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Designing For Engagement – The Play Of Colour, Space And Ergonomics At Work

The design of workspaces play a pivotal role in influencing interaction amongst co-workers

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Shared workspaces as a growing alternative to traditional offices, makes engagement of its community members a much greater and exciting challenge.Unlike regular offices where the common thread is one culture, the shared workspaces have multiple companies and cultures that coexist. Without a common thread binding these varied organizations with size ranging from one to hundreds of employees, design plays a key role in aligning the future workplace to cater to the requirements of a diverse set of audience and ensuring engagement and enhanced productivity.

The design of workspaces play a pivotal role in influencing interaction amongst co-workers. Design is a visual form of communication that through subtle cues creates opportunities for engagement, influences people’s behaviour and by aesthetic appealmake the users attracted to the space, to spend additional time.

A good workplace design has a strong influence on how employees think and behave. If the office space is unable to support the workstyle of users, the success and business outcomes of the organisation can become an uphill battle.

Global giants like Google, Yahoo and Facebook have redefined their office spaces with plush, vibrant and thoughtfully designed interiors, as a way of keeping employees engaged. As an example, Flipkart’s Bangalore office has a refreshing ambience and every corner is designed on different themes like literature, sport, science etc. All these things translate to say that a good workplace design has a strong influence on how employees think and behave.

A good design solution balances colour, space and ergonomicsto set the right platform for the success of the users of the space.

Colour your way to influence perceptions

Color is a powerful tool when it comes to integrating mood in your design. New methods of working are driven by adding more color choices within the workplace. The moods we associate with different colors are influenced by certain concepts and emotions.

Red, commonly associated with blood and fire, symbolises warmth and energy.  It grabs the eye and in design it projects boldness and strength. 

Yellow on the other hand communicates happiness and freshness. The color spreads positivity in a working environment and creates a fun-friendly atmosphere.

Green is the color of nature and in the philosophy of designing a workplace, it indicates a sustainable and healthy environment.

Aqua blue is one of the most adaptable colors. It represents peacefulness, trustworthiness and stability.

Shades like white, beige and light yellow are incorporated in design to provide a minimal aesthetic look; while darker shades like black, dark green, purple etc. are modern and adaptable to new age workforce. Colors and patterns should be chosen carefully to create a workplace that is energising, productive and relaxing on your mind.

Createa space where people want to come to work

A workspace that focuses on maximizing the number of people in a given square feet of space, ends up looking cluttered, where the users resist being in the space, leading to limited scope for engagement.

A chaotic space that is not focused on creating various activity zones with proper way-finding confuses people and makes them disoriented. A well-designed office space that provides the appropriate size for various functions, choice of areas to support different workstyles of its users and integrates functionality with aesthetics, creates an environment where users want to belong and engage with co-workers. In a well-designed workspace, employees areintuitively encouraged to spend more time in a welcoming environment that encourages collaboration and higher productivity.

The changing workstyles of the modern workforce need adoption by design professionals to provide floor playouts that cater to varying gender, demographics and generations that co-exist, by providing the choice of settings in a single workspace.  Creation of customizable spaces that are best suited for people to work in collaboration or individual zones,provides the users a choice based on their workstyle.

The purpose of design is to encourage collaboration amongst employees, emotionally bond with space for additional time spent and, ultimately create workplaces that embed creative cues for an inspiring and innovative environment to boost morale and enhance productivity.

Productive workspaces

The new generation workforce that forms a large part of the modern base for companies is focused on choice leading to different ways of working and workspaces that continue to support their workstyles. The demands are focused on increased level of engagement, homely spaces that are comfortable and informal,creating seamless transition between work and life and an ultimate choice of spaces that adapt to their needs.

Workspaces of the future will be adaptable, accessible and flexible by integrating multipurpose furniture systems, wearable devices, individual controlled lighting and air conditioning systems that will adapt to individual needs in real-time, positively influencing the health, wellbeing and productivity of employees.

The assimilation of digital elements like augmented and virtual reality will allow all surfaces to act as screen and input devices removing the separation of material and technology, leading to integrated surfaces reducing the footprint. Iris scan, face recognition and integrated fingerprint scanners will enhance the experience of the workspace users with spaces adapting to individuals needs on the go.

While technology will have a huge role in the workspace, the humanization and wellness at the core of the workspaces will be a key element to deliver superior environments that will enable employees to be healthy and productive.

The success of organisations is driven by happy and productive employees that can engage in behaviours, that enable collective positive outcomes. Human interaction, emerging technology, work patterns, optimized and healthyspaces may not be all that would be needed to design the future workspace, but with these items topping the design list, thesewould be imperative for organisations to succeed in the near future. Getting ahead and developing a well-designed workspace as a core part of the strategy for the business is a given that organisations need to implement to succeed in the future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Engagement workspaces Awfis Space Solutions

Amit Ramani

The author is Founder & CEO of Awfis Space Solutions

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