Your surroundings influence your productivity. And the corporate world knows it well.
Productivity is the spirit and the soul of a company. If you want your team to improve their productivity, it could come down to the setting and structure of your office. Not just the location, either, but the layout of the equipment and office furniture, the flow between employee space and the overall vibe of your office.
The good news? There are sources out there ready to boost your business productivity and make your office a place where your team actually wants to get their job done. Keep reading for advice and tips on how to accomplish that.
What is office design, and why it is important?
Simply said, office design is about creating an environment that promotes productive and purposeful work while leaving room for customization, creativity, and personalization. To be more precise, you’re setting a stage so everyone can bring their props.
Perhaps that’s not the first thing you think of, but office design has a great impact on guiding behaviour at work. It makes sense because you’re not consciously thinking about it every time you walk through the door, but the environment you work in has an authoritative effect on your performance and purpose.
Imagine your current office. Do you belong there, or are you a guest? If you feel like a guest in there, the chances are you’re less likely to personalize your desk put your feet up on the chair. But if you feel like you belong, you’ll be more primed to enter a “flow state”.
Your physical workspace has a powerful impact on a wide variety of factors, such as morale, inclusion, health, creativity, collaboration, purpose, and productivity.
Let’s focus on those last two:
- Purpose: When we help others, we become better. Purpose is a major motivator, and everyone can encourage purpose through workplace design. You can show your team their work is valued, they’re cared for, and that they’re positively affecting the lives of others.
- Productivity: A poorly designed office can (and surely can) have a huge impact on work, with 46 percent of workers indicating that their existing workspace heavily influences their productivity.
With research telling us how an office’s characteristics can impact the perceptions, behavior, productivity, and purpose of employees, businesses are now trying to design with these things in mind so that teams of all shapes and sizes can get as much of their working day as possible.
Keep it Open-Plan, But Design Flexible Work Spaces
Not long ago, offices featured partitioned workspaces and cubicles that limited communication and imposed the concept that employees were merely cogs in a machine. Today, we don’t see cubicles that often: they’re considered impersonal and soulless. Open-plan offices have become the norm for many – and there are plenty of good reasons for this.
In an open-plan office, there’s no barrier between subordinates and their managers – it’s all about making people feel like they’re part of a team. This setup is meant to encourage collaboration and build relationships between a workforce. Not to mention, it’s easier for businesses to set up; they reduce running costs and maximize space too.
But whilst there are plenty of boons to working in an open-plan working space, there can be more diversions in a shared setting, there can be more distractions in a communal workspace. What should be done then?
A well-designed office house a number of different spaces for employees to work in. As such, if someone finds their main workplace too noisy, there should be a dedicated area where they can retreat to. This can be anything from a pod or booth, a canteen, a meeting room, or simply a quiet seating area close by.
Currently, innovative corporates – especially those in the tech world – are offering “remarkable levels of freedom for their employees to change their workspace.
Provide Storage Solutions
Employees are more productive when they can bring their full selves to the office. That goes for clothing, office decoration, and even desk trinkets. All desk supplies from Sugru can make it easier for them to get on with their daily tasks and save some space.
Any workspace that’s roomy will also have enough storage space. If someone is forced to use their desk to store office equipment and excess papers, they’ll likely feel hemmed in and waste a great deal of time finding lost or misplaced items.
One survey showed that 66 percent of participants spend up to 30 minutes weekly just looking for things around the office or at their desks.
Make Sure There’s Room to Move
Offices must be spacious and flexible. Even the law says that each office should have at least 40 square feet. Overcrowded, disorderly conditions don’t make for a happy and productive workforce.
They must spend the majority of their working day sitting at the desk, but the health implications are quite discouraging. Workspaces should be laid out so that people can move around freely; taking short but consistent walks throughout the day is imperative for their health and wellbeing.
Regular exercise should help release serotonin and improve employee morale; it’s also known to reduce our chances of getting ill (which translates into fewer sick days). And studies have shown that brief diversions from daily tasks can actually improve our engagement with it.
As for furniture – it should be set out so everyone can walk around the office with ease; floors should also be free from clutter.
Bring the Outside In
People are naturally inclined to connect with nature, and having plants inside your office can be a surprisingly potent way to boost workplace productivity and wellbeing.
Plants have been shown to clean the air, reduce stress and even help to reduce noise levels.
Yet, 1 in 3 professionals says there are no plants at their office.
Combat this by promoting a greener workspace. That won’t automatically make everyone a gardener, but there are plenty of low-maintenance indoor plants that can get you started on the right foot.