The Links Between Office Design and Employee Happiness

Offices are an essential area in every organisation since that is where all work is planned, preserved and monitored. Having a good working environment has a significant effect on employee output, so businesses should ensure that their office design boosts the mood of its staff. Workers in an excellently designed office tend to be more productive than those who work in disorganised environments. There are various aspects which ought to be considered while creating an office to enhance production and morale.

Lighting

An office fit out of the highest order should ensure that enough natural light enters the office during the day. The quality and quantity of light in the office area can have an impact on the aesthetic judgement and resulting mood of the employees. The volume of light entering the office should be controlled by those who work there, through the use of blinds and drapery to reduce glare and other brightness related issues.

In the evening, the room should be well illuminated for any employees who might be working late. The bulbs used in the office should be located in positions where they won’t strain the eyes of employees, whilst still providing enough light to make reading and writing comfortable. A well-lit room also plays a significant role in preventing accidents.

An office with dull lighting can make employees feel miserable and demotivated, something that isn’t good for any business.

Redesigning

One discovery from human resource research is that employees become happier when their offices are redesigned. A study on 257 employees, as published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour, showed that workers experienced a feeling of collaboration and innovation within their company on the back of a redesigned office. Employees who visit the same room for years tend to get bored and do not look forward to reporting to their specific jobs, as compared to those whose offices have been redeveloped and kept fresh over time.

A refurbished office creates a sense of progression and provides employees with a new environment in which they can feel as though they are starting a job or a promotion. In redesigning an office, employees can make their suggestions to the decision makers, giving themselves a sense of purpose in the process.

Furniture and Equipment

The working area should provide employees with enough comfortable furniture for themselves as well as any clients who visit the office. Having comfy chairs and correctly sized tables ensures that employees don’t injure themselves whilst working, which could significantly reduce their productivity. The office furniture should also be arranged in such a way that clients will not interfere with the work of the employees when they come to visit.

Employees should also be provided with up-to-date office equipment such as modern computers and Wi-Fi. An office with the latest state-of-the-art technology boosts the mood of the employees due to their efficiency and speed of production. Such equipment should also provide a sense of trust where employees can control the functionality of their machines without the interference of the support team. They will also be responsible for taking care of expensive and technologically advanced equipment.

Greenery and Space

Small offices can make employees feel confined to their workspace due to the fact that they can seem crowded, whilst big offices can provide a better working area as well as room for expansion. Scientists’ study on lean offices found that green plants incorporated in certain areas can help in counteracting the adverse effect of large unoccupied spaces, which can create a feeling of emptiness. Greenery in lean offices can help increase comfort levels in the room, which increases productivity by up to 15%.

Privacy

An office fit out should provide environments where workers can work independently on their desks without feeling like they are being monitored by their colleagues or managers. Having a private workspace does not necessarily mean isolating employees from each other, but rather it provides employees with the opportunity to work without interference from the colleagues sitting nearby. Having workers in a standard room with independent counters helps to boost their morale and prevent boredom which is caused by working in solitude. This kind of office design also supports easier communication amongst employees.

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