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Office fixes can have big impact

April 09, 2012

Ready to boost creativity, productivity, and employee moral for your employees? It might only take some time focusing on the design of your business’s work space. Insights from environmental design theories have helpful advice.


By Jessica Lambert, ASU-SBDC Training Coordinator


SAN ANGELO, Texas — Some businesses are spending thousands and even millions on creating cutting edge, extravagant office environments for their employees such as Google, LivingSocial, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, Cartoon Network, and Facebook to name a few.

These innovative environments are believed to boost creativity, increase employee satisfaction, and improve productivity among employees. But can environmental design truly make an employee happier and better-off at work? According to some environmental theories it can.

In the nursing practice, there is an environmental theory called the “Nightingale Environmental Theory.” Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is considered the founder of educated and scientific nursing and her environmental theory stresses the importance of providing a proper environment for patients to recuperate. According to this theory, there are environmental factors which can improve health including pure fresh air, pure fresh water, cleanliness, and light (especially sunlight). Are these easily accessible by your employees?

Another environmental theory is Fung Shui. According to some of its practices, the environments we live and work in every day shape the way we interact with the world. It also asserts that our environments can shape the way we feel, our health and our relationships. An article featuring Feng Shui tips asserts that you can enjoy a better work environment by infusing the five earth elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

Each of these elements is believed to support different areas of our lives. Wood is said to inspire creativity. The fire element, or red, is believed to promote productivity. Earth elements are believed to improve balance and stability. Metal increases wealth. And water elements improve communication.

Adding plants and removing clutter are two other steps you can take to improve your work environment.

If employee productivity seems slow, or overall morale seems to be low, there may be ways to help by improving the office environment. We can’t all afford to install a slide, a skate ramp, or a smoothie bar in our offices, but we can add a plant, open a window, bring in some colorful elements, and infuse new life and energy into our working environments.

Are you itching for a more productive office environment? Today there are hundreds of theories about the perfect desk height, cubicles vs. private offices, more technology or less technology, and on and on. It can be hard to know where to begin but if you believe that your employee’s productivity and work satisfaction can be improved, I encourage you to start seeing what changes can be possible.

“Business Tips” was written by Jessica Lambert, Business Development Training Coordinator and Certified Training Coordinator of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at

© 2012 San Angelo Standard Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 


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ASU Small Business Development Center
San Angelo, TX
Phone: (325) 942-2019