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Increasing Productivity Via Your Workspace

Winston Churchill once wrote, "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us."

While he probably wasn't referring to the cubicle, the message still applies: The area in which you work can either be inspirational and high energy, or it can rival that of the dungy, gray half-walls featured reminiscent of Office Space. Large and small businesses alike are getting a lot of attention because of their decision to change-up their offices in favor of highly creative, yet productive work spaces.

The increase in chatter regarding the quality of office spaces has led many execs to rethink their office design. They're chucking the cream, beige, taupe—and every other color referring to off-white — in favor of highly functional, visually pleasing designs.

Research shows that the quality of the workplace environment is among the top three factors affecting productivity at the office. A well-designed office space is likely to increase morale, motivation, creativity and teamwork while squelching negative attitudes between co-workers. Because of this positive impact, a redesign can boost a company's performance by 20 percent or more. The health of your bottom line might be worth a new ergonomic chair or two.

Creative, a workspace design firm with locations in Virginia, has made office redesign their business. Creative understands that meshing technology with furniture, flooring and wall systems can promote collaboration, creativity and innovation. They use their own Worklabs to test their theories and demonstrate their capabilities to future clients.

Some offices are pairing cutting-edge design with age-old technique by instituting the principals of Feng Shui. Here a few Feng Shui principals that might get the energy flowing in your office:

  • Position the desk facing a door to welcome opportunities
  • Never sit with your back to a window. Instead, opt to sit with a wall or large object behind you to serve as supportive energy.
  • Seat mentors in the corner to the right of the entrance
  • Use water features to invite financial success
  • Clean up the clutter. Excess stuff sucks up a room's energy.

As concerns about the workplace rise, you could lose your competitive edge in the area of employee retention and recruitment if you don't adjust. But, if you're tight on time or budget, focus on the most important aspects of a great workspace. Research shows that office workers want three things: a nice view, comfortable heating and air conditioning and cleanliness.

However, if you're ready to make some big changes in your office, take some tips from these office design aficionados who have gotten it right
  • Googleplex: Each of Google's offices around the world feature their own identity, which often ties to the local culture. For example, there are ski gondola work spaces in the Zurich office facilities. Some commonalities between locations include bicycle and scooters for commuting within the office, massage chairs, bean-bag meeting rooms and napping pods to recharge. You can even score a free breakfast at the office in Zurich.
  • Offices of Pixar: These workspaces looks like they could come straight out of a Pixar movie. The unconventional office spaces are designed to foster the creativity vital to Pixar films.
  • Mindlab by the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs in Copenhagen: Here, one of the most impressive office attributes is a room with walls made entirely of whiteboard material. Mindlab is definitely not a typical government office.

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