With the continual pressure of meeting deadlines and making revenue, few – if any – office workers are making interior design a business priority. But new studies suggest that aesthetic changes might just lead to successful business decisions. A great office environment can significantly increase workers’ happiness, camaraderie, and productivity. Here are five different steps to achieving the perfect office space:
In a time of constant distractions, from cell phones ringing to street side traffic, it’s imperative to foster a quiet, focused office space.
In fact, it has been scientifically proven that the acoustics of a room changes the behavior – and, in turn, the productivity – of the people inside of it. According to design writer Renee Young, “Over 70% of office workers say that a reduction in noise would increase their productivity.” Soundproof windows are one way to decrease sound and increase productivity. Other quick fixes include partitioning large open spaces, thereby preventing sound travel, and using sound-absorbing materials, such as carpet and acoustic ceiling tiles, rather than hard, concrete surfaces.
Furniture & Layout
When redesigning your office space, remember this: rounded, rather than straight-edged furniture, has been linked with positive emotions, which is directly related to increased creativity and productivity. Moreover, sitting in circular patterns encourages a collectivist mindset, whereas a straight line triggers individuality.
If your office is a collaborative environment, create an open space (no cubicles allowed!) that encourages both purposeful teamwork and serendipitous interactions. Steve Jobs, in fact, was so insistent that employees bump into each other that he placed Pixar’s only bathroom at the very center of the building.
Lights & Color
One of the simplest (and quickest!) ways to enhance your office environment is simply by choosing the right light and color schemes. Different hues and brightness levels have different psychological effects, so simply choosing a blue paint over a red paint can encourage different office behaviors. Blue and green, for instance, enhance performance on tasks relating to creativity and new ideas, whereas red has been linked to increased attention to detail. Brighter lights are more effective for analytical thinkers, and dimmer lights foster increased creativity.
Take a Lesson from Plants
If you do only one thing on this list, invest in an office plant (or more). The presence of office plants help workers de-stress, recover from demanding activities, and become invigorated for future work. Plus, a plant needs natural light to thrive – as do office workers. A window, preferably one with a view, rejuvenates and recharges the mind. Pair that with the optimal temperature for productive growth: a warm 77 degrees for office workers, according to a Cornell study.
These small alterations could drastically change your office environment for the better.