4 Office design tips to improve productivity

4 Office design tips to improve productivity

For sole traders or company owners inspiring yourself and others to be more productive may seem like a difficult task. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. With a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips on Google, you will find there are plenty of ways to motivate your team. Some of the examples which each business owner should pay attention to ensure happy employees are;

  • How you treat your staff in terms of respect, space, safety and presenting opportunities for each individual to grow and or overcome difficult tasks.

  • Considering whether to provide suitable work attire to save expense on the employee’s behalf or alternatively to instill a relaxed dress code. To promote each person’s personality and comfort to be of importance.

  • A pleasant environment taking into consideration the needs of your staff. By incorporating an open plan office to encourage social interaction and team bonding, and quiet areas and private meeting rooms for projects requiring intense focus  

According to the skills and Employment survey 2017, released in October this year, it found that British people, for example, are working harder and faster than ever, but their productivity still continues to stagnate. Although you will never be able to control how efficient other people are entirely, you should make an ongoing effort in trying to motivate employees as much as possible. Considering their best interests will in turn help fuel your best interests in helping your business to flourish. The area this post will focus on is enhancing your first office or updating an existing one to increase happiness, health, and well-being for you and your co-workers which in turn will trigger productivity.

Warm Environment

A misconception about the office environment is that those who are exposed to a cold atmosphere will work better than those in a warm climate. However, according to a market research company survey by 4 Media Group, ensuring you coworkers feel warm is essential to encourage productivity. This survey was based on 5 cities in the UK, which recorded how the cold affected employees happiness and productivity during the winter. The data collected from the experiment demonstrated that a cold atmosphere made people less productive and less happy. In some cases, this resulted in workers wanting to work from home. To support this statement, 26.6% of 1,501 workers admitted they called in sick due to their office being unbearably cold.

With winter upon us, now is the time to crank up the heating or think about updating your existing heating system. The reason you may want to consider updating is due to the heating inefficiency regular radiators offer, such as causing and hot and cold spots in a room. To keep a consistent warm atmosphere that covers the entire surface area of the premises, you should consider underfloor heating with liquid screed. This type of flooring requires an expert to install you can learn more about the ins and outs of floor screeding online. The added bonus of replacing old radiators with underfloor heating is you can free up more physical space for co-workers. This is another office design positive for boosting employee productivity.

Incorporate nature

A study from Harvard demonstrated that those who work in green-certified offices have a 26% boost in cognition and fewer absences related to sickness. The benefits of plants and foliage in the office are their ability to relieve stress and purify the air. Bringing the outside in can also boost creativity amongst peers. As a cost-effective option that makes a massive difference to the wellbeing of staff, start by researching and sourcing plants suitable to sustain the office atmosphere. Equally, if you have a scenic or green view from the office windows, don’t hide it with blinds and window covers, enhance it for all of your employees to see and enjoy. It also emerged from the study by Harvard that 30% fewer sickness-related absences were due to an increase in greenery in the workspace. By investing in some foliage for the office, you can create a visually appealing atmosphere and increase productivity levels by 38% according to a scientific study by the University of Exeter.

Adequate lighting

Eye strain is a common symptom of working in a poorly lit office. The best form of light is daylight. Which means if you have windows shrouded in ornaments, blinds, and covers, remove anything that blocks the much-needed light of day to help you and your office employees prevent eye strain. For enclosed offices, this may be difficult to emulate the benefits of natural light. However, there are some solutions such as; using light bulbs with a natural light effect or implementing light therapy devices. The light which swarms your office not only affects whether or not your employees will experience eye strain, interestingly it also affects peoples mood. With 20% of people in the UK likely to experience seasonal affective disorder, which includes feelings of anxiety and issues with focusing, a remedy that could help alleviate symptoms is more exposure to natural daylight.

With a study revealing those working in an office spending an average of 6 and a half hours a day in front of a computer, this is a large portion of an individuals time to spend in any one place.  Adequate lighting plays a necessary part in improving employees office experience, mood and helps to prevent eye problems which in turn affects productivity.

Interior Design

Tailoring the design of the work environment could help improve productivity and increase creativity. For instance, it is thought that different color schemes evoke different feelings and impressions on people, which is something you could use to your advantage when considering the scheme fot painting the walls of your office. Green and blue are at the top for creating the most significant impact on improving productivity. The reason for this could be because these colors appear everywhere in nature and as above greenery is another natural element that complements work ethic in the office. Another color to consider is yellow, which promotes innovation and optimism. Possibly likened to the effects exhibited by the sun in encouraging happiness and warmth.

The the ideal business should reflect an environment that would both impress clients and interviewees, but the primary objective is to increase the happiness and energy of the people that work for you. The main point to draw from this post is the elements and studies mentioned above all promote a neutral ground of bringing nature indoors to encourage concentration, to avoid health risks, to alleviate stress and to provide warmth likened to the soothing effects of the sun. Each of the sections mentioned work well holistically to make people feel optimistic and comfortable in the workplace which will affect their productivity.

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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