The right office design can increase the happiness of employees, whereas ping-pong tables, slides and even pay rises can’t,
According to new research by Haworth
The findings are contained in a new white paper launched by the office furniture giant at the Orgatec workplace design fair in Cologne last week.
“Our research shows that there are specific design elements you can use to help workers feel happier,” said Michael O’Neill, Haworth’s head of research. “That’s what the data is saying.”
The report is the latest in a series of white papers by US company Hawarth exploring office design “Happiness is intrinsically motivated not by pay or perks or ping-pong tables at work,” O’Neill said at the launch of the report.
“If superficial symbols like these are not the answer, can space design contribute to happy, meaningful life and work?”
Higher income doesn’t equal happiness
The emphasis is shifting away from thinking of the office as a tool to increase the productivity of workers to an approach that puts the employee’s wellbeing first, O’Neill said
“Offices have traditionally been designed to increase people’s performance,” he said. “That’s why we give people spaces designed around functional considerations. That makes perfect sense because business organisations are for profit, so it’s all about making more money and working harder”.
“But now there’s more evidence to show that people’s happiness doesn’t increase with their income. There is an emerging global trend that says we’re perhaps measuring the wrong thing.”