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Are cool offices the key to success? Featured

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CNN) -- Anyone who remembers 1987 film "The Secret of my Success" will recall the powerful hold that a corner office with sweeping views over Manhattan had on a young and upwardly mobile Michael J Fox. More than a sharp suit or a beautiful secretary, having a nice office meant you had arrived. Although the mindset of Wall Street circa 1987 is less predominant these days, connoisseurship for good office design still flourishes. But fast-forward 25 years and, rather than a lobby full of marble or an expensive art collection, it's now living walls and natural light that's most admired. Peter Surrena, design director at trend forecasting agency PSFK, says good office design is an investment in perception for publicly-facing companies . "This perception is not only what we see, but the story we're told. Touring your office with a potential client, explaining how the conference room was inspired by a bird's nest found only in a remote corner of the Auckland Islands—there's value there, it will be remembered and may give you the edge," he said. "Explaining how the conference room was inspired by a bird's nest found only in a remote corner of the Auckland Islands—there's value there, it will be remembered and may give you the edge." Peter Surrena, PSFK design director "At the same time, you need to be smart about your investments. With design, and most anything else, it reaches a point where any increase thereafter is excessive. You could call this point 'the ultraviolet spectrum of design': it's there, but imperceptible. I believe the goal of great design is to solve the problem as efficiently and as beautifully as possible, without any excess." For employees, a pleasant workplace is directly related to job satisfaction. According to a survey by the American Society of Interior Designers, people who liked their workplaces were 31% more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Of those seeking work, nearly half said that a company's office space affected their decision on whether to accept a job. Evidence suggests that, in well-designed offices, people work better, too. A study by the Center for Health Design suggests that good layout benefits a company by 6% of an employee's salary, and good lighting and temperature by half a percent. Sustainability also appears to have an impact on productivity. Australian researchers watched what happened when a small law firm and a stockbroking and research company moved into a 5 Green Star-rated space in their current building in Melbourne. They found that sick leave was reduced by 39%, typing speed and accuracy improved by 9% and the lawyers' billable hours increased by 7%. Workers also self-reported few
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