Does your office space promote productivity?

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The colors, branding, and layout of your office space can have a large effect on the productivity and creativity of your employees. As such, paying attention to trends in the workplace design world can help businesses find the right spaces for their needs - and it can help commercial real estate brokers determine how they might best remodel an existing space for lease or sale in the year ahead, using project finance if need be. Here are a few top trends in office design:

Color is key

According to Mashable, color is well-known for its ability to impact productivity at work. The publication cites psychologist Angela Wright's Color Affects System, which maintains people's individual color preferences are overridden by universal associations. In her theory, highly saturated colors stimulate workers, while muted colors soothe them. Blue gets people into an intellectual frame of mind, yellow promotes creativity and green encourages a calm tone.

Common space is trending this year

The Real Deal reports open-plan offices are increasingly incorporating more dedicated common space in New York. Mitchell Konsker, executive vice chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle, has noted companies are increasing their amenities in the office by as much as 30 percent, and the expansion is focused on large open places for socialization and meetings. Private offices have seen a corresponding decline in floor space as well.

Open-plan offices are likely to stick around, but studies increasingly show those plans can't meet employees' needs. Privacy is a must, particularly for animated conversations and collaboration, and that's where large meeting rooms can come into play. Furthermore, employees need the freedom to get up and move around, lest their creativity or productivity is stalled by sitting at a desk all day. Large spaces for socialization help give workers somewhere to go. Companies that have chosen to incorporate cafes into their offices may also benefit from allowing employees to do some work from that location rather than only at their assigned desks, as well.

Culture in decor is important

Increasingly, non-retail spaces are catching up with retail outlets in understanding the importance of branding in interior design.

"Nobody really wants an office space that people don't recognize as being some place special," Brent Maugel, president of Maugel Architects, told Worcester Business Journal. "The culture of the company can be expressed by the uniqueness of the work environment."

Whatever integrating culture into design means for a particular firm, it can help employees feel at home and part of the company's mission every time they come into the office.

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