Designing The Office. #NewToHR

Designing The Office

Each day is yielding more evidence to support that employee morale is directly influenced by the design of an office.

Including impacts on well-being, health and productivity, this is becoming a serious matter that cannot be ignored.

 Data supports that patients in hospitals heal faster when in a room with a window, so it is safe to assume that such a mental effect could take place in an office. As you move into spring, start planning a full makeover to benefit your employees and the business.

Of the noted correlations, air quality and temperature proved to have the most direct effect on overall performance. By decreasing the amount of outdoor air circulated through the building, employees are more likely to take more sick days and work at a far slower rate than if there was an increased amount of fresh air pumped through the air system.

In addition, those offices kept between temperatures of either 26 or 15 degrees Celsius indicated far less productivity than those offices with a temperature somewhere between 21 and 23 degrees. While the fresh air is something to be taken up with the building, a consistent temperature alone will save vast amounts of money while improving worker morale.

Aside from the air, external views are just as important.

Those with a great quality view and great daylight access reported employees taking 6% fewer sick days in relation to their light deprived counterparts. Scientists even have evidence that increased exposure to the sun’s rays helps individuals sleep better at night.

Knowing this, take a look around the office.

  • Are there windows being blocked by cubicles?
  • Are there cubicles completely hidden from the sight of a window?

Move these to different locations. It will help keep employees happy while saving you money on the electric bill.

Performing this change, however, may prove to be difficult as emotions and well-being aren’t the easiest things to quantify.

Come up with a questionnaire asking employees in a quantitative manner about their feelings.

Then, change a few things in the office to see how it affects the employees. Administer the questionnaire again and discuss the results with management. The more hard evidence you have, the easier it will be to convince the managers that funding a redesign will turn out to be an investment with a steady, high return rate.

When it is time to throw out the old and bring in the new, take into account your office’s design.

With more research emerging every day that highlights the positive influence of such things as improved air quality and more sun, it is becoming harder and harder to simply shrug off employee complaints about office working conditions.

Collaborate with everyone to find the most important improvements that can be made and start there. With time, you can build the ideal office.

© New To HR


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