Productivity at work

Bad Office Design Harms Employee Experience

By wizu | 12 August 2022

Employees spend hours every week at the office, often spending more time at the office than at home. So, when an office design isn’t comfortable or has other issues, employees suffer. They develop stress, anxiety, and other health issues.

More businesses are becoming aware of the issue of office design and how it can affect employee wellbeing. Recognition of the problem has brought more concern to bear on office design. Companies are now looking for ways to enhance office design and improve their employees’ experience.

 

How Décor Affects Mood & Performance

Take a look around your office. What is the décor like? Does your office look like a bland doctor’s office with white walls and carpeting? If so, your employees are suffering.

Studies have shown that wall colours have a psychological effect on employees. The wrong colours can dampen productivity and happiness. White walls, for instance, can cause employees to make a high number of mistakes. On the other hand, red walls can be over-stimulating, causing an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Instead, blues and greens increase innovation, add calm, and boost creativity. What’s more, adding green also brings the feeling of nature into the office. Touches of nature in the office have been found to increase happiness, health, and productivity.

Other colours, such as yellow and orange, foster communication, while purple and red (in small amounts) create a comfortable environment. Yellow has also been shown to aid relaxation and creativity.

With the right combination of colours, you may find socialization, productivity, and relaxation increase in your office space.

 

Increase Collaboration and Flexibility

Employee collaboration is the foundation of any business. However, it’s not always easy. The most common office layout used to increase collaboration is the open layout. This may work to foster a collaborative work culture in a company. However, the open office can have a drastic negative effect on employees. The open office layout can also reduce teamwork.

Research has shown that conversations in the office dropped by 73%, while emails and messaging increased by about 67%. If you’re trying to boost collaboration with an open office layout, these statistics show you may not succeed.

The problem is that the open office layout doesn’t work well for all employees. Instead of choosing the traditional open layout, you may need to find a design that brings balance to your workspace.

Some businesses have chosen to use the open office layout combined with work zones or dedicated spaces for different tasks. These may include areas for collaboration, quiet zones, breakout spaces, and more.

Why are quiet areas so important? Some employees don’t work well in a noisy environment. They feel stressed, anxious, and unable to focus on their work. The noise may be coming from a noisy team working on a project, phone calls with clients, and noisy office equipment such as printers. All of this noise can be a huge distraction for some employees. The quiet areas are made for those who need a quiet place to focus and stay productive.

It’s understandably challenging to create different areas in a small office. However, it’s essential for employee wellbeing. Employees need spaces where they can work at their best. They also require areas that don’t restrict their work.

In addition, studies have shown that employees are happier when they have more autonomy over their work. If you give employees different areas to get their work done, they’ll have the choice of where to do certain tasks. They won’t be tied down to one space or desk all day. Flexible work and different areas to work can increase employee happiness and wellbeing.

 

Keep Office Design Fresh

Another common problem is that an office can quickly become stale. What does that mean? Office design that’s drab and worn out has a negative impact on employees. Working in a dull, uninspiring office may cause depression, lack of innovation & creativity, and decreased productivity.

In addition, employees may find it challenging to meet in the same depressing meeting room all day. So, they may opt for meetings away from the office to bring a boost.

So, it’s essential to ensure your office space is fresh, offers inspiring spaces to work, and that it looks attractive and modern. When the office is a comfortable, pleasant space, employees feel valued and more comfortable. Their happiness and productivity increase as a result.

How to Improve Employee Experience in the Workplace

Here are a few quick tips to improve your office and employee experience!

 

1. Create a Clean & Comfortable Workplace

The office needs to be attractive and comfortable to improve employee experience in the workplace. However, no one can be comfortable in a messy, dirty office. If you’re looking for ways to update the office, first consider cleaning it all up. That means removing broken furniture & office equipment, clearing away clutter, dusting, and more.

Once everything has been cleared up, you’ll have a better idea of what updates the office space needs. Even so, everyone will feel much better in the space once the office is cleaned up.

 

2. Create Quiet Rooms for Employees

Open office layouts can be beneficial; however, there are usually some employees who work best in a more quiet environment. So, you may want to consider creating quiet rooms or spaces for employees who need a quiet place to work and focus.

When employees are comfortable at work, studies show their happiness and productivity increase. So, don’t forget to add quiet spaces for employees who need a place to get away from the noise of an open office layout.

 

3. Allow Workstation Personalization

Many employees spend a good part of their time at a workstation. This is necessary for some jobs. To make these employees more comfortable and happy, you may want to consider allowing them to personalize their desks and spaces.

This isn’t only about personal pictures, artwork, and plants. It’s also about changing up their desk. For instance, some employees may want to have an adjustable stand and sit desk. That way, they can stand or sit throughout the workday. This is a great way to make an employee happier and healthier.

But don’t forget to allow employees to bring personal photos, plants, and other things that can make them feel happier and more comfortable at work. Of course, it’s necessary to create some guidelines on how workstations can be customized. But some personalization is beneficial for employee wellbeing.

Summing It Up

Refreshing the office to keep it from going stale is more than taking care of the décor. It’s more about taking care of employee happiness and wellbeing. When employees feel happier, they’re more engaged and productive. So, be sure to involve them when you decide to update the office. Employees need and deserve an office that helps them feel more comfortable and happy.

An office designed with and for employees is sure to make the workplace a wonderful place for everyone.

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