Enrich Your Office Space and Watch Productivity Rise

Employees who have control over the design and organisation of their personal workspace are happier, healthier and up to 32%* more productive. This is according to chartered psychologist Dr Craig Knight from the University of Exeter in the UK whose research challenges accepted methods of office and care home management.

Recent studies by Dr Knight and his colleagues on office workers have revealed the potential for improvements in comfort, wellbeing and productivity by allowing employees to enrich their workspaces using plants and artwork. The research also shows that a ‘lean’ space over which employees have no control is the least productive work environment. 

The research involved more than 2,000 office workers and showed that by enriching work environments employees are happier, healthier and over 15% more productive than they are in a lean, depersonalised work environment. Furthermore, by involving staff in the development of their own work environments, productivity can be increased by up to 32%. 

“Space has a massive impact on our comfort, contentment and identity. When people feel uncomfortable in their surroundings, they are less engaged,” said Dr Knight. 

“We consistently found that employees working in environments enriched with plants or artwork, and those who were empowered to realise something of their own identity in their workspaces, felt physically more comfortable at work, identified more with their employers, were more productive and felt more positive about their jobs.” 

Ray Borg, regional director of interior plantscaping business Ambius is encouraging businesses to realise the benefits of making small changes. “Business owners and managers focused on cutting costs often reduce what are seen as discretionary items such as planting and pictures,” said Borg. “However, this research suggests business productivity could be hindered as a result. By working with employees to enrich their workspaces businesses can help them feel more engaged while also reducing complaints about indoor environment and air quality.” 

Director of sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle Joel Quintal, who will also speak at the Tenant Education Series, said Dr Knight’s research will provide food for thought for many business owners and managers. 

“We are seeing more and more businesses take a holistic view of their occupancy strategies by combining green building features and office design. The business case for occupying green buildings is considerably more attractive when organisations consider how this can dramatically impact on workplace productivity and their bottom line,” said Quintal.

[*Knight, C.P., & Haslam, S.A. (2010) The Relative Merits of Lean, Enriched, and Empowered Offices: An Experimental Examination of the Impact of Workspace Management, Journal of Experimental: Applied, 16, 158 – 172.]

Source: www.hcamag.com]