Interior design matters in the workplace: here’s why
Productivity in design: workplace interiors for clever companies
- Does interior design have a place in work?
- Can interior design even affect our work?
Ah yes, the burning questions.
Well, it depends where you work, how you work, and how loud your co-workers are. While everybody reacts differently to design, one fact about work never changes: you want your staff to be as productive as possible.
In this post we’ll be looking at the ever-shifting definition of the workplace, and what that means for you and your interior design decisions.
The very definition of workplace is changing
And the meaning of ‘work space’ should be changing with it -
"Formal work rules are dissolving, regardless of where and how we work – now frequently in hotel lobbies or cafes," explained the founders of Barber and Osgerby, a design studio, in dezeen."As a result, the desk is no longer at the centre of our work life. It is disappearing as an archetype.”
Are open offices still the best idea?
There’s less face to face communication in open plan offices, according to a Harvard study entitled The impact of the ‘open’ workspace on human collaboration. Yes, that’s right, apparently open plan offices do the exact opposite of what they were intended to do: they shut down communication.
This is leading the rise of text-based communication on platforms like Slack or Facebook’s Workplace. This, in turn, is leading to a blossoming of interior design work focused solely on re-imagining and re-configuring the workplace.
Is all of this really necessary though? Surely the if workplace has functioned for this long in the same format, it can continue to work?
Not if you want to thrive rather than survive as a company. It turns out it is actually vitally important, because the well-being of staff in the workplace affects their creativity and thinking skills, which in turn affects their overall productivity.
The design of your workfloor could even be impacting the retention rate of your staff.
We’re not saying you need to go all ‘Google’ on it and provide a swimming pool and free food: often the best way to promote hard work is to think smart about the place where the work is happening and the kind of work that needs to be done.
Making your workspace work for your staff
Making your employees feel appreciated and to treat them fairly are both very important in the retention of your staff and their productivity.
Staff also want to work in a dynamic, productive workplace.
It’s common sense then to look at the way your employees work: what makes them the most productive?
If you can cater to that, you’re already going the extra mile towards helping them grow as a professional and as a person: which is great for your company and your bottom line.
What design decisions can you make to help your staff’s productivity, which will help your company flourish in return?
Successful workplace interior design
While people respond to design in different ways, acoustics affect a huge segment of your staff.
A whopping 70%, in fact, are not happy with the sound levels in their workplace, according to a finding by Leesman. You can’t please anyone with your interior design decisions, but of all the aspects of a workplace that can quickly become really irritating, sound is the top hitter.
Using a variety of materials in the design of your offices can not only help regulate the sound level, but they can provide visually stimulating environments as well.
Hard flooring and empty walls effect the acoustics of your office space (or any space!) intensely, so maybe it’s time to let go of the harshness of minimalist office design and let a little softness in.
This can mean anything from upholstered wall panels to acoustic ceiling panels, and anything in-between. Look at the space you have and use it to your advantage.
Remember: you define success. What is 'winning' for you might not be the same for another company, and you have to keep that fact firmly in mind when it comes to designing your workspace interiors.
Ignore the trends
It's been an interesting few years for trends in office and workspace design. We saw meeting rooms overhauled, casual spaces promoted and some really cool visual reminders of why employees come to work every day.
We’re here to tell you though, while trends are nice, you don’t have to jump on every single bandwagon that rolls into town.
Ignore the fads: focus on what you need, and where you’re aiming for. Then use interior design as your secret workspace weapon to get where you’re going.
Workplace productivity by design
No matter where the workplace is headed, your environment will always impact your productivity.
This affects workers across the board, from remote workers in cafes to 9-5ers in the HQ.
Whether you're designing the interiors for a staff of 200 or carving out a space for yourself, we hope you've found this article useful.