Working in a Fancy Office — Yea or Nay?

PIXERS, a company that knows the importance of a happy and comfortable work environment, investigates the most popular cornerstones of a satisfying contemporary workplace. Fancy or not? Let’s see by analyzing the pros & cons of a fancy office.

Choose a workplace you love and you will never have to work a day in your life… What does it mean exactly? There are many factors that make a job your dream job and one of them is the office space. It’s sort of truism that creativity, hard work and bright ideas come from positive and happy workplace environments where people are allowed freedom to think, develop and express themselves. The fabric of an office place is therefore strictly related to the level of happiness it generates. Cool environment, ergonomic designs and social spaces are common ideas for creating a fancy office. Also, eye-catching details contribute to give it some good vibes and make it a place bursting with energy. But has anyone ever thought about negative sides of making employees feel at home during the office hours?

Bring Outside Inside and Beware of Abnormally Over-Excited People

FACT: One of the latest trends in office design is to maximally open the interiors to the exteriors — to show everybody how cool you are and what great things your company works on! Situating the office space on the first floor in a modern building located in a fancy area is the first step to make it more accessible and to give it some desirable esteem.

In PIXERS we can work on a terrace overlooking the river…

PROS
A connection between office’s interior and the outside world is good. If people can just chill-out during a workday for a couple of minutes in pleasant natural surroundings, they will be more effective and satisfied with their work, therefore, they will work more efficiently! Big windows and terrace overlooking the river are the elements that matter here.

CONS
Seeing the beautiful world outside big windows and green trees behind one’s desk can be distracting… Thoughts about unlimited freedom and free time in nature’s bosom may lead some people to a conclusion that it’s better to quit their job and spend all the savings on a backpack travel around the world. Sometimes, constant looking at the natural environment can cause over-excitement, so won’t be surprised to see people sneering to their monitors…

Natural Light — First Step to Fight Melancholy (and Procrastination)

FACT: It is well known that filling a space with natural light is a great way to counteract the effects of spending a lot of time in front of an artificially-lit computer screen. Natural light increases happiness, attentiveness and levels of productivity. Sometimes though too much light can make you furious…

During summer it’s cool to work in a pleasant natural environment (with beautiful views)

PROS
It has been suggested that brightly light spaces encourage critical, analytical thinking. Also, several studies have shown that adding some greenery to a workplace can offer a variety of benefits, including increased ability to concentrate and decreased stress levels. Light and nature is good for you!

CONS
With huge windows giving an access to a spectacular terrace and even more stunning park filled with trees, you can’t complain about the quantity of light in your office. But going back to computer screens — during sunny days it’s sometimes hard to focus as an excessive light causes glares on the monitors. In such case, apart from developing eyestrain or headaches, you may have to work in awkward postures to view the screen (imagine the whole staff twisted like pretzels…). Moreover, as the 2013 study by the University of Stuttgart found out, dimly lit rooms evoke a sense of freedom that’s ideal for brainstorming and generation of ideas.

Smart Arrangement — Dominate the Chaos

FACT: The area dedicated to work shall be uncluttered, equipped in ergonomic furniture such as desks and comfortable chairs, with clean lines and smartly arranged space. The office space should be functioning in service to the people, not the other way around.

Keep your desk tidy and neat if you want to play safe… But you can bring some chaos in in case you need to be creative!

PROS
You could think that an organized desk will give you a feeling of controlling the chaos of the universe. It’s true, but only partially true…

CONS
Albert Einstein famously quipped that if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?. He was obviously advocating for the benefits of cluttered desks and today we can assume correctly that it’s better to keep your desk and work environment a little bit messy from time to time. In a study published recently in Psychological Science, a team of researchers headed by Kathleen Vohs found that working at a tidy desk influences people to be more conventional, more generous and to make healthier choices. But, perhaps more interestingly, working at a cluttered desk positively influences people’s creative thinking ability. “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights”, Vohs explains. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe”.

Defined Areas — Isolation Equals Productivity?

FACT: According to a recent study by Jungsoo Kim and Richard de Dear of the University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture, workers who were lumped together in an open floor plan often are less satisfied with their working environment, citing the lack of privacy — specifically “sound privacy” — as the reason.

In PIXERS, customer service department has been recently put behind a glass — in order not to disturb other employees with their endless conversations.

PROS
If you work in a huge office, you can be sure you won’t ever get lost in a space that is well divided in sections for each team and department. Especially, if you are a graphic designer and you don’t want to get to the IT room accidentally (or in reverse). Also, it’s better not to hear the customer care’s conversations with clients (for several reasons, not really worth to mention here).

CONS
Such functional division doesn’t favor the integration inside the office and makes everyone stay on their own “islands”. And sometimes the confrontation of different worlds can be inspiring, you know? Therefore, it’s good to dedicate a particular space for relaxation and intergalactic meetings.

Space for Relax — the Ping-Pong Time is a Relaxing Time*

FACT: Employees feel better in an office that gives them a possibility to meet each other and to know each other better. Creating a relaxation zones in the office proves to be a good way to make employees more attached to the company and its goals and ideals.

Ping-pong — the kind of activity in an office that shall be banned ;)

PROS
What better way to bring a little more relaxation into our workspace than to play a mini ping-pong match? To have such a possibility in an office — some may think this is the best that can happen to you ever in your life.

CONS
*Although, not for everyone. Have you ever been forced to listen to the sound of ping-pong ball rebounding every 1.5s? It’s not relaxing at all…
We’ve already mentioned the importance of the sound factor… So, this is it — the relaxation space must be distanced from the proper working space.

Bring some color in! (Personalize the Space and Start to Love Pink)

FACT: Color is known as a perfect mood-influencer. It can affect our emotions and, in turn, can have an impact on how productive we are. Is the neon pink such a color? In color psychology, pink is a sign of hope. It is a positive color inspiring warm and comforting feelings, a sense that everything will be okay. Studies have confirmed that exposure to large amounts of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves and create physical weakness in people.

Neon details matched with moderate grey walls

PROS
The advantages of introducing some color into an office space are quite obvious. Adding pops of color, will make the workplace more lively and surely will create proper atmosphere to every area — depending on whether it is a conference room or a relaxation space. Choosing the color that identifies the brand is also a good idea!

CONS
Seeing everywhere you look the color of neon pink (which s also the color of PIXERS’ logo) makes you so accustomed to it that you can now wear pink even if you’re a serious back-end programmer. In PIXERS we’re used to it by now (the packages we send our products in are in this exact hue too), but we recommend to consider twice (or even more) the color palette to your office. It shall be coordinated with the size of the space and the amount of light in it.


DISCLAIMER: The article is based on personal experience, scientific facts and stereotypes. All photos are authentic. People captured on them really enjoy working for PIXERS.