In their quest to boost productivity, most business leaders do not go beyond time management, ruthless prioritization, or creating efficient daily workflows. However, they fail to recognize how the design of a workspace impacts employee behavior and morale. 

Whether a home office, coworking space, or physical office, the work environment contributes to employee wellbeing and productivity. 

A recent survey conducted by Censuswide for Fellowes Brands revealed that improving the workplace can boost productivity by 50%. Regardless of what model employees or employers choose (office-based or work from home), 91% of the survey respondents believe that satisfaction is important to them in their workspace.

Here’s how workspace design affects your employees and the business outcomes.

1. Improved Employee Engagement and Experience

With employees spending more time at work, it’s hardly surprising that the work environment should have an impact on their overall experience, wellbeing, and productivity. 

Engaged employees are more productive and positive about achieving their goals. Also, they have a low turnover rate and absenteeism. A good office design can go a long way in improving employee engagement and productivity. 

Simple things like avoiding a cluttered layout or creating an environment that promotes relaxation can help in improving the employee experience. Similarly, creating spaces where employees can focus, socialize, and work in teams encourages employee wellbeing and engagement. 

2. Better Collaboration and Solitude

Most modern workspaces have an open layout to strike a balance between collaboration and focus. Achieving this balance helps employees perform and triggers creativity. 

Open offices with private spaces for employees can help them collaborate with their colleagues while giving them enough space to concentrate in an uninterrupted environment. 

3. More Flexibility and Autonomy

Offices that offer a wide range of choices for employees to work tend to have more innovative and high-performing employees. Open-plan workspaces promote teamwork but can be distracting. 

Businesses paying attention to such aspects can help employees create ideal work areas that boost creativity and performance. Well-planned workspaces that maintain some level of privacy tend to bring out the best in individuals. That way, employees can enjoy flexibility and autonomy in the workplace.

4. Ensures Workplace Safety

Poor office layout and visual appeal not only affect performance but also leads to accidents at the workplace. Hence, it’s critical to plan the office decor in a way that upholds employee engagement and safety.

Hence, whether you are working from home, a co-working space, or a physical office, take a moment to consider the below-mentioned workplace decor elements and understand their impact on your team and business outcomes.  

1. Visual Elements

Visual elements have a huge impact on an individual’s mental and physical activity and wellbeing. Hence, physical and home offices should incorporate elements that reduce stress, boost creativity, and improve employee morale.

For instance, adding the right colors to the workspace is proven to reduce anxiety, trigger creative ideas, and encourage open communication. Research has proven that specific colors are critical to office productivity. Some colors (hues of green and blue) are soothing while others (hues of red and yellow) foster excitement and build energy. 

Similarly, adding plants or a few artistic elements like a painting or a sculpture can add a hint of inspiration and enthusiasm to the work environment. 

2. Lighting

The right lighting not just improves productivity but also improves safety and reduces all kinds of health issues in employees. Further, it reduces errors and makes people more efficient. 

For instance, insufficient lighting, too much light (glare), flicker, improper contrast, and poor distribution of light can strain the eyes, causing eye discomfort and headaches. Poor lighting can also cause neck and shoulder pain as people tend to strain their bodies into unnatural positions for a better view. 

Research shows that clear and bright lights elevate a person’s mood while dim lighting causes mental health issues like depression. 

Hence, it’s wise to invest in good-quality lighting that’s devoid of glare and pleasing to the eye. For open-layout offices with lower ceilings (12-20 feet high), we recommend installing LED low bay lighting for stronger light and reduced glare. 

Also, remember to invite some natural light in the workspace through windows. Natural light is known to improve employee quality of life, trigger physical activity, maintain a positive mindset. 

3. Indoor Air Quality

Whether in the office or at home, employees tend to spend more time indoors when working. Hence, it is important to keep the workspace well ventilated to promote adequate fresh air circulation and prevent indoor air pollution. 

Good air quality increases employee satisfaction and comfort and reduces absenteeism at work. 

Many of the indoor air quality issues at workspaces originate from a faulty HVAC design or lack of maintenance. Invest in regular HVAC cleaning and upkeep. Further, it’s critical to establish a strong smoking policy as office environments expose people to secondhand smoke. 

4. Furniture

Poor ergonomics at the workplace can negatively affect employee health and productivity. A lot of research proves that poor posture can cause conditions like fatigue, heartburn, chronic back pain, neck strain, and other musculoskeletal injuries.

For instance, desks and chairs at wrong heights can force the worker’s wrist into an awkward position, causing strain, especially when they stay in that position for hours. 

Hence, it’s important to review the height, angle, and structural support of office workstations. Invest in ergonomic chairs and desks that can improve employee comfort and productivity. 

Work-from-home employees should invest in comfortable home office desks that are apt for people sitting for extended periods. Check out this post by Architecture Lab for guidance. 

Being seated uncomfortably can be distracting to employees, leading to poor employee experience. When designing office spaces incorporate ergonomic furniture for improved productivity. 

Summing Up

Poor workplace productivity increases costs, wastes time, and negatively impacts a firm’s bottom line. 

The right office space establishes an ideal work environment that fosters creativity and boosts performance. A lot of research shows how well-designed workspaces have a positive effect on employee morale, engagement, and productivity. 

Consider the above-mentioned points to provide a suitable work environment for your employees, encouraging them to improve perform their best.