Hi my name is Jack and Wildbit hired me as a marketing intern this summer. I’m helping out with content marketing and a few other things. After finishing up a couple of weeks working at Wildbit HQ, I can say it is one of the best spaces I've had the pleasure of working in.
If you haven’t heard, Wildbit just finished work on a magnificent office in the heart of Old City Philadelphia. Philly is one of my favorite cities in the entire world and Old City is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited.
Coming to work in Old City every day is a wonderful treat. After working here for a few weeks, I think there are benefits to working in a beautiful office over a typical office with rows of cubicles, glaring unnatural light, and few windows.
Some of you might be skeptical that an office’s design helps productivity, but I strongly believe working in a beautiful office increases it. Let me explain the benefits I've seen from working in such a nice space.
1. The gratitude I feel working in an office like this makes me want to work harder and harder.
Every morning I come into the office via train. As I exit the train and walk up the steps onto the street, I'm greeted by the sights and sounds of Old City. From the moment my feet touch the ground, I take everything in and appreciate it.
Not everyone gets to work in a place like Old City. Working in this specific part of the city, I want to do great work so I feel like I'm earning the chance to experience the beauty. I imagine the team here feels like this too.
It's uncommon for a company to create an environment where people love to work. In my opinion, Wildbit has accomplished that feat. Too many people spend the majority of their lives complaining about how they dislike their jobs or careers. I could be working anywhere, but I'm lucky enough to be working here at this place with these people. This helps motivate me and allows me to focus on getting my work done.
2. Natural sunlight helps people focus and stay awake
The United States is a sleep-deprived nation. According to the CDC, from 2005 to 2007 about 30% of American adults reported getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night. Most health professionals recommend getting at least 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye per night. This lack of sleep isn't good.
Sleep-deprived people feel tired and aren't as productive as a result. Even people who get 8 or more hours of sleep per night sometimes feel tired during the day. It's tough to beat the 2:00 P.M. lull. One thing that helps keep people positive, motivated, and awake is natural light. Countless studies have proven this fact, like this one performed by University of Southern Mississippi and Bowling Green State University and another performed by University of Bergen and Karolinska Institute.
Natural light is so powerful that doctors occasionally prescribe it to treat mild Seasonal Affective Disorder. One of the things that makes the Wildbit office so beautiful is all the windows, big and small. Thanks to these windows, it’s impossible to work in a space here where there isn't any natural light. That’s a big productivity perk.
Of course, this comes with a cost. Windows let heat out during the winter and let cool air escape during the summer. This can lead to higher electricity and heating bills. But, these costs don't outweigh the benefits of having happier and more energetic employees. When people are happy, they'll stay productive and get more work done.
3. There is plenty of space for people to do their work in peace and quiet
Many buildings try to cram as many desks or cubicles into a space as the fire marshals will allow. Companies do this as a cost-saving move. The question proponents of this idea fail to ask is, does this get the most bang for your buck from employees? The answer is likely "no."
When crowded into a space, it’s easy for people to feel like there's a rancher herding them as if they're cattle. It's also hard to focus when you can look to your left, right, front, and back and can see and talk to other people you're working with. Noisy offices aren't the only cause of distractions and low productivity. Seeing other people move or having them literally bump into you are distractions too.
When every employee has their own distinct space, they can zone in on work and be free from distraction. The private offices in Wildbit HQ are one of the ways the beauty of this office has increased productivity.
4. It shows the company appreciates its employees
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. When you show appreciation for the work or things people do, they notice. A simple “thank you” to someone can mean a lot. This past year a number of my friends graduated from Haverford College, the school I attend. I felt excited to see them move on to their next chapter, but I was also sad to see them go. I wanted to show the graduating seniors I knew how much they meant to me. I wanted to do something to appreciate them.
So, I wrote a letter to each friend who was about to graduate. In these letters I recounted fun stories we experienced together. I remarked on the qualities they possessed that I loved the most. Finally, I told my friends how much their friendship meant to me and that I wanted to stay in touch.
All together I wrote eight letters to eight different graduates. At first I was nervous to give them the letters. But, my fears disappeared when I received a message from the person I was most nervous to give a letter. In his message he said, “Thanks for your note at graduation, that was so sweet.” Every senior I gave a letter to loved it.
What's the point of this story about my friends who graduated? It shows how meaningful a small gesture of appreciation can be.
Now imagine the impact that a large gesture of appreciation can have. Wildbit's new office is that type of gesture. After 15 years in business, Chris and Natalie thanked the Wildbit team by building out this new office.
The beautiful Wildbit HQ we share is an investment in and appreciation of the truly amazing team who work here. Employees here are shown how important they are to Wildbit, so they want to work hard and deliver great results for it.
I'm sure there are many other ways that working in a beautiful office helps productivity. What type of office do you work in and provide for your employees? Does your company's office allow employees to be as productive as they can be? If not, then maybe it's time to think about making the switch to a better-designed space. Your employees will be more productive and focused as a result.