How Interior Design Affects Office Productivity and the Work Environment

interior office designThe American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), in partnership with Cornell University, Delos, and the Innovative Workplace Institute, have released the results of research into the impact of innovative workplace design on behavior and performance, how spatial design supports organizational goals, and the impact of design on human, organizational, and environmental sustainability.While the results may seem somewhat self-serving, that an organization of designers would reveal that “innovative design” has a profound effect on the work environment and productivity, it is no less true and should not be discounted. And, while the results of the group's research are too extensive to list fully here, we would like to share the high points and suggest you click here to read more.Research ResultsUsing their own newly designed headquarters in Washington, DC, as the center of the research, and their own employees as the guinea pigs, the study found:Design Impacts Experience: Design impacts the experience people have in the space. ASID employees’ experiences in the office are influenced by multiple factors including the individual design components (e.g., lighting, acoustics, color, texture, etc.), the space in its collective form, and the social environment generated by the occupants. Referring to human-centered design, ASID first examined their corporate identity, team roles, individual responsibilities, work processes, and work behaviors to ensure that their office was an extension of their organizational culture.

  • Stimulates Collaboration: The office enables employees to choose their workstation for the day. The unassigned seating arrangement sparks spontaneous interactions in the open office while offering opportunities to cross-pollinate among teams and to get to know each other on a social level. With this office layout, ASID became more collaborative than concentrative. The office also plays a role in facilitating communication among employees (42% increase), and in supporting the sharing and exchanging of ideas (44% increase).
  • Creates Attachment: Humans spend about a third of our day, or half of our waking hours, in the office. ASID employees’ satisfaction in several environmental conditions such as lighting quality, noise reduction, speech privacy, available space, visual privacy, and ease of interaction contribute to place attachment. Particularly, the significant effects of ease of interaction and place attachment suggest that workplace design plays a role in shaping a social environment that engages employees in the office.
  • Establishes Support: The workplace is comprised of both the physical and social environment, and these two should naturally go hand in hand with the organization to thrive. When ASID employees perceive social support in the office, they tend to have higher job satisfaction, be more creative, and be more productive.

Design Improves Environmental Quality: As the world’s first space to achieve both LEED Platinum and WELL Platinum certifications, the office is not only validated by third-party institutions as a healthy and sustainable office but, supporting data from pre- and post-occupancy research projects further confirms improved environmental quality and enhanced employee satisfaction on environmental conditions.Design Achieves Results: Thoughtful design can support organizational priorities such as employee health, productivity, and financial return. By incorporating multiple innovative features, design has positively affected the health and well-being of employees while boosting resource efficiency, leading to a very healthy ROI.While it seems fairly obvious that one’s workspace will have a profound effect on productivity, social interactions, and job satisfaction, having quality research to back up such claims has great value to interior designers. If you're trying to close a deal on designing an office – or hope to do more commercial work in the future – having this type of information at your fingertips could prove to be invaluable.Looking for more new design trends, tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.