Workplace Interior Design: The Psychology Behind Productivity


Your workplace is that space that you occupy to accomplish your work each day. This space, more or less, defines who you are and how you behave. In essence, that cubicle or room inside that building has serious consequences on your psychological wellness as well as your creativity. And since you will need to spend a lot of years inside that same room (or desk), it makes sense to optimize the space and to organize it in such a way that you would become most productive.

The Science Behind the Design

When it comes to designing the workplace, the business owners or the designers have full control on whether to make the place look chic or traditional. Whichever way they choose to go, psychology and neuroscience will always be there as guidelines in planning the layout and setting up the design aspects.

One of the most effective concepts that are now being implemented in workplace interior design is for the owners to give the employees a sense of ownership. The simple act of being able to organize one’s workspace has a powerful, empowering effect that is inevitably linked to productivity.

It has been observed that office workers who had control over the number of plants and pictures that they place in their work area are able to perform better at work. This simple opportunity offered them the chance to identify more with their employer as they are given an increased commitment to their office family. Some companies have even provided their employees with budgets to furnish their own workspace.

Alternatively, if you have created an open space layout, then make the environment as homely as possible for the employees. Even simple pin boards where they can post pictures and messages can help them feel more convenient at work. 

Make Use of Rounded Furniture

It is wise to design the workplace in a layout that is curved or rounded. Do the same with your choice of office furniture. Rounded furniture as compared to straight-edged pieces tends to evoke more positive emotions among employees.

Creating such an environment has been observed to up the creativity and productivity in the workplace. Such a setting also decreases the occurrence of knocked elbows or knees on sharp corners.

A 2011 study, involving hundreds of undergraduates who looked at room’s interiors with curvilinear and rectilinear furniture; has proven that the former is more inviting and pleasant to the eye. Now we know why King Arthur preferred to have a round table!

Optimize Light, Color and Space

It is also important to choose the right kind of color and lighting scheme for a workplace. Different colors evoke different emotions and this is also the same with the different light levels.

Install lighting systems that will allow the change in hue and brightness according to the activities that are being done. Brighter levels of light are known to induce evaluative and analytical thinking.

The conference room can have dimmers so that it can be brightly lit while a meeting is ongoing while it can also be dimmed if a slideshow presentation is required.

Being exposed to the colors blue and green has been observed to enhance employees’ performance, especially when it comes to the generation of new ideas. The color red, on the other hand, is linked with excellent performance maybe because it evokes the feeling of independence.

Make good use of office windows to allow more light into the room. A good view of the natural landscape down below recharges any tired mind. If the office is located in an urbanized area, have the desks arranged in such a way that they are looking out on a beautifully intricate architecture.

Lack of view could mean lack of unique and useful ideas – keep that in mind.

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