Surveys show that people spend about a third of their lives in the office. And with the increasing 996 working hour system today, working time in a day maybe even be much longer. Therefore, whether for the executives or for employees, the comfort of the office space and reasonable design are very important.
In fact, modern office design has evolved over the past 20 years. In the early 21st century, we saw the decline of office cubicle designs, which is replaced by open-plan offices. And by 2015, rectangular oversized conference tables became the new trend, quickly being popular in office spaces around the world. However, while office space design continues to change, the one constant is that the office environment should be conducive to employees’ productivity and well-being.
Even in the same office, using the same office facilities, different locations of the different employees will also produce a large difference in working performance.
Researchers at the University College London conducted an experiment on "workplace effects on productivity" in 2021, and then they found that:
1. Employees whose workstations are near the window are more productive and focused than those who are against the wall.
2. Employees who face the whole room but do not have many people in their line of sight generally perceive themselves to be more productive and have better team cohesion.
3. Employees who face the room but have many desks in front of them tend to rate their work environment less favorably.
4. Employees with the lowest job satisfaction ratings tend to have desks with their backs to the main area of the room and many of their colleagues sitting behind them.
People have observed the impact of various aspects of office space on employees. Firstly, they surveyed employees about their satisfaction with their offices and meeting rooms and collected detailed information about all participants' workstations and the plan for this office space.
It turns out that employees will not satisfy their work environment if they can see a large number of desks within their field of vision. There are two reasons:
First, they are easily distracted.
Second, it is difficult for employees to talk to their colleagues without disturbing others when sitting in such a position.
On the other hand, employees who sit by the window are more productive and focused than those who sit by the wall. And those people who have more visual control over their working environment have better productivity, focus, teamwork, and team bonding.
The workplace does not need to be too large. On one hand, the large office has high costs. And on the other hand, it may not be conducive to teamwork.
However, in order to avoid the sense of oppression and tension brought by small spaces, office designers provide more flexible options and set up more diverse workspaces to suit the different needs of employees.
To maximize employees’ productivity, companies can start with air, light, and user-friendly design.
A study conducted by the World Green Building Council (WGBC) showed that employees’ productivity can be increased after increasing fresh air in office spaces and reducing pollutants. How to make the office spaces have more fresh air? There are some solutions:
*no smoking in the office
*install air filtration systems
*use more greenery
In 2018, a study conducted by Cornell University has shown that employees sitting next to a window have less eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. Accordingly, people should consider avoiding flickering lights and using different types of lighting in different office areas depending on different purposes.
If the interior design of an office takes into account the practical needs of employees, then employees’ concentration, teamwork, confidentiality, and creativity will all improve. Preparing some ergonomic office furniture, such as ergonomic chairs, standing desks, etc. are also good for employees’ health. Office pods are private for people to be more concentrated.
Of course, healthy working meals, gyms, shower facilities, brainstorming spaces, and other reasonable settings will also have a positive impact on work. After all, if you can really find such a perfect office environment, definitely the motivation for work will be enhanced.