In recent years companies have expended considerable funds to alter the design of their office spaces in hopes to positively affect their workers’ output. Other spatial designs aim to improve worker creativity, while others look to boost recreational enjoyment with ping pong, razor scooters and massage chairs.
Recent research, like this study by Haworth, recently found, however, that these trends have largely failed to make workers happier.
The earliest attempts to manipulate workplace design for improved productivity were through functional elements of an office. This approached did show gains with members of the baby boom generation – a generation known for exerting high efforts at work when enabled to do so.
This approach was much less effective at motivating millennials to increase productivity. Millennials by contrast tend to blend their work life with their personal life and seek a sense of meaning from a job that provides a social and collaborative environment.
The Haworth study also helped reveal that workplace happiness is directly supported when workers feel they are valued, and that they can focus. A office layout that is intuitive to a workforce and enhances the rest of their lives – like socialization – will help worker confidence that leadership values their presence and contributions.
Jer Wat (aka Jeremy) is a printmaker, illustrator, and video producer living and working in Winnipeg, Canada. His love of art goes...October 11, 2021
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