Productivity in the workplace is every business manager’s concern. An office worker’s ability to focus, and remain focussed, is crucial for their work productivity. A more productive office means that more work gets done, and at a higher quality. Whether that means closing more sales, designing better marketing strategies, assisting more clients, filing taxes sooner, or even just keeping the office tidier, a business that accomplishes more, benefits more.
If you are worried about dropping productivity levels in your workplace, have you considered the effect that your office design may have? Studies have shown that the most significant factor affecting employees’ ability to focus is their physical environment. A well-designed office can improve productivity by approximately 20 percent.
How to design a more productive office space
From the desk to the boardroom, office design has a significant effect on employees. Does your office design promote focus and productivity? Here are some of the key factors of office design that affect productivity.
Lighting forms an essential part of an employee’s ability to stay focussed and inspired to work. Good lighting can reduce eyestrain, headaches, fatigue and irritability in the workplace. A well-lit office can improve mood and reduce depression too. With the combined affect that good lighting has on both the mood and the physical wellbeing of employees, there is no doubt that it can improve productivity in a significant way.
Bright, warm light is recommended instead of cold hard light like fluorescent tube lighting. Employees can also benefit by using individual desk lamps to improve visibility. Natural light from windows or skylights is also advantageous.
Physical discomfort can severely affect an employee’s ability to concentrate and perform their daily tasks. If your employees are constantly stretching, fidgeting, adjusting their positions or needing to move around a lot, they probably do not have comfortable seating arrangements, which can reduce their productivity. Consider the benefits of ergonomic office furniture. In today’s work environment where most employees are sitting at a desk for most of their day, ergonomic office furniture can provide much-needed support for the body.
Clutter and Cleanliness
Creative employees may prefer to work amidst a clutter, but in general, a cluttered desk hinders productivity and focus. Taking 10 minutes at the start and end of every work day to clean around a desk can keep the area clean and organised and boost productivity. An office that uses space effectively to minimise the feeling of cramped spaces or cluttered layouts can greatly improve this effect.
Colours can evoke both a physical and emotional response. Studies in colour psychology have shown that colour can directly influence factors such as motivation, focus, mood and productivity. Shades of blue have been most effective in eliciting productivity in the workplace.
Using blue throughout the office can boost productivity, but be aware that too much of a colour can be overstimulating. Try using strong colours for accent areas or features, or balance a range of colours tastefully so as to keep one colour from dominating the workplace.
Multiple Spaces to Work
If space allows, creating different zones in the office for different tasks can greatly improve focus and productivity. Whether this involves different desks or areas for brainstorming, planning, and implementing strategies, or just the inclusion of a pause area, depends on the nature of the office work. Having a few different spaces to work can literally shift the brain into a different gear and help employees stay focussed.
Most offices arrange their employees in specific department or job function divisions. However, studies have shown that employees are more productive when they are sitting near colleagues who are working on the same project or client. The benefits are twofold; not only are employees able to communicate and generate solutions with their teammates more quickly, they also feel directly accountable to the colleagues around them, thus increasing the likeliness that they’ll stay on task and productive.
So many great ideas are lost because they can’t be written down at the time and are forgotten. Many companies have benefited from keeping a means to store ideas on hand, so that every time an employee comes up with a bright idea that can quickly record it without disengaging from their regular tasks. This keeps the productivity of their usual tasks regular while boosting productivity for future ideas and projects. Examples of idea storage solutions could be notepads at every desk, a chalk wall or whiteboard wall in an accessible area of the office, or a digital version of a chalkboard for employees working online.
Why not speak to a professional consultant at All Office today?