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The Impact of Interior Design on Workers Productivity In Works Place Design

Abstract Productivity of employees are generally based on its workplace design environment. In order to avoid increase rate of absenteeism, lack of creativity and work performance that may affecting the organization, imperative solutions should be taken into consideration. The best solution would be by upgrading the workplace and transfer it into an interesting and comfortable environment for the workers. Ergonomic comfort has been identified as one of the major factors that might affecting the workers productivit y with is including the spatial arrangement, furniture layout, lighting, noise, and etc. The productivity of an organization is measured by how well an individual executing the job and how well the communications between team member. It also stated that good interior design will produce productive employees. In a workplace, interior should be stressed and should not be neglected. By reviewing existing literatures, this study aims to stress the derived factors influencing the workers productivity. Then, thi s study is also discusses the importance of interior design towards a productive environment. Finally, the study conclude the how the interior design may affecting the worker in every aspects. Keywords; productivity, ergonomic, interior design, communications, individual, team work. I. INTRODUCTION Recent changes in worlds economic growth has bring a major impact to all sectors where more job oppurtunities were offered to the employees. In employers point of views, this situation have become a major concern to them due to the predictably of limited number of worker in the future. In order to ensure and secure the employees interest towards the company, HR executive should be able to attract those employees by offering high incentive and compensation. In recruiting new employees, new strategies should be considered by the organization in order to cope up with the dynamic of business competitions. However, workplace environment are the most important aspect that required extra attention to attract the employees to join the organization. The attractiveness, appeals and ambience of a workplace has given a strong influences to the workers productivity , morale , comfort level and etc. (Workplace, 2012). Better workplace design ( interior design ) may resulting in increasing outcomes and ultimately generate workers productivity. The productivity of workers may decreasing gradually due to several factors likely to be known as , dissatisfactions, cluttered workplace and the physical

environment.(Carnevale 1992, Clements- Croome 1997). Inefficient workplace environment may give negative impacts by showing an increasing absenteeism , lack of creativity, more errors found and poor internal interaction.(Lighting & Carpet, n.d.) Interior design and productivity are most likely interrelated. Nice interior and good ambiance of a workplace will surely help in developing and boosting the workers productivity. A good interior design should give comfort, satisfaction ,and occupants-friendly which can help in amplifying the workers focuses, motivation, subsequent performance, efficient team work and effective decision making process. Companies like Google and Redbull are well known as one of the global best practice workplace design. They have their own formula in generating and boosting workers productivity which is by upgrading the interior design and layout of their workplace. In recognizing the best workplace design, it should be based on a few criteria by exhibit the organization identity to the design, balanced needs between employees and business, aesthetic value and functional performance of the design. (Miller, Council, & Global, n.d.). In creating a good ambience and occupant-friendly environment, interior designer is the person to look out to. Interior designer should be able to come out with a creative and interesting ideas without forgetting the essence of the work itself. However, safety, health and ergonomic design should be a number one priorities when designing a workplace design. Interior Design usually refers to the creative solution creating a built interior environment, that can be applied on a stucture. The solutions given should be able to develop the quality of life of the occupants and attractive in aesthetical ways without eliminating health, safety and welfare issues. (Definition of Interior Design, n.d.). Generally, productivity typically refers to the ability of an organization (individual, country,industry) to alter the resources (labors, materials ,machines) into goods and service.(Model, n.d.). Currie (1972) stated that productivity is the quantitive relationship between what we produce and the resources we use. Productivity relativity related to the output and input of certain works. In different scope of works, the meaning of productivity is the same but differ in the term of the job executions. The productivity of a lecturer is measures based on his/her focuses when conducting a lecture, how much knowledge can he/she deliver during the lecture session , how well can he/she attracts the students attention on the class, and how well he/she nurture the lecturer-student relationship. While the productivity of a doctor can be measures based on his/her surgery performance , how

he/she conducting a surgery, the communication ability between a doctor and patient, and etc. One thing for sure, interior design is an investment where the results may surprise the employers. This is proved by numerous studies that indicating that good interior design may generate the employee productivity. By improving the office design, it will eliminate the productivity challenges and cater a health, functional and attractives surroundings. (Lighting & Carpet, n.d.). This study is developed to state the relationship between the interior design and workers productivity in every aspects. It will also exhibit all the factors that effecting the productivity from various literature review.

II. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS. 2.1 Colors Based on the literature review, colors do give impact to the workers productivity. Color adorning the workplace may affecting the workers productivity in term of their moods, works performance and color preferences . In order to test those effects, (Kwallek, Lewis, Lin-Hsiao, & Woodson, 1996) has conducted a study to analyze the effects of colors in term of their high or low value color, high or low saturated color, warm or cool color, and gender on performance and mood. Before that, for better understanding, this study has clarify necessary terms and

understandings as follows: High or low value color : Adamson,( 1997, 2012) stated that the color value can be determine by its lightness or darkness . High or low saturated color : generally known as the purity of a color. Color with high saturation will exhibit rich and full looks and vice versa. Warm and cool color : temperature of a color .Based on the length of the wavelength of a color. Warm color has the longest wavelength , while cool color has the shortest wavelength. Red, orange, yellow are warm color. Blue, green and purple are cool color.(Kwallek et al., 1996). Wexner (1986) through a studies has stated that colors and moods are interrelated. He classified that red as exciting, orange as emotionally or physically disturbed or distressed , yellow as

brighten and jovial , blue as security and comfort ,and purple as respectability and selfimportance. For the feelings indication, Aaronson (1964) clarified that red represents active, orange indicates happy, yellow represents energetic , green indicates sickness, blue indicates freedom and calm, purple gives out a negative feelings and white indicating normal with slightly negative. It shows that continuous exposure of workers towards certain color may affecting their moods and their productivity in a long run. Eventhough the studies between the color value and mood states are not greatly published, the mood states between males and females workers are generally the opposite. The focuses level of males in high value colors are low compared to the females workers. For males, the productivity level in orange,yellow or red color offices are the lowest as the stress level in those offices are the highest. While for the female employees, the productivity level in dark offices are the lowest as the stress level in blue, green and purple are at its peak. In term of the colors saturations, the males employees developed a negative moods in high saturation color of offices while females employees developing the same mood in the low-saturated colou]r offices. Generally, both males and females employees made great amount of errors in a low saturated office. There is no significant results that can be extracted between the effects of warms and cools colors. Its reported that males developing anger in both colors temperature. So, in choosing the colors , interior designer should be able to use the correct color that can help improving the workers productivity and generating the positive moods in the workplace environment. TABLE 1 : The moods states of female and males workers with colors in their working environment.

Mood States Types of Colours



High value Low value High Saturation



Low Saturation Warm Color Cool Color

M M M *F= females employees, M=males employees


Colors play an important roles in giving out a psychological comfort for both individual and groups. Fischer etal (2003) states that psychological comfort are only the beginning of the office environments measurement. Psychological comfort is one of the aspect which can help in creating a positive impact of productivity to an individual or groups. The wrong choosing of workplaces colors may lead to the depression, anger, anxiety and confusion that will affecting the organization productivity in a long run. Those negative impacts can be seen with an increasing absenteeism, retarded development of creativity and influencing the workers moods. It is crucial for the employers to assign an interior designer in helping to do the transformation to the workplaces atmosphere by using an interesting colors to adorn the wall and furniture . There are many colors studies that have been done and lots of suggestions on how to improve a workers productivity from the colors aspects. Surprisingly, a workplace with a freshly painted environment can help in increasing the morale of a worker, they feel appreciated due to the employers efforts in maintaining the appearances of the workplace.(Youngberg & Contractors, n.d.). 2.2 Layout The layout of the workplace is important in determining the workers productivity. It can be determined by the spatial arrangement (the way that spaces is arranged ) and the offered comfort from the furniture. Employees need a good environment when executing the task including the spatial arrangement of the desk,chair and all furniture. The furniture in the workplace should be ergonomic-friendly. It is important in helping the workers in getting a better posture, and reduced the back stresses. Currently, the are many available ergonomic products in the market which ranging from desk, chair, foot rests, and air cleaners.(Lighting & Carpet, n.d.) . The spatial arrangement of a workplace should be practical, and employees-friendly. Spatial arrangement in the office plays a major roles in the producing a productive communication between the workers in that particular workplace which can help in nurturing the effectives team works. An impressive spatial arrangement can also eliminate ineffeciencies occurred including the

excessive storage and unused spaces. (Vischer & Ph, n.d.). Vischer(1995) through her article titled Strategic Work Space Planning has come out with few recommendations that about how to benefitting the work space in a mission of producing a productive workers. 2.3 Interaction between worker. Interaction or communication between the workers are important in measuring the organizations productivity. In doing so, privacy should be changed to accessibility. In order to do so, a customized workspace should be established and allowing the communications between team member. Ultimately, an open office environment can be implemented in reducing and eliminating the communication barriers. Interior designer play an important roles in producing a solution that can solve the communication barrier problem which can help the team member work better together. Effectives works team are one of the benchmark in measuring productivity. The communication will be more frequent and better communication skills between the

employees of an organizations can be developed. Open offices is one of the ways on how to improve the accessibility by using a smaller spaces so the workers can be close together. Nowadays most of the companies have implementing an open-office design and resulting high degree of productivity. (Saleem, Shah, Zaman, & Arif, 2012) Workers productivity can be at its peak when all the employees need is fulfilled by the organization. It can be improved by providing a comfortable and ergonomic offices design. Workers are tends to lose their productivity when there is dissatisfaction, scattered workplace and physical environment occured. Better outcomes and increased productivity is the indicator that which resulting in better workplace design. Workspace quality are also plays a major roles in affecting the workers attitudes and behaviorand producing a productive worker. Workplace environment should not be neglected, nice office design , accentives and additional facilities should be available in the workplace. A productive environment will enable the worker to finish their task on time without any delay, and developing positive moods in the workplace. Hamed and Amjad have focused in the effects of office design in term of their furniture, noise, lighting , temperature and spatial arrangement to the workers productivity. The literature has stresses that the workers productivity is mainly related to the workplace design. However, there are lots of

organizations still not aware of these needs and this issues are frequently been disregarded due to the cost factor. Majorities of workers experiencing job dissatisfaction due to the bad workplace design and agreed that their attitudes during working are greatly influenced by the workplace design environment. The responds for those 5 factors were analyze by calculating the mean and standard deviation. Lighting has been selected as prime factor which can give effect to the workers productivity followed by spatial arrangement, furniture, noise and lastly temperature by differentiating the finding to male and females employees(Table 2). In order to improve what is lacking, it is recommended to add artificial lighting in the office design and allows the Sun penetration by creating more opening.

Factors Furniture Noise Lighting Temperature Spatial Arrangement Overall Mean Overall Produtivity

Mean(SD) for Male Employees 3.68 (0.64) 3.84 (0.46) 3.26 (0.82) 3.84 (0.46) 3.49 (0.61) 3.62 3.62

Mean(SD) for Female Employees 3.77 (0.61) 3.21 (0.77) 3.13 (0.59) 3.92 (0.36) 3.21 (0.66) 3.45 3.23

(Workplace, 2012) The ability of an organization in enlisting and recruiting new employee are greatly influences by the environment of that particular workplace. Inconvinient workplace environment may lead to the workers low performance, increasing absenteeism, and physically unhealthy. Pech and Slade (2006) stated that it is important in creating a positive workplace environment in order to cope up with the high rate of workers disengagement. According to them, the workers disengagement are most likely due to the noise distraction, lack of interest in the work and high absenteeism. Roelofsen (2002) clarified that the productivity of an organization will increase only if there is any efforts in improving the workplace design environment which can lead to a minimum complaints and absenteeism. Ergonomic comforts are also important due to the demands of

comfort while working. The organizational performance and workers productivity can be increased with the combination of good physical layout (interior) and efficient management process. According to the research and survey conducted, most of the workers agreed that the organization productivity and performance are the highest when peoples in the organization are working in calm and relaxed environment (interior design). There are several factors that can affect the workers productivity and it is ranked as follows : furniture, noise , flexibility , communication, lighting, temperature and air quality (Brill et al.,1884). This literature has emphasizing the relationship of workplace environment where research was conducted in the term of physical and behavioral component of environment(communication between employees). To simplify the research and make it looks more easier, the physical component of environment can be divided into two categories ; workers comfort level ( furniture, lighting, temperature and air quality) and office layout(spatial arrangement, privacy). The results shows that behavioral component can contribute to a better productivity compare to the physical components. The comfort level has a greater impact to the employees compare to the office layout. What can we conclude based on this result are the interaction between employees and ergonomic comfort are the most significant factors in improving the organization productivities. (Vischer & Ph, n.d.) Individual task (ITP) and group work (CTW) are somehow connected. The performance level of workers can be divided into those two groups where the execution of works are different. Individual performance are strongly influenced by the environmental conditions such as lighting, temperature, and ventilation while group work kindly effected by the spatial arrangement of the spaces and furniture layout. This literature has also stated the differences between negative productivity and positive productivity. Positive productivity can be measure through a more faster and accurate tasks execution, the great relations and skills when dealing with clients(quality), and more faster and efficient decision making process. While negative productivity can be measure through high rate of absenteeism , complaints and product returns and more error founds when performing the tasks.(Table 3)

POSITIVE MEASURES ITP (individual productivity)

NEGATIVE MEASURES and turnover, illness, and

Faster,more accurate output, Absenteeism employee retention recruitment, and employee

reduced task speed

CTW (group productivity)

Better quality output, lower Error rate, shrinking group costs, better decisions size, customer complaints.

According to the Vischer (1985), the user satisfactory and productivity towards the environmental effects can be characterized as the User Satisfaction model. Model are using surveys as its medium where the workers most likely have to circle like or dislike, satisfied or dissatisfied on the survey sheets regarding the workspace environment. That surveys shows that majority of the workers are dislike amplified noise, improper lighting and shortage of parking. In order for the employees to stay motivated and productive, workplace environment plays an important roles. So, it is essential to maintain a supportive, safe and comfortable and practical environment. Vischer has also highlighted a formula that can be used in improving the productivity by both individual and group work. The formula are as follows :

Physical Comfort + Psychological Comfort + Functional Comfort = Positive Effect on Morale and Effectiveness (ITP and CTW).

What the model tried to convey is an employee require the combination of physical comfort, psychological comfort as well as the functional comfort in order to achieve more and be more productive. Physical comfort : related to the employees safety and health which including ergonomic comfort, adequate lighting and ventilation. Psychological comfort : something that cant be seen. Related to the sense of privacy, control and status and how well an employee wants to protect that senses.

Functional comfort : facilities in the workspace and how it can help the employees in the jobperforming process. (Kwallek et al., 1996) Psychologically, colors and moods are interrelated. Different saturation, value and temperature will bring a mix of moods to the viewer. In the workplace, colors plays a major roles in measuring the employees productivity. However, the effects of colors for different gender are different. Types of colors (high or low color value, high or low color saturation, and the temperature of the color ) have strongly influence the worker performance for both males and female workers. This literature review is mainly revolve the effects of nine monochromatic colors ( red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple , white, gray and beige) to the workers moods state which ranging from confusion, depression, and anger. The focuses level of both gender are the highest in the orange offices and the lowest at the blue and purple offices. Besides that, more errors were founds in the white offices compared in the blue and red offices. The depression level in the high saturated color offices for female workers are the lowest while the depression level for the males workers are highest in the high-saturated office colors. In a low saturated office color , female employees are tends to be confused and lost but different in the man perspective. In term of the value of the colors, females worker are developing more tension in dark offices , while the males workers developing more tension in the lighter office. In term of colors temperature, males worker are tend to be angry in both cool and warm colors. At the end, most of the workers are prefers to works in an offices which is white and beige in colors. It is more appropriate to use white as the colors of the offices. The effects of colors may diffe rent according to the gender. Individual preference may not be the best solution in improving the productivity. Table 4 shows the factors listed by several authors through their literature.

Office Design Element Furniture Noise Flexibility Comfort Communication Lighting Temperature Air Quality Office Colors Spatial Arrangement Privacy

Sallem, Shah, Zaman & Arif

Kwallek et al.

Vischer & Ph


III. CONCLUSION Interior design has been proved as umber factors that affecting the productivity of workers and organization. Developing the interior design of a workplace is seems to be the best solution in improving the workers productivity and attracts employees to work in the organization. Interior design of a workplace should not be neglected by the employers. In order to boost the productivity , the consultation of an interior designer is optional but important. However, the employers itself should willing to invest some money in the redesign and modified the workplace. In order to compete with big companies, interior design is only the beginning of the productivity.

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