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Office Design: Psychology of the Office Space

Office Design: Psychology of the Office Space

by Tim Wayne on February 14, 2016

If you’ve ever hated being stuck in a cubicle farm or became annoyed with the distractions of an open office, it turns out that you’ve got a great reason to complain.

Office design does more than just the shape our place of work – it can also shape employees’ motivation and job satisfaction. When your workplace doesn’t meet your psychological needs, it can be devastating to your productivity.

Your work environment can make you happy (or stress you out)

According to environmental psychology, or the study on the relationship between people and their surroundings, a work space can inspire workers to be creative and happy or stress them out.

While the impact of office design on productivity is more obvious when issues like lighting, ventilation, and noise pollution are the problems, it can also harm morale when workplaces don’t offer employees enough freedom in when, where, and how they work.

Innovative design can help create an innovative workforce


Unmotivated employees are estimated to cost the U.S. economy somewhere between $450 to $550 billion annually due to the costs of lower productivity, more sick days, and higher turnover. This is why tech leaders like Google and Facebook offer cutting edge innovations in their places of work, and their unique perks are inspiring office design trends around the world.

Good design in your work space can make a real difference in your motivation and performance – so don’t settle for an office that doesn’t meet your needs.

This infographic, from the Applied Psychology Program at USC, illustrates the history of office design, how it can impact employees, and examples from the offices of today’s innovators.

Tim Wayne

Tim Wayne

Tim Wayne is a digital content marketer and contributor to several healthcare blogs. He is interested in healthcare, education, and small business management. Since graduating from USC with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, Tim has worked with websites across a wide range of industries in writing website copy and promoting content online.

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