When Your Bedroom Is Your Office: How Environment Influences Productivity

Picture an office. The image you conjured is probably generic and professional, almost to a fault: cubicles that span the length of a seemingly endless building, each with their own identical rolly chairs and computer-desk setups — if you pictured employees, Jim and Pam from the cleverly named The Office emerge, as ordinary and unimportant as their environment.

Unfortunately, the very fact that you, as an average human being, managed to produce such a dull and uninteresting place of work accurately sums up the problem with professional America — employers simply don’t understand the impact that the workplace environment has on their workers. They should: a recent study found that nearly one-quarter of people in the workforce felt that office environment was responsible for their job satisfaction. The more modern offices can break out of their cookie-cutter, “one-size-fits-all” mentality, the faster their businesses will grow.

The Power Of Interior Design

However, creating a space that inspires, informs, and challenges is no easy feat. Office layouts need to be tailored not only to their industry, but the to the individual organization — a.k.a., tech start-ups may come up with their best ideas through a rousing game of table tennis, but a high-end bank wouldn’t necessarily boast the same ping-pong table. The trick, as always, is balance. Fortunately, the interior design industry generates around $10 billion every year, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Unsurprisingly, the most important aspect of employee performance when it comes to interior design boils down to comfort: people are simply more productive when they’re comfortable, although a study performed in 2012 found that men and women have different interpretations of comfort. Men are focused more on temperature, while women care more about privacy. Regardless, the study conclusively found that “the majority of respondents believe that good workplace interior design can make a difference in their performance, and consequently have a positive impact on the corporations’ productivity.”

When The Office Is Your Bedroom

People are considered to be most comfortable and at ease when they’re at home, so it’s no shock to discover that around 67% of professionals believe working from home or remotely is more productive than working nine to five in an office setting. Beyond the simple luxury of being able to make your own hours, you’re able to be surrounded by things you’ve chosen to surround yourself with, and have eliminated any object or design flaw that makes your space less ideal for relaxation.

The second-most popular definition of a happy home is a place for relaxation (64%); rather than being distracted and stressed by the ticking clock that acts like an overlord in the office, or your workplace neighbor’s incessantly buzzing phone, you have the freedom and opportunity to create your own environment, perfectly attuned to your particular brand of productivity.

Does clean, fresh air make working easier for you? No problem, you’ll be able to ensure the air quality of your environment since you’re the one changing the filter every three months. Do you feel more capable in clear, open spaces or cozy clutter? You’ll be able to sculpt your own environment in the privacy of your own home.

Although most companies require their employees to come into the office during their shifts, the payoff of allowing them to work from home is always worth the cost. As long as workers are committed to maintaining the quality that earns them the ability to work from wherever they want, there is no reason not to take advantage of the workplace-productivity boosts that occur.

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