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3 Aspects of Office Design that Affect Company Culture [Complete Guide]

Nurturing a positive company culture is an important aspect in running a business. There are tangible and intangible factors that affect company culture. One such tangible factor is the office design.

If you look at some of the offices of the fortune 500 companies, you’ll see that some of them have a cozy to whimsical office designs. They are not doing this just for show or to mainly just attract candidates to work for them. 

Different office designs are being used by top companies because they know the importance of having an office design that is more than just conducive for work. The office designs that they use have gone through research and development to ensure that the designs are good for the well-being of the workers.

Having a balance of being excellent for productivity and great for the well-being of the employees, good office designs can help create a good company culture. Here are the 5 aspects of office design that affect company culture:

Colors

The way we see the environment based on colors can affect our state. Have you ever wondered why fast food chains tend to use a lot of red and yellow? It was found from a study of psychology that the color red can make people feel more hungry.

Meanwhile, the color yellow gives one a feeling of comfort. It’s the same principle as to how colors can affect the states of workers in an office. In a workplace, specific colors can be used to calm, energize or even help workers become more creative. 

While this can mean that you can use colors to boost the productivity and spirits of your employees, you need to be careful of the type of colors you choose. Certain colors can help the morale of your employees but studies have also shown that there are colors that do the opposite.

A recent study conducted by the University of Texas found that beige, white and bland gray colored offices induced the feeling of depression and sadness. These colors have a greater effect in women than in men.

The same study has found that men feel the same experiences with the color purple and orange. What’s the color of your office? 

Here are colors that create positive impacts that you can use in your office:

  • Blue – is a calming color that helps employees remain focused on their current task.
  • Green – this is a great color for those that need to work for long hours because green doesn’t cause eye strain and also helps with being efficient at work.
  • Yellow – is a color that helps improve creativity 
  • Red – helps boost energy levels.

Create a good blend of colors and you can produce a better working environment for your employees. Colors help induce positivity, productivity and creativity. Moreover, using the right colors are good for the well-being of your employees. 

If your employees are in an empowered state, this helps with creating a positive company culture.

Layout

Layout plays a big role in office design and it can also affect the type of company culture your organization could have. Office layouts are implemented to optimize the use of the work area. 

Here are factors that are to be considered when planning for an office layout:

  1. Furniture arrangement
  2. Flexibility
  3. Smooth flow of work
  4. Communication between employees
  5. Communication between employees and management
  6. Better usage of office equipment
  7. Comfort

Steve Jobs once said, “design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works”. 

There are many types of office layouts and to give you an example, one is an open plan office. For a time, 70% of companies adopted this type of office layout to improve productivity and collaboration.

However, a study from the British Psychological Society showed that open plan offices are actually detrimental to the performance of employees. Here are the findings of the study:

  • Employees spent 73% less time in face-to-face interactions
  • Email usage increased by 67%
  • Instant messenger used increased by 75%

A lot of companies now make use of different types of working spaces to provide employees with privacy and a peaceful area to work. There can be areas where employees can collaborate and there can be areas where employees can have privacy.

This allows flexibility which helps boost employee engagement. According to a study conducted by Gallup, “employees who have the ability to move to different areas at work are 1.3 times more likely to be engaged than other employees”. 

Another good use of layout is to ensure employees have close or easy access to office equipment they tend to use. This saves them time and reduce their frustration from still having to go a long way just to use an equipment such as a printer or a xerox machine. 

Facilitation of supervision can also be easier and better with a good office layout. With an excellent layout, overall comfort of employees and management is improved. 

From having better communication, flexibility to ease of equipment usage, a positive company culture can be developed with a good office layout.

Nature

A lot of companies now integrate nature into their office because of the benefits of biophilic design. Nature alone can do so much for our well-being. Before the boom of technology and modernization, humans were very close to nature.

We are not meant to be in offices, staring at the monitors and doing paperwork. We were meant to run, hunt and scavenge for food. We were meant to be around nature. A lot of studies have already shown us the incredible benefits of being close to nature. Here are but a few:

  • Being close to nature reduces our stress levels
  • Nature helps improve our short term and working memory
  • Relieves anxiety and depression
  • Encourages engagement and physical activity

The benefits mentioned above and more can be brought into an office space by integrating nature into the office design. Here are some interesting statistics about biophilic designs:

  • Studies have shown that exposure to nature can improve creativity by 15% and productivity by 6%.
  • Plants can help improve air quality. A study by the Building Engineering Services Association has shown that 70% of employees reported that poor air quality lowers their productivity and has a negative impact on their wellbeing. 
  • An office that makes use of an open space has good airflow. Steady airflow helps improve focus.
  • Seeing nature helps reduce stress. The view doesn’t even have to be real. Even photos of nature can cause the same effect.
  • Plants help reduce noise levels

According to a study conducted by the University of Technology (Sydney), when plants were introduced into the workplace, there was a 37% drop in reported anxiety and tension. Moreover, there was also a 38% decrease in fatigue, 58% reduction in depression and a 44% drop in hostility and anger.

A positive company culture begins with happy employees. Office design plays a huge part in the overall well-being of workers. With what you know now, make an effort to have a good office layout adorned with good colors and brought to life by greenery. 

If you put these 3 aspects of office design in play, you are sure to cultivate a positive company culture. Start the transformation right away.