People in America spend an average of 46.9 per week at the office, and nearly 20% spend more than 60 hours per week at work according to a recent Gallup poll. People spend on average 25.4 minutes per day commuting WNYC commute national times—we spend a lot of time at work. Shouldn’t it be pleasing? Shouldn’t it be comfortable, and shouldn’t it be motivating?
How to Design for Motivation
It begins with layout
A workspace should be highly functional and friendly. It should combine gathering places and privacy. In this Gensler Design Survey of more than 2,000 professionals, they discovered 24% of those surveyed felt the combination of focus and collaboration areas was the key to a positive work environment. “While individual focus and collaborative work are often thought to be opposites, our research demonstrates that they function best as complements. For the 24% of respondents who report that their workplaces reflect their companies’ prioritizing both individual and collaborative work—what we call a “balanced workplace”—we see significant spikes in performance.”
Drab one color gray is out
It seems most folks spend nearly as much time at work as they do at home. People fill their homes with colors, images, and things that make them happy—the workplace should be no different. Employees should have some say in their work area. They should be able to decorate and personalize their workstation as safety allows. Color can be effectively used to channel mood. For example, blue and green are calming while orange and yellow stimulate – – Chron.com–How Wall Color Effects Employees. By coordinating walls, floors, and furnishings colors can change the atmosphere of a work area.
Graphics can instantly change the workplace
My favorite example of this is PERQ.com. We were privileged to work with them on an extensive interior makeover that included wall graphics, a break room with a basketball goal—we’re Hoosiers ya know—as well as a recognition wall, interior signage, and digital displays. I’ve yet to find a PERQ employee that doesn’t like the work environment. If you ask them what they think of the workspace—they brag about it. They’re proud of it and happy to work there. How do you think it affects recruitment, retention, and productivity? I believe the folks at PERQ would tell you it pays for itself.
We Have a Challenge for you
There’s obviously more to designing an effective workspace, but a lot can be accomplished by focusing on these three area: layout, color, and graphics. Take a stroll through your work environs with an eye to color and layout then ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the work area dull and drab?
- Are the furnishings old, worn, and outdated?
- Are there enough employee collaboration areas?
- Do employees have work areas where they can focus?
- Are employees allowed to decorate their work areas?
- How could floor and wall graphics enhance the environment?
- Is the work environment killing my team?
If you take the challenge, please let us know what you discover. Leave us a comment.