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01.04.24 Annie North


The Importance of good workplace design cannot be understated. Picture it. You’ve entered your office. You’re greeted by bright, overhead lighting bouncing off plain white walls and glaring aggressively back into your eyes. The mechanical groans of printers and clattering of kitchens rattles your brain as you move through to your desk. You dodge between badly positioned desks, rogue boxes and your colleagues' bags strewn on the floor. You finally sit down, and your hard chair digs into your back. You open your laptop and hunch over the keyboard. You look around at the sterile greys and whites, the dreaded blue carpet. A singular sad plant stares back at you while you listen to a colleague talking loudly on a call next to you. And now, you must be inspired and you must be productive.

Sorry if this was stressful to read. It was hard to write, too.

This is why intentional and strategic workplace design is absolutely crucial to a team's performance and well-being.

Humans take constant inspiration from their surroundings. By being somewhere that not only pleases the eye but also encourages a sense of calmness and organisation, it is then we are best placed to be our most creative.

Here are some key signs that you’re working in an environment with good workplace design and how to make the most of them.

The Theory of Colour

Colour theory is fast becoming a pivotal part of workplace design. Studies have shown that colour directly impacts our mood and state of mind. Yellow stirs up feelings of excitement and happiness. Blue encourages serenity. Green reminds us of nature and incitesstirs up creativity. We need different feelings for different kinds of work. Being overstimulated when we need to get our heads down is counterproductive. Workplaces should opt for different colours depending on the function of the space.

The Cathedral Effect

The Cathedral Effect is a psychological phenomenon that suggests when we’re in spaces with drastic high ceilings our brain mimics the space and experiences more expansive thinking. Perfect for when we’re looking at bigger-picture stuff. Low ceilings, however, are great for deep focus, helping us to concentrate on getting things done.

Zonal Workspace

Throughout a working day, we’ll all experience a myriad of different states. In the morning, we’re likely our most productive, whereas by the afternoon, we may need more of a social injection or comforting environment to get cosy in. A good workspace will create dedicated areas for each different type of state, like private offices for focus and shared desks for collaboration. This is a sign of inclusive design; we all work differently, and an office should not be a one-size-fits-all space. Depending on how our brains work, we’ll need different things and working environments should encourage us all and provide easy solutions.

Let Nature In

Connecting with nature is one of the most impactful ways we can boost our creativity. If, weirdly, your office isn’t in the middle of a pastoral paradise, there are ways you can bring the outside in. Living walls and implementing biophilia boost the air quality of a room, which greatly enhances your wellbeing. Allowing ways for natural light to pour in ties in with our circadian rhythms and if you’re lucky enough for it to be sunny, you’ll get some much needed vitamin D. Colours and textures that mirror what we see in nature, such as timber and geometrical patterns, can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and promote relaxation.  

Optimise your Style

To get the most out of our working hours, we need to feel able to react to our needs. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut with a project, get up and change your scenery. If you need to get your team stimulated for a collaborative meeting, then piggyback off the buzz of a shared space.

Find an Office at a Coworking Space

Coworking spaces are strategic in their design. They’re at the forefront of understanding workers’ needs. After all, they championed remote working long before the pandemic. From dedicated quiet zones for solo work to tailored private offices for teams, there is always a choice in these spaces. And choice is the ultimate key to unlocking productivity. 

Give yourself the chance to find out how you can work at your best.

PLATF9RM is designed with the user at its core. The original development of our spaces had the goal of optimising every aspect of our members’ working experience. We are continually adapting to emerging member wants and needs by shifting how we Make Work Wonderful, so if you’ve yet to give our spaces a shot, you can book in for a tour and free trial day at the space of your choosing