No matter how much we’d sometimes like to control our colleagues, we can’t force them to act or think differently. However, through the subtle power of psychology, we can take certain steps to influence their moods and behaviour for the good. One simple place to start is with your office surroundings. Here we’ll take a look at workspace design psychology; what it is, how it works, and how you can use it to improve employee wellbeing and productivity.
Why our surroundings are important
It’s not something we’re always conscious of, but our surroundings have the power to alter our mood, shape our attitude and determine our behaviour in any given situation. Consider an extreme example: a bare prison cell with hardly any natural light might make us nervous, edgy and depressed. Contrast that with an area of natural beauty such as a lake or forest; a place where you might feel relaxed, energised and alive.
While we’re not likely to encounter either of these extremes in the workplace, the same principle applies on a smaller scale. A dingy or cramped space that’s uncomfortable and poorly lit is unlikely to elicit the best from anyone – but one that’s spacious, welcoming and energising will make for happier employees and higher productivity. Workspace design psychology uses this principle and harnesses it to create offices that make people happier, encourage positive behaviours and allow workers to thrive.
How workplace design has an impact
If we think of how we evolved, it’s not surprising that our professional surroundings affect our behaviour. Our prehistoric forbears would have been constantly alert to key clues about their environment, sometimes using these subtle cues to make fight-or-flight, life-or-death decisions.
Today, the impact of workplace design on your modern-day employees should not be underestimated. Here are some of the ways that our office interiors can affect us:
- The way we act and the things we do can be shaped by the layout, look and feel of the place where we work. If you want to encourage collaboration, design strategies might include building collaborative spaces into the fabric of your workplace or moving away from a fixed seating plan.
- Natural light, colour and background noise are some of the factors that can affect our moods in the workplace. Privacy, autonomy and flexibility are also considerations that can help employees really feel at home in their work environment.
- To be productive, our basic human needs must first be met. An efficient workspace is one that will help ensure we get what we need from the environment, with adequate light and space, areas for rest and relaxation and healthy food and drink easily available. In addition, good workspace design will ensure that working processes are streamlined, so for example, time is saved on frequent tasks by making all the requisite equipment available in the same place.
What does workspace design psychology mean for your company?
If your company is considering an office move or a refit, be sure to consider the principles of workspace design psychology when planning your new interiors. At Apollo Interiors, our design experts can help you to use these principles to create an office that’s both pleasant and productive. Read more about our commercial interior design services or contact us for assistance with your workspace design.