Office Interior Design and Increased Employee Comfort.

Is there a link between comfort in office interior design and increased productivity? Yes, and it’s stronger than you might think. According to Productive Solutions: The Impact of Interior Design on the Bottom Line, a paper released by the American Society of Interior Designers, a positive relationship exists between feeling comfy and being productive at work.

As the paper explains, 42 percent of ASID respondents say focusing on employee comfort pays dividends – a more aesthetically pleasing, comforting and inviting office interior design increases workplace efficiency and worker morale. The flipside to the office interior design argument is also apparent – decreased employee comfort results in losses to the enterprise, in person-hours lost and liability costs.

The ASID paper joins the growing volume of scientific literature demonstrating how designing for comfort is an imperative in office interior design, one you ignore at your peril. Look at the matter closely, and you’ll see that there are three general areas within the general concept of “comfort”: (Read more)

Office Interior Design and Improved Accessibility.

When office interior design encourages people to work together, productivity happens. A recent survey initiated by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) found this to be the case when office interior design focused on improving accessibility – to both people and resources.

When companies create environments that invite collaboration – by providing space for people to interact – companies benefit more, compared to environments that encourage mostly individual focused work. The workplace is increasingly seen as a place where people meet to interact, instead of a place where people hunker down to do isolated work.

Companies are now finding this out for themselves, leading to new office interior designs that bring workers closer to their colleagues and to the common resources they need to get their jobs done.

More on accessibility and interior design after the jump. Read more…

Office Interior Design: Key Factors in Building the Ideal Office Environment.

Office interior design should maximize productivity at every instance, but this is a maxim honored in the breach more often than not. That’s because most people think that office interior design deals primarily with aesthetics, instead of productivity.

Productivity results when four key benefits are delivered by effective office interior design: Improved accessibility, increased employee comfort, limiting noise and distractions, and flexibility & customization. In this white paper, we devote a little more time and effort going into each benefit. By the time you’re done, you should have the knowledge and insight you need to know how you can apply them to your office.

Download our white paper, and read more – download “Designing for Productivity: Key Factors in Building the Ideal Office Environment” (PDF, 210KB).

What IT Engineers Need in Their Office Interior Design.

Office interior design often does IT workers a disservice – while many managers extol the modern open floor plan, many IT workers actually prefer to work in more secluded quarters. IT workers are bucking a trend in open office layouts; unlike other creatives, IT workers need quiet environments that encourage concentration and creativity.

“Asking programmers or network administrators to do their jobs in an open space where noise, distractions and interruptions abound can be akin, for some of them at least, to departmental decimation,” writes Computerworld’s Cara Garretson.

This presents a conundrum for the facility manager, who must weigh team interdependence and the intensiveness of the work when creating an office layout for an IT department. To use Bell and Kozlowski’s model of task dependencies, IT engineers represent an excellent example of an intensive workflow.

More on what IT engineers look for in their office interior design, after the jump. Read more…

What Creative Workers Need in Their Office Interior Design.

Ad agencies take their office interior design cues from a vast variety of influences. To see the variations in design among a number of top agency offices, it’s apparent that they take their inspiration from the gamut of human creativity.

Leo Burnett keeps it simple, with raw brick and timber; Moove Media incorporates plenty of “found” elements in their office interior design. Hemels van der Hart’s office interior design is modernity personified.

Still, the rules are not totally flexible, as the example of ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day shows. Agency head Jay Chiat decided to remove all personal spaces within the ad agency, putting virtual offices in their stead. People would check out laptops and phones at the front office, then plug into any available space.

But good spaces were hard to come by, and people became hard to locate. Productivity took a hit. TBWA’s open office became a byword of what not to do with ad agency office interior design.

At its core, ad agency work boils down to teamwork; agencies are made up of teams with a certain degree of interdependence. To use Bell and Kozlowski’s model of task dependencies, advertising creatives represent an intensive combination of reciprocal and sequential workflow: an ad agency’s work and activities flow unidirectionally from one member to another. But not entirely in one direction: feedback from clients and suppliers can send a project moving back down the line for revision, and then back in the right direction again.

The “open office” plan may not work completely for the modern ad agency’s workflow – privacy-enhancing spaces, such as conference rooms, private offices, and high-walled cubicles, ought to be in place alongside conference rooms and open collaborative spaces.

More on creative office interior design after the jump. Read more…