Put People in a Design-Friendly Atmosphere to Inspire Excellent Work

Inspire Great Work

New York City lowered crime by creating an external image that subconsciously signaled people to stop breaking the law. Simple measures such as scrubbing off or painting over the graffiti in the subway made people feel like they were in a safer environment and they acted accordingly.

This is Malcolm Gladwell’s theory from the book “The Tipping Point.”

Apple’s computers and iPods have become so popular because they are designed to be pleasing on the eye. This design enhances the experience of the music, video or what ever else the device is being used for. The same should be said for the design of office space.

I read an article from Egro Consulting blog and it reinforced my beliefs.

“It was the awe of the building that first captivated us. What I hadn’t anticipated was the sense of how the environment invites quality work. One almost feels embarrassed to deliver mediocrity within its walls.”

When a company creates a work-friendly atmosphere, through its beautiful designs, it creates a happier work environment.

“Of course it is true that the environment affects the way people work. But if it is so self-evident, why are workplaces environments that inspire so rare? We have certainly lacked imagination on how to organise our office environments.”

“Sure, money is a factor, but where there is a creative will, there is a way. I’m not embarrassed to say that we furnished our place mostly from eBay. My suspicion is that managers have considered employees and their environments a cost rather than an asset, and have for the most part have forfeited considerable business value by overseeing very ordinary office environments. I wonder what our workplaces would look like if we embraced the link between inspiring environments and productivity.”

If companies put 1/10 of their energy into inspiring their employees, the workplace would be happier and more productive. I believe some of this is being turned around in today’s workplace. Bzzagent is creating a work friendly environment that stimulates their employees. They have an artist Seth Minkin who has his art studio in the same office space. His unique artwork is all over the walls and the employees are excited by the environment that he inspires.

What do you think your company could do to improve its environment?

11 thoughts on “Put People in a Design-Friendly Atmosphere to Inspire Excellent Work”

  1. Our cubicle dividers are so dusty. If you touch the wall – clouds, my friends, clouds. I sneeze all day. Cleaning, that would be a start. The light is also fairly poor.

    What do I love about the cubicle? I can listen to music on headphones all day, and i can work fairly interrupted. I choose engaging podcasts that allot a kind of conversational escapism.


  2. Hey MtL, cleaning the space around us does create a better environment. I´ve noticed dust on my computer and I ignore it and tell myself that I´ll clean it tomorrow. I never do. When I get back to work it will be the first thing I do.

    Cubicles aren´t all bad, especially if we have some cool co-workers around us.

  3. Thanks for linking through to Ergo Consulting. I’ve worked there (part time) for a few years now – I’m still a student. After working in one other job – I recognise that the environment really does make all the difference. When the ‘break area’ is a corner down the back with no natural light it affects your whole day. Ergo is something else!

    Rebecca Matheson’s last blog post..Finding holes

  4. Hey Chris,
    Governments put money into weird things and then we look at our schools and wonder why we have so many dropouts. We should try sprucing up our schools and see how it effects the attendance rate.

  5. I’ve read studies about increased productivity due to cooler office design and was skeptical until I myself worked in two companies – one mediocre and boring, and the other super cool with bean bags. Loved the second a lot more. Plus we’re allowed to come to work wearing what we like. I used to go in my shorts almost everyday.

    So comfy, pretty and homey. So yeah, I pretty much agree with you.

  6. Hey Amir, I would love to see what type of set-up this cool company created. More offices should have bean bags and other places to relax, so people can get into a different state of thought. I bet it helped to shake out of their cobwebs and see a problem from a fresh angle. It sounds like the second company tried to make the environment enticing, which made you appreciate working there.

  7. I have experienced this myself. Early in my career I worked in a well designed office building with marble floors, solid wood desks and tall windows that let in plenty of light from multiple directions. Paintings and other pieces of art were used throughout the building. It was truly a joy to work in that environment and I’m sure it helped my productivity and overall happiness, although I didn’t appreciate it at the time.

    Later in my career I worked in “cubicle land” with brown cubicles, brown carpet and white noise machines to drown out phone conversations. The windows were only on one side of the room. This left many people with dark cubicles, forcing them to use table lamps in mid summer! I still have nightmares about that place! People were generally unhappy.

    This is something that more business owners should think about. Of course cost is an issue, but I believe that a lot of businesses suffer employee dissatisfaction and turnover as a result of ignoring good design in their work environments.

  8. Hey Brian, it would be cool to put these offices next to each other so people can see the difference in work environments. Maybe one day I can put a book together of before and after pictures of businesses that had an awful design and changed it into a design friendly place. It could also have comments from the employees and how it changed the work environment. I’ll add it to my list of projects.

  9. Pingback: Five Reasons to Love Where You Work! | Create Business Growth

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