Workplace Aesthetics: Here's Why They Matter

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When you ask employees what they look for in their ideal job, the standard answers go something along the lines of job description, compensation and benefits, the potential for professional and career growth, etc. But what people usually leave out is their working environment.

Having an aesthetic office space isn’t just about making your space look pretty. There’s a lot more behind your workspace design. Here are just a few reasons why workplace aesthetics matter.

1. Increased employee satisfaction

If you’ve ever Googled ‘cool office spaces’ or ‘beautiful office spaces’ and have marveled at the jaw-droppingly gorgeous results, that’s completely normal. As humans, we are intrinsically attracted to aesthetic things like art, scenery, and beautiful homes.

Think about a breathtaking backdrop of snow-capped mountains or turquoise waves washing up on an alabaster shoreline – don’t these images fill you up with a feeling of tranquility, contentment, and happiness?

While the urban landscape of an office is not quite the picturesque natural scene of the mountains or a beach, an aesthetic office space will still have similar results. Numerous studies have shown that a majority of workers value an aesthetically pleasing workspace, with other studies citing a positive impact of aesthetics on employee satisfaction and motivation.

Just imagine these two scenarios: You enter a drab, very plainly furnished office with poor lighting versus entering an open, brightly lit, and colorful workspace. Wouldn’t you be happier and walk with more spring in your step if you were entering the latter workspace?

2. Heightened employee productivity

Besides the fact that more satisfied employees are essentially more productive, there have been multiple studies that show how different factors in workplace design can affect workplace productivity.

A study by the University of Exeter found that furnishing an office with plants could increase productivity by 15%. A study by Cornell University found that “optimizing the amount of natural light in an office significantly improves health and wellness among workers, leading to gains in productivity”.

Yet another study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that ‘indoor environmental quality’ can increase productivity levels. Joseph Allen, lead author of the study, says:

“We have been ignoring the 90%. We spend 90% of our time indoors and 90% of the cost of a building are the occupants, yet indoor environmental quality and its impact on health and productivity are often an afterthought.”

3. It is a reflection of your company

Beyond increasing employee satisfaction and productivity, an aesthetic workplace is also a reflection of your company. Just like your logo and branding represent who you are as a company, so does your office space.

Imagine inviting a client, partner, or future hire to a poorly-furnished office with poor lighting. Now imagine inviting the same client, partner, or future hire to an open and brightly-lit workspace. The first impression that you leave your stakeholder will matter and speaks volumes of how you manage your company.

Besides company branding, your office aesthetic also speaks about how much you care for your employees. By providing them with non-ergonomic office chairs and white lights you are indirectly telling your employees that you do not care for their work environment or even that your employees aren’t your top priority.

Whereas if you provide your employees with an aesthetic workplace, you are subconsciously making a statement about how you care about their professional and personal needs as well as their health and wellbeing.

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