Workplace report, the benefits and perks that employees truly care about are those that offer them greater flexibility, autonomy and the ability to lead a better life. You want your employees to be excited to come into work, and what better way to do that than making the space they spend 40+ hours in a week, aesthetically pleasing? The more an employee is excited about showcasing his/her office to others, the better.

*Data sourced from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report (2016)

Originally published at medium.com