What makes an office a great place to work? The concept of workplace design answers just that, bringing together science and art to create guiding principles that can improve productivity and happiness at work.
Workplace design isn’t a new concept, but with the fast-paced changes ushered in by new technology and a global pandemic, workplace design has once again become the phrase on everyone’s lips. Simply put, where you work can be a powerful productivity driver when the space is designed with its user in mind. But if not thought through, it equally has the potential to distract and frustrate. So, what are the all important qualities that modern work spaces need to be both beautiful and functional?
- Spatial configuration
Essentially, how the space is set up. Traditional office set ups might have banks and banks of desks stacked up in rows, but scientific studies show that this isn’t good practice when it comes to productivity. Instead, zoned areas are considered the golden standard of workplace design—namely, different sections that serve unique functions depending on the time of day, the type of work you’re doing and even your mood. Ultimately, by providing a selection of spaces to work in (from open-plan areas to cosy snugs and private booths), you create a more autonomous, flexible and ultimately happy work environment.
Much like spatial configuration, when it comes to lighting, flexibility is key. Providing a choice of options that help transition from different times of day and energy levels is the leading thought when it comes to productive work spaces. That means not needing to choose between flickering strip lights or snooze-inducing lamps but adjusting the right kind of lighting to the appropriate space. Natural light has been shown to increase productivity (along with providing that all important serotonin to keep your feeling fresh and focussed). The most effective technique, however, is to use light to create balance: temper open-plan spaces with relaxed, soft lighting that encourage a peaceful atmosphere and create bright pockets in smaller spaces where people can wake themselves up if they feel their focus is lacking.
In the long-standing debate between open plan vs sectioned offices, the answer seems to be, why not both? Open plan workspaces create stronger feelings of togetherness and collaboration by providing transparency—literally, being able to see your colleagues and managers around you. However, in order to build psychological safety at work (feelings of being trusted), it’s important to be able to work without feeling watched by others. In Clockwise locations, both options sit side by side to ensure that these practical and emotional work needs are being met equally.
As workers demand more from their work spaces in the post-pandemic era, colour psychology has become an increasingly important aspect of workplace design. Want to create a calming environment? Fill a room with green plants to encourage slower breathing and allow the brain to get into flow mode faster. Want to pick up the energy in a meeting? Research suggests choosing a room with yellow tones to reinvigorate and renew positivity. Twin this with tasteful design (comfortable seating and quirky art for example), and you’re onto a productivity winner.
If you’re looking for flexible office space that will support your productivity and create a sense of community, get in touch. At Clockwise, our nationwide office locations are carefully designed to provide all the functionality, service, community and connectivity you need to make good work happen.