How Emotion Is Influencing Workplace Design

How Emotion Is Influencing Workplace Design

As humans, we spend 80,000 hours of our lives at work. We are emotional, thinking as well as productive beings and our emotions don’t turn off when we walk into the office, sit at our desks or go to a shared co-working environment. We’re just not wired that way.

Emotions Have an Impact on How People Think and Act at Work

According to a Harvard Business Review study, research shows that employee satisfaction, burnout, teamwork and even hard measures, like financial performance and absenteeism, are all influenced by company culture and emotions.

Positive emotions are consistently linked to higher levels of productivity, quality and customer service. While negative emotions, such as group anger, sadness and fear, frequently result in poor performance.

Emotion in Workplace Design

Emotions are effective in branding and they are also useful in design. After all, design is emotional and contributes to the brand message. We see this all the time with companies who choose colors to elicit a specific emotion and response when customers shop and use their products or services. Below we’ll explore a bit more into how design influences positive emotions in the workplace.


Employers can boost happy emotions and reduce stress by combining variety-rich and considerate environments.

Employees need well-equipped group and solitary workspaces in emotionally friendly organizations. Thoughtful office furniture, office chairs and portable storage make it possible to create flexible workspaces on the spot. In addition, these workspaces allow for various setups and movement within the workplace—maximizing value and performance.

Teams will need to come together to brainstorm, exchange ideas and socialize. On the other hand, solo workspaces provide intervals of solitude when interruptions or overwhelm start to happen.

Consider what it would be like if people spent all of their time in groups, with little time to think about and solve problems on their own. Or, if they spend all of their time alone with no chance to engage with others. Employees gain the best of both worlds when they have both settings and freedom of mobility.

Color Theory

There’s no denying that color has the power to alter moods, either by elevating or dampening them. Weather is an easy indicator of this. A bright, sunny day with blue skies may inspire us to be our best selves. On the other hand, a gloomy, gray day can make us want to hide beneath the covers.

Even though color theory is supported by science, we employ color theory and color harmony without even realizing it. Clothing is an excellent example. Each color of clothing evokes a distinct emotion. Green evokes a sense of tranquility, whereas red generates a sense of excitement.

By combining science and creativity, designers and artists use this set of rules to make the best decisions for their creations. According to research, specific colors elicit distinct emotions. Examples of this are:

  • Black:Power, drama, elegance, sophistication, professionalism, bold
  • Blue: Trust, dependable, loyalty, strength, intelligence, tranquil
  • Brown: Health organic, natural, genuine, safe, dependability
  • Gray:Innovation, future, conservative, dignified, elegant, refined
  • Green:Peaceful, growth, freshness, health, safety, balance
  • Orange:Friendly, cheerful, bright, confident, uplifting, optimism
  • Pink:Romantic, sweetness, healthy, happy, fun, love
  • Purple:Power, luxury, spirituality, sophistication, creativity, mysterious
  • Red:Passion, strength, youth, excitement, courage, power
  • White: Purity, innocence, cleanliness, peacefulness, safety, lightness
  • Yellow: Clarity, warmth, intellect, optimism, joy, energy

Natural Elements

It is critical to incorporate natural elements into design, particularly in the workplace. Surroundings containing natural elements, whether real or artificial, are more favorable to people than environments without them. Designing with nature in mind is essential for psychological well-being and stress relief.

In addition, biophilic design satisfies our universal desire for connection. Exposed stone, green walls, fountains, wooden accents, plants and visual connections to nature are characteristics of this style. The design possibilities are endless for the unique environments where we work.


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects a large number of people around the world. According to researchers, this type of depression is thought to be induced by a lack of sunlight. All of this is to suggest that light is vital in any situation.

Poor workplace lighting can contribute to eye strain, fatigue, headaches, tension, poor mood and accidents. On the other hand, proper lighting increases productivity and makes people feel more engaged, happier, healthier and alert. Above all, access to natural light is the most important feature that employees want in their workplace.

Workplaces That Emotionally Inspire

It’s only natural that people would select the positive experience over the negative one if given the option. Positive experiences spark our curiosity and desire to grow. However, not all negative experiences are damaging. These experiences may occasionally educate us on how to avoid making the same mistakes again.

It’s a fact that emotional design has an impact on workplace success. People’s performance and productivity, as well as the outcome of their jobs, are influenced by their surroundings. Emotions trigger reactions that affect how people feel and act and these emotions have a significant influence on creativity, productivity and learning.

Are you interested in learning more? Please read our blog articles to understand how diverse workplace designs affect people around the world.

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