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How Does Office Design Impact Workplace Productivity?

Posted by sofiyavarbeva on 22/08/2013 in Archives, August, Furniture, Interiors, Lighting, Office |

Recent studies suggest that office design impacts the workplace productivity. People are spending around 40-50 hours per week at their workplace which is a big part of their waking hours. That is why happiness and comfort are very important for people so they can work better and enjoy what they do. 

How Does Office Design Impact Workplace Productivity?

The new challenge for designers and architects is to create a comfortable workplace that attracts and motivate the workforce by improving the functionality and ergonomics in the office design. There are a few factors that influence the office design:

Choice of Furniture – All the necessary furniture needed for a normal functioning of the workplace and good office design, such as desk chairs, filing systems, shelves, drawers, etc., have to be ergonomic. Ergonomic furniture give comfort and if they are not chosen correctly could lead to different health problems and even injuries of the employees and their workplace productivity would be affected.

Noise – Noise impacts us more than we think, possibly causing us health problems as well. There are various sources of noise pollution such as noise from construction projects, traffic, conversation noise, etc. In the office environment, too much noise can irritate people and reduce their focus and productivity. But some studies show that light background noise will comfort and relax people. The best solution for a good office design will be reducing the distracting noise by high-performance echo-reducing ceilings, sound absorbing materials for furniture and carpets where possible. 

Light Intensity – Receptors in the retina of the eye influence a part of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness, affecting our levels of alertness. The latest studies show that more exposure to natural light can reduce low and sad mood, and where is possible the amount of natural light in the workplace should be increased by installing skylights and large windows. The quality of office light also affects the alertness, task performance and concentration. Reading the computer screens by the people can be difficult with excessively bright lighting.

Air quality – Poor air quality in the workplace can lead to tiredness and lethargy as the main factors contributing to air quality are: temperature, humidity, ventilation and cleanliness. Workplaces with closed windows can be 10 times more polluted than outdoor air therefore when considering the office design, air purifiers should be installed as they can remove the pollution, germs and allergens and improve air circulation. Temperature and humidity should be controlled thermostats and dehumidifiers as the best values for them respectively around 70°F (21°C) and between 40 and 60 percent.

Colours – Wrong choice of colours in the workplace can cause eye-strain, headache and fatigue. They have impact on the mood as well. There are two types of colour categories: cool colours( blues, greens, purples) and warm colours(red, oranges, yellow). The cool colours are best suited for workplaces that require an intense concentration such as accounting and boardrooms. The warm colours are required for workplaces with high level of creativity such as advertising and software design.  

Google Office in Tel Aviv, Israel is a perfect example for a modern office design with 500 workstations and variety of spaces for communicating, collaborating and sharing ideas. It has been designed with the employees’ well-being and unique local identity in mind. The office is colourful and ergonomic and meets LEED Gold Standard Certification. Google office has a music room, a Lego room and fully outfitted gym. The employees can use the rooftop deck with WiFi and enjoy the views of the Mediterranean Sea and can choose from three kosher and non-kosher restaurants.

The video at the end of the article show you the interior of Google Office in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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References: http://www.google.co.uk/about/jobs/locations/tel-aviv-haifa/
http://thedesignawards.co.uk/voting2013/voting/hotels/office-1.html

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