How Design and Décor Impacts Americans in the Workplace

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Executive Chronicles |

Unhappy workers cost American businesses a lot of money each year.  A Gallup poll of 25 million American workers concluded unhappy workers cost up to $550 billion in lost productivity each year. Additionally only 11% of workers are highly satisfied with their work environment according to a Steelcase/IPSOS study. Could employers reduce these giant losses if they uncovered the root of workers unhappiness at work?

To try and find the answer Pots Planters & More surveyed 1,000 Americans who work in traditional office spaces, to learn how design and décor affects them. They asked about furniture, light, art, plants and functional space. The results are quite eye opening.

They found that 97% of respondents consider their workplace a symbol of whether or not they are valued by their employer.  They also found that 50% of workers are not engaged at their jobs and 20% are actively disengaged. Let’s dig a bit deeper into the results of their survey.

Few American Workplaces Are Optimized For Success

  • Nearly half of people reported having little to no natural light at their workplace
  • Nearly half of people say their workplace design and décor has no personality
  • Just one in four workers would be proud to show their office to their family and friends
  • Just one in three people say they have no plants in their workplace

So after looking at this, what aspects of the office can be addressed to help improve engagement and productivity?  The four main areas they identified are furniture, lighting, functional space, and arts and plants.

The Journal of Publican Affairs, Administration and Management found that lighting is the primary factor that affects an employee’s productivity. The survey from Pots Planters & More found that 40% of people report light is the most important factor when considering their workplace environment.

People who report having “a lot” of natural light at work are more likely to:

  • Feel comfortable in their work environment
  • Feel their environment helps productivity
  • Consider their environment uplifting

On the flip side people who report bad artificial lighting at work are:

  • Three times more likely to feel their environment hurts productivity
  • Two times more likely to consider their work environment depressing

To learn more about how design and décor impacts productivity in the workplace, check out the full survey data from Pots Planters & More.