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How Workplace Design Can Enhance Performance

Posted on 16 August 2014 by Stefanie

How Workplace Design Can Enhance PerformanceIf it’s been your goal to enhance employee performance by getting more productivity from them without adding to their workload, there are ways to accomplish this. It may surprise you that the décor, setting and the overall environment of your workplace has an enormous impact on how employees preform.

Since people are the engine to your company, it’s imperative to take workplace design into consideration. Just as your employees improve, adapt, grow and innovate, so should their work environment. Smart workspaces have proven to be a powerful tool when it comes to employee performance.

Organizational psychologists believe that the nature of human performance is enabled though a blend of opportunity and motivation. Performance, then, is the function of three key factors: ability, motivation and opportunity. Ability means employees are able to perform a task. Motivation means whether a worker wants to do the task, and opportunity refers to accessibility. Employees cannot perform a task if they are denied the chance due to lack of resources.

Judith Heerwagen, a former scientist and current program expert with the General Services Administration, explains workplace performance. “A building can positively affect motivation by providing conditions that promote positive affective functioning, psychological engagement and personal control. Moods create the ‘affective context’ for thought processes and behaviors and are directly tied to motivation. A building can affect opportunity by providing equitable access to conditions that reduce health and safety risks, equitable access to amenities and compensatory design options where inequities exist and are difficult to eliminate entirely.”

The most worked-on design considerations for workplaces include temperature control, indoor air quality, noise control, crowding, employee engagement, choices, sensory variability, color, ergonomics, and access to views of nature.

Temperature control and comfort: Ideally, the air in your workplace should be 70.88 F (21.6 C). The air should be a comfortable balance of humidity, airflow and temperature.

Indoor air quality: Post-industrial workers spend an average of 90 percent of their work time indoors. Healthy indoor air means less sick days and more productivity. When designing your indoor space look for eco-friendly furniture, carpet and paint that is low or VOC-free. These volatile organic compounds are known to trigger illnesses.

Noise control: Nearly every workplace has to deal with noise control. Noise is a workplace factor that can either disable or enable productivity. A simple solution for noise control is to have an accessible room with acoustical separation for employees to head to when required.

Crowding: A crowded room usually means a stressed room, which of course, influences employee production. Aim for lightly furnished bright spaces with high ceilings. It’s worth noting that women feel the stress of crowding more than men.

Engagement: Gallup researches admit they’ve found a direction relation between employee engagement and worker satisfaction. These factors affect productivity and innovation. Engaged employees work safer and prove more profitable because they create relationships and tend to stay longer with their company. A great way to provide employee engagement is with workspaces and offer openness and visibility.

Choices: Employees respond well when they have a variety of work settings — zones of privacy, zones of engagement, a place to work on projects, a designated office hang out. Providing choices is another way to increase stimulation.

Sensory changes: Having windows allows for natural sensory changes and variability. A lack of stimulation results in dulled senses making it difficult for many workers to stay awake.

Color: People love color and their choices are usually dictated by their life experiences and culture. Research shows that bright colors – blues, greens and reds – prompt higher levels of employee task accuracy and focus.

Ergonomics: Make an effort to design your workspace for its intended purpose, keeping in mind the potential number of people who will occupy the space. Consider adjustable furniture, sit-to-stand desks and technology that encourages mobility. An ergonomically designed workspace means less human error and more productivity.

Natural daylight: Most people prefer to be surrounded by natural settings, which by default, provides variation and sensory changes. Natural daylight into the office has a positive impact on employee well-being by helping them regulate circadian rhythms. People cooped up in artificial lite environments, or offices without windows, show an imbalance in their circadian rhythm and therefore, exude stress.

About the Author: Stefanie Hartman is an International Speaker, Mentor and Marketing Your Expertise Consultant. She is the founder of the home study program that teaches people how to discover their expertise and redefine their life & income through specific monetization strategies. She is also the Host of the TV Show “Big Ideas-Bite Sized. There is Power in 15 Mins” For more info visit:

Photo Source: courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / Free Digital Photos

©Stefanie Hartman Enterprises Inc. You may republish this article, if you keep the article intact as is and credit the authors name and website: “Stefanie Hartman” and website: Thank you.

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How Workplace Design Can Enhance Performance

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