Office design can drive employee performance
According to the International Academy for Design and Health, the physical working environment can impact employee productivity up to 30%. A smart office design can enhance employee performance. In its article ”Top 20 most awesome company offices”, Income Diary presents some of the most impressive offices around the world. The first companies listed are:
1. Selgas Cano – Madrid2. Google – Zurich 3. Red Bull – London 4. AOL – Palo Alto, California 5. Parliament – Portland, Oregon
What do these working spaces have in common at first glance?
- They are nonconventional;
- They facilitate communication and interaction;
- They have colorfull and dynamic decorations;
- Wide windows and working spaces.
How to design working environments that boost performance?
Analyzing some of the companies that have the best placed to work, several key ingredients can be considered to design awesome offices:
- Provide physical comfort – this is the basic rule to keep in mind, as people work better if the furniture used is comfortable, there is enough light, warmth and the overall design of the room is appealing;
- Outline corporate identity – interiors must reflect the corporate values and transmit a positive feeling to employees. The organization’s spirit and purpose must be embedded in the interior design;
- Ensure a storytelling to evoke pride and engagement – environmental branding should evoke company pride and raise engagement among employees;
- Working spaces are designed to facilitate interaction and communication – innovation and performance will occur if people have the physical conditions to easily interact and communicate. Therefore, open desks are preferable instead of closed offices. However, this also depends on the specific activities of each department;
- Provide spaces for celebrations and social networking –personnel engagement increases when there is a strong feeling of belonging to a certain team and employees can get to know each other better. A lot of great ideas are generated during social conversations, so providing spaces for social activities might increase creativity and innovation;
- Create recreation spaces – they can be used to relax for a few minutes and return to work with more energy.
Another trend nowadays are the corporate campuses that look like small towns, providing all types of facilities for employees, such as parks, spaces to practice sports, gyms, coffee shops or stores. All these contribute to building a real employee community for the organization, which leads to higher personnel retention rates. By strengthening the employer brand, it is also much easier for the company to attract talent.
Employees perform better when they feel better and have freedom of expression! They are more engaged when everything around them embeds the supreme purpose of the organization and of their efforts. Therefore, office design can and should be used as a tool to support high productivity and engagement.
- Income Diary (2014), Top 20 most awesome company offices
- Vischer, J. C. (2003), Designing the work environment for worker health and productivity, International Academy for Design and Health
- Armstrong, B. T. (2011), At America’s best workplaces, good design reigns supreme, Forbes