A personal workspace leads to greater happiness and productivity

Employees who are allowed to arrange their own workspaces are happier, healthier and more productive. They even work up to 32% harder compared to people who work in bare, sterile spaces.

2000 office workers surveyed

Dr. Craig Knight of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom surveyed 2000 office workers. Some of his striking conclusions:

  • In a ‘decorated office’ with plants and decorations on the walls, people work 17% harder than in a bare office.
  • Employees who are allowed some say in how their workspace is arranged are even up to 32% more productive.
  • The more control people have over their work environment, the healthier they are and the more commitment they feel towards their work and their employer.

Managers view personal workspaces as unprofessional

Personal workspaces are therefore more productive. But why is it then that offices are becoming increasingly bare? Apparently the managers have something to do with this. They view a workplace full of personal objects as a sign of incompetence. They are afraid their employees will be distracted from work.

Would managers revise their view in the face of scientific proof to the contrary? The middle ground is probably the best route to take. Personalise your workspace, but in moderation. Because your professional image is also important.

How much is too much? If more than one in five objects on your desk has nothing to do with work then it may be time to pare it down a little bit.

Reconcile the enjoyable with the reasonable

As a business manager, how can you allow your employees to enjoy personal workspace without things getting out of control? Make agreements and give people the space and the tools to personalise their own workspace within certain boundaries. Remember that the effect on productivity is highly positive.

Look at the Bruneau range of bulletin boards, Post-it boards and multifuntional boards. With one or two adhesive Post-it panels measuring 59 by 46 cm per employee, it is easy to reach an agreement about the personal space.

Links in order of appearance:

  • http://www.jm-bruneau.be
  • http://www.jm-bruneau.be/en/catalogue/C353
  • http://www.jm-bruneau.be/en/catalogue/C354
  • http://www.jm-bruneau.be/en/catalogue/C355
  • http://www.jm-bruneau.be/en/catalogue/67133
  • http://www.thehindu.com/health/rx/article621202.ece
  • http://www.thehindu.com/incoming/article563387.ece