Space design is a powerful tool for increasing employee engagement in the office. While now world-class employees like Google, Facebook, and Bumble have disrupted and influenced the infrastructure of office design, it wasn’t long ago that office buildings were designed according to a 19th Century model of work (Duffy, 1997). Workers were expected to perform rather than think and the economy was deprived of a healthy, thriving business model.
Now employers are expected to provide stimulating, engaging environments for their teams, and rightly so. Office design is a significant driver behind not only employee engagement, but also productivity, employee loyalty, and the generation of new human capital.
It’s often easy to be overwhelmed by the needed progress to be made within your company however we can advocate for simple but effective space design techniques that can help you increase your team’s productivity.
Optimise use of natural light
Would it surprise you to know that different types of light affect humans both psychologically and physiologically? Similar to food and water, our bodies use natural light as a nutrient, even improving the general functionality of the brain. Increased daylight has even been associated with enhanced morale, lower fatigue, and reduced eye strain.
By optimising the use of natural light you’re able to improve the general state of wellbeing for your employees. Consider the positioning of office desks near windows. Mirrors or mirrored walls are also a great tool for brightening and opening up a space.
In a study conducted by Harvard University, it was found that office workers had significantly improved cognitive function scores when working in Green and Green+ environments compared with scores obtained when working in a Conventional environment.
So how do you go ‘green’? Providing a well-ventilated space can go a long way for the wellbeing of your employees and their work. Review your current ventilation and see if there's an opportunity for improvement. Invest in greenery to absorb high levels of carbon dioxide and add colour to your space.
Colour psychology can be a powerful tool to subconsciously improve productivity, mood and state of being for your employees. Blue has been known to have a significant effect on productivity as it can assist to calm those in more stressful work environments. Red and orange tend to stimulate energy, while yellow encourages happiness. Pink is a well rounded colour that can calm nerves, lift energy, and help people focus.
At Sense, we recently engaged Sydney artist, Elliot Routledge, better known as Numbskull to animate a feature wall in our space. Elliot spent a period of time practicing and studying the use of colour and the psychology behind it. He has mastered his art to create unique, bold imagery that can evoke emotion. We’re incredibly honoured to feature his work in our office and excited about the way it impacts the space and employees.
Provide different spaces
It’s important to have different spaces your employees can engage with. Providing spaces to break out, meet up, or take a minute can help your team stay focused and assist in positive team dynamics.
In our office we have an open plan space with two desk areas that we move people around depending on their project. We also provide different spaces to work from including a communal table, standing workspaces, lounging areas and three different styled meeting rooms for our team to break out, hold meetings, or find a quiet space. Often employees will be in and out of these rooms all throughout the day.
If you’d like to know more about space design, feel free to get in touch.