Do the Aesthetics of Your Workplace Affect Productivity?
The interior aesthetics of a workplace might not be your first concern when thinking about employee productivity. However, how your workspace is designed can have a massive effect on both employee satisfaction and productivity. This applies to both your home office and corporate office, and as more companies are turning to hybrid working, it’s important that every workspace has thoughtful design to create a productive working environment.
Below are some of the ways that office design can have a positive effect on employees.
Employee Satisfaction and Wellbeing
Generally, people prefer to be in aesthetically pleasing environments. How a space looks will have a psychological impact on us, which will affect our mood. A drab and unwelcoming space will have a negative impact, which will in turn negatively impact how productive we are. On the other hand, when a space has been designed thoughtfully, we’ll feel more welcomed and more motivated to work.
As well as employee satisfaction, good workplace aesthetics can also affect employee wellbeing. Aesthetically pleasing interiors will reduce stress, especially when natural themes and artwork can be incorporated. When workers are forced to work in dreary or dysfunctional offices, it can increase stress levels and reduce productivity.
The aesthetics of the workplace not only includes how it looks but also the layout. If employees have to navigate an office environment that isn’t set up properly, it can just add even more tasks to their to-do list or require them to work inefficiently to get around the issue.
Office design should also incorporate environmental considerations. This could be with adequate lighting or with ventilation and indoor air quality. Indoor air pollution can cause discomfort for employees and even lead to health issues. Including air purifiers in your office design can help to create a better working environment and help to maintain good health for your team.
With an aesthetically pleasing workspace, companies will have better opportunities for recruitment. Many people now expect more from their offices, with companies like Google and Facebook putting their employees’ needs first and leading the way in design and functionality in the office.
As well as recruitment, companies may see better employee retention when they can provide a more fulfilling environment to work in. Happier employees will be more likely to stay with a company, which can contribute to overall productivity.
With high levels of employee satisfaction and wellbeing comes high levels of productivity. Staff will be more motivated to work when they are in a positive environment. There have been numerous studies that show how interiors can boost productivity, using features such as natural light and plants, and even artwork and specific colours. A study by the University of Exeter showed that employees who worked in an environment that was decorated with plants and artwork were 17% more productive than those who worked in spaces that were functional but bare.
When a workplace has been thoughtfully designed, it can result in higher standards of work and more opportunities for ideas and improved ways of working amongst the team. This can be through the aesthetic design of the office, but also in the types of spaces that are provided for employees, such as breakout rooms for collaboration working.
A functional and comfortable workspace will also mean staff can work more efficiently, with fewer distractions. Ergonomic design can help to improve and maintain employee health, so they are able to work comfortably and avoid aches and pains that can come from long periods of office work. This might involve an ergonomic office stool, standing desk converter, and other ergonomic office accessories to create a bespoke ergonomic workstation for each employee.
Reflection of Your Company
Your office space should reflect your company in the same way as your branding does. This is especially important if you will be bringing clients or prospective clients to the office for meetings. A bright and vibrant workspace will show how your company is run and is key to maintaining professionalism.
As well as being important knowledge for clients, it will also be important for prospective recruits who come for an interview or even search your business and office on the internet. If you have clearly dedicated resources to providing a positive environment for your employees, it highlights your values and how employee wellbeing is high on your list of priorities.
How Aesthetics Can Improve Your Workspace
Below are the best ways to use aesthetics to improve productivity in your workspace, both in corporate offices and for your home office set up.
Natural light has a direct impact on productivity. It can help employees to feel energised and focused, whereas a reliance on harsh electric lighting can cause fatigue. You should aim to have as much natural light in the office as possible and replace fluorescent lights with softer lighting.
Personal desk lamps can help to improve the lighting in an office and also reduce the eye strain associated with working on bright computer screens for long periods of time. You should also consider where screens are positioned to reduce glare. An adjustable laptop stand can make it easy for individuals to move their screen to work in the most comfortable position.
Different colours in the workplace will inspire different feelings and results. Too much white and grey will create a drab and boring environment, which could hinder productivity and creativity. Warmer colours can be more stimulating, and cooler tones can be more calming.
A study by the University of British Columbia found that blues and greens can create a calm and focused environment. As such, these tones are often used in workplaces as they can boost productivity and relieve stress. Yellows are often used in creative industries, as these tones are more optimistic and can boost creativity. Using the right colours in the right areas of your office can help to boost productivity and help employees produce the best results.
The Leitz Cosy range has a variety of products available in multiple colours, including creativity-boosting yellow and calming blue. Our Cosy products have a pleasing minimalist and efficient design, making them perfect for your office and your work from home setup.
Plants are an easy way of incorporating natural elements into your workspace. Plants can help to boost both employee mood and productivity, and also create a tranquil and relaxing environment. Another benefit of plants is that they can help to improve the air quality within a space. When plants are incorporated into an office, it creates a more welcoming place and people will be happier to spend time there.
The best office plants will be hardy and require minimum maintenance, like succulents, cacti, snake plants, and pothos. If you have space to fill, a monstera can make quite a statement and just requires a well-lit spot and watering at least every two weeks.
The furniture you use in your workspace should combine style and functionality. You should choose designs that reflect your company, whether that’s sleek and minimal or vibrant and funky.
You should use quality, durable furniture that’s built to last. The initial investment will probably save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to replace it as quickly and also won’t lose any working hours if something breaks and prevents an employee from being able to work. Quality furniture will usually be more comfortable for employees too, keeping their morale high.
As well as aesthetics of your furniture, you should also consider the ergonomics. Each individual employee may have slightly different needs, so it can be best to discuss with them what kind of furniture will be best for their workstation. You can find out more in our guide about ergonomics for office workers.
You should allow employees to personalise their own workstation. People spend a lot of time at work, so being able to create an environment that suits them and makes them happy will help to keep morale and productivity high. In fact, the study by the University of Exeter showed that employees who were able to decorate their own workspace were 32% more productive than employees who worked in bare spaces.
You should let employees bring in photos of their loved ones to have on their workstation and ask for their input when choosing furniture and office accessories. They may have a preference for the colours used, as well as the specific equipment they need.
Breakout Rooms and Collaborative Spaces
When thinking about your office design, you should also think about the spaces that are available for your employees. Having breakout rooms available for employees will give people a space to relax, unwind, and recharge. Employees will need to take regular breaks to ensure they can stay working productively and giving people a space to do that away from their desk can be really beneficial.
You should also ensure there is space or rooms available for people to work collaboratively. It can be inspiring for people to be able to work together and talk through their projects and ideas with other people. This can help people to stay energised and productive, as well as producing higher standards of work and building relationships within the team.
If your office is open plan, it can be helpful to provide quiet working spaces too. When noise levels are high, some people can find it difficult to concentrate on their work. Having areas where people can go to work quietly will help them to focus and reduce stress.
Read more about how your company can look after your employees’ wellbeing: