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Corporate design is rapidly changing from the traditional office layout. Image Via: Geremia Design

The world of corporate office design is rapidly changing. Image Via: Geremia Design

Running a business is no easy task. At any given moment, there are a thousand different decisions to be made. As the boss, not only is it your responsibility to make those decisions, but the answers that you give could potentially make or break your commercial success. When you live under all that pressure day in and day out, it’s only understandable why office design would be the furthest thing from your mind. After all, it doesn’t really matter what a space looks like as long as the work gets done, right?

Wrong. It turns out the way in which a corporate space is designed has a profound impact on the business itself. Design choices have an effect on everything from task performance, to error rate, and employee satisfaction.

Take a look at the article below for further explanation of the science behind these effects. We’ll share the research with you and then show you how to help your workspace design achieve optimal results. It may just be time for a remodel.

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Today's office spaces are becoming increasingly more individualized. Image Via: New Office Design 2015

Companies that stick to a traditional layout may be unintentionally harming their bottom line. Image Via: New Office Design 2015

Color Choice Affects Task Performance

At first thought, it may seem like choosing colors for your workspace will be your easiest office design decision. Of course, you’ll choose the colors that you’ve chosen for your brand, right? Not so fast.

Research by the National Institute of Health has found that the colors that surround us have a profound effect on how well we are able to complete tasks. Exposure to blue and green shades was found to enhance performance on tasks that required participants to generate new ideas. Red, on the other hand, seemed to aid tasks that required specific attention to detail.

It’s no coincidence that a red, blue, and green color combo sounds familiar to us. Many big name companies like Google, Ebay, and Microsoft have incorporated these shades into their branding and office design. Keep an eye out the next time you come across an advertisement. Odds are you’ll often come in contact with these three shades.

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Green shades are often used in corporate design because they've been shown to improve task performance. Image Via: Decorbizz

Green shades are often used in corporate design because they’ve been shown to improve task performance. Image Via: Decorbizz

Rounded Shapes Inspire Collaboration:

When it comes time to buy furniture, there are undoubtedly a few characteristics that any employer will be taking into consideration: price point, style, and even color. But, for whatever reason, shape is often overlooked – and it shouldn’t be. Using round furniture in your workspace design could help employees think more creatively.

A 2013 study by the Proceedings of the Notational Academy of Sciences found that participants were more likely to engage in collective thinking when they were seated in a curved formation. Conversely, they were more likely to have in self-based thoughts when in a rectangular arrangement. Interestingly, the study also found that subjects were more apt to rate shapely spaces as beautiful compared to linear environments.

So, what does this mean for you? Maybe it’s time to put the stark look aside for the more relaxed feel of rounded furniture. Plus, when it comes to putting together spaces for your creative teams, a large round table may be a better investment than several segregated cubicles.

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Choose curved furniture for the areas in which you need creativity most. Image Via: Capital Painting, Inc.

Choose curved furniture for the areas in which you need creativity most. Image Via: Capital Painting, Inc.

Decor Items Attract Higher Quality Workers:

In the past, office space design was all about sleekness, clean lines, and functionality over form. Neutral shades were preferred over pops of color and clean desks were praised over ones filled with clutter. However, it appears that this movement toward minimalism has gone too far. A lack of personality in office design is leading to employee dissatisfaction and higher turnover rates.

Gensler, an architectural practice, surveyed the opinions of 200 managers from law, media, publishing and financial firms. Their survey found that individuals who worked in an office space with a lean design strategy were far more likely to feel undervalued and ignored by their employers than those who worked in a decorated environment. Employees with positive personality attributes – self-motivation, self-confidence, task dedication – were also more likely to report plans to move on to a new company in the near future.

The key to successful décor lies in moderation. Too little will appear stark and unwelcoming while too much will seem cluttered and unorganized. Stick to wall art that feels interesting-yet-professional and try to coordinate it with your paint colors to maintain cohesiveness.

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Offices that pay attention to decor report happier workers. Image Via: Imtex

The Right Temperature Decreases Errors:

In any office, regardless of occupation, temperature always seems to be a battleground. There’s always one group that complains about sweating in the middle of winter and another group that always requires a cardigan, even in the middle of summer. While it may seem impossible to make everyone happy, there may be a way to help your employees work smarter.

Conventional wisdom by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) states that offices should be kept between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit – the perfect middle ground between warm and cold. But, new research out of Cornell University argues that raising the temperature from a brisk 68 to a warmer 77 degrees decreased typing errors by a shocking 44%. Employees’ work output also drastically increased. Consider incorporating a programmable thermostat into your workspace design to help keep temps consistent.

Of course, you can’t forget about your employees who prefer cooler weather entirely. Instead of turning the thermostat down, offer them individualized methods to help keep themselves cool. Access to portable desk fans or even ice cold beverages can go a long way to assuring your staff that their newly error-proof work is very much appreciated.

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Keeping employees warm at their desks could reduce errors. Image Via: HGTV

Keeping employees warm at their desks could reduce errors. Image Via: HGTV

With the amount of decision-making that goes into running a business, it’s no surprise that most entrepreneurs may not give their workspace design the attention it deserves. But, what if we told you that the design choices you make could be hurting your bottom line. Research shows that environment has a profound impact on how employees feel about their jobs and how well they perform tasks. Take our suggestions on how to rejuvenate your décor to achieve positive results on both those fronts. It may just be the smartest business decision you’ve ever made.

Does the look of your office affect how you feel about your company? Will you incorporate these tips into your corporate design strategy? Let us know in the comments.