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|Your studio design sends a message about the type of designer that you are. But -- as the following article points out -- how your workspace is designed is also important for your creativity, motivation, and productivity.||
how important is it?
(ARA) - It's a buzz-phrase that's often bantered around -- "the psychology of design." But can the chair you sit on, or the desk you sit at really influence your performance at work? Will it make you a more productive, happier employee? Will it make you want to work harder? Do employees even care about their surroundings?
The answer to all of these questions is yes. Studies have been conducted verifying that office objects in an employee's workspace can serve more than their intended, functional purposes. For example, the chair an employee sits on may portray a nonverbal hierarchy in the office, or even function as a motivator, or perhaps a status symbol. That same chair caneven be a reflection of who is truly valued in the office.
Additionally, the American workplace has changed drastically during the last two decades. Employees are continually being asked to do more with less. Work pressures are increasing as a growing number of employees across a wide-range of job classifications are expected to work longer hours and produce more work. That said, office comfort and well-thought-out workplace design have become more important and can have significant impact on productivity, as well as a company's bottom line.
In fact, according to an independent 2006 U.S. Workplace Survey conducted on behalf of Gensler, a leading global design, planning and strategic consulting firm, design does matter. Sixty-five percent of workers asked said that the design and layout of their workplace is "extremely" or "very" important to them. And, more than ninety percent surveyed said the quality of their working environment affects their attitude about their work.
Furthermore, those running today's businesses also realize the impact office design has on employee performance. Ninety percent of senior executives say that a better physical working environment would have a positive impact on their company's success.
"Businesses are waking up to the fact that the workplace is much more than just real estate and a means to house their people," says Diane Hoskins, an executive director at Gensler. "They are embracing performance-focused workplace design as a strategic business initiative as the forum that can drive employee excellence, business objectives, and ultimately, the bottom line."
Psychology Of Design
So what are companies doing about it?
"There are several design elements that can be implemented to provide a more employee-friendly environment that encourages productivity, while also maintaining the appropriate corporate image that needs to be portrayed," says Ric Andersen, Gunlocke vice president, sales and marketing. "Many of these elements are based on the simple principles of human nature."
Without even knowing it, color in an office space can significantly influence attitudes and morale. So, choosing the correct office colors should go beyond aesthetics and take into consideration the impact of color on the human psyche.
Dark, drab colors can impede performance, making employees feel tired or even depressed. On the flip side, colors that are too bright, such as yellows and reds, can distract workers, leaving them feeling edgy and nervous. Color experts suggest using calming neutrals such as tans, greens and even blues, all colors which have been found to improve overall efficiency.
Andersen goes on to say, "In addition to color, employees can consciously, or subconsciously, perceive how their company feels about them by looking at surrounding office furnishings. Employers can make workers feel valued by paying close attention to the type of furnishings used in everyone's office, from a junior workstation to the CEO's office. "
However, office hierarchy can play a role in design, too. Status motivates people, and with increased status usually comes larger, more expensive office furnishings. Still, there are ways to ensure employees are provided with the best furnishings possible, no matter what their career level.
For example, Gunlocke, an industry leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of wood contract furniture offers their Menu line of office furnishings. This new furniture platform delivers an extraordinary range of integrated options in design, materials and scale, allowing companies to customize personal workspace while still working within one product line.
Plus, all of Menu's materials and finishes may be optioned up or down to reflect employee status within an organization, Andersen points out. Menu's well thought out use of steel, one of the most durable and recyclable materials available, means companies can use either all-wood drawers, or the more durable option of steel drawers with wood veneer fronts, depending on where the furniture is being placed.
By utilizing appropriate furnishings and design, employees feel appreciated, and in turn, are more productive, which in the long-run benefits companies.
While it might seem obvious, researchers have found that sufficient daylight in an office leads to increased productivity and lower absenteeism. If natural daylight is limited due to location, proper workplace lighting can help. It's essential to any good business since it allows employees to comfortably see what they're doing without straining their eyes and bodies and creates a pleasant atmosphere and sense of well-being. This is particularly important with the increase in the average worker's hours.
The bottom line is employees perceive how their company feels about them through office design, layout and their general environment. And while the formula for a successful company may be complex, there's no doubt that creating happier, more productive workers through the "psychology of design" is a corporate investment well worth the time and effort.
For more information about Menu or other Gunlocke furnishing products, contact Gunlocke at (800) 828-6300, or visit its Web site at www.gunlocke.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content
|resources: books on creative workspace design|
The Inspired Workspace: Designs for Creativity and Productivity
Artists' Interiors: Creative Spaces, Inspired Living
Your Perfect Home-Based Studio: A Guide for Designers & Other Creative Professionals
decorate your studio with pop art
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