For a business owner, the productivity of their employees is a major concern. Your employees are the lifeblood of your company and if they suffer, so will your business. A person’s productivity is greatly influenced by their work environment, and a poorly designed office space can be a major source of distractions that make it impossible to work efficiently. Investing in office design that nips these problems in the bud is thus an investment in your business’s future. Here are a few ways to do so.
Consider the layout
The optimal office layout has long been the topic of debate. Closed cubicles are isolating, while a fully open design makes it difficult to focus on individual tasks. Combining them in a way that fits your company culture and the kind of work your employees do is thus the most effective. Give your employees quiet, private corners where debating groups won’t bother them, and create spaces where they can collaborate without having to constantly walk back and forth between offices. Ask for your employees’ feedback to find the right balance.
There are few things as detrimental to your productivity as a cluttered workspace. Not only does a mess slow down your employees–a lack of a good organizational system will make finding what they need much harder–, but it also creates mental clutter and diminishes productivity unnoticeably. Make sure there is enough storage in your offices and that unnecessary things aren’t lying around, just taking up space. Clearing out what you don’t use will free up room and make moving around easier, too.
The power of plants can hardly be debated when it comes to productivity. An office that has some greenery is as much as 15% more productive than a bare one, according to studies. Looking at plants relieves stress and makes us feel more relaxed, which contributes to our wellbeing and allows us to work more productively. An employee will simply feel happier in such an environment, and boosting employee satisfaction is always in your favor. It’s very easy to implement this change in any office. There are a lot of plants, such as the snake plant, that tolerate less than ideal conditions, so you don’t have to worry about rigorous care.
Boost the lighting
Have you noticed that you get sleepy in dim lighting? The amount of light in a room affects our productivity to a great degree, but it is even related to mental health. So, evaluate your offices’ current lighting conditions and make a change if necessary. Of course, plenty of natural light would be the most ideal, but if that is not an option, switching your fluorescent lights to bulbs that emit warm light is already a great step. Make sure that there is enough light, so that your employees don’t end up with a headache, but be sure that it’s not too harsh, as it can reach the opposite effect and cause eye strain.
Make it comfortable
The next crucial design consideration you need to deal with if you want to create a healthy and productive workplace is the furnishings. Ergonomic, adjustable chairs and tables should be the norm. This way, every employee will be able to adjust them to just the right height and steer clear of back, wrist, and neck pain, which are productivity killers. It’s also a good idea to add a chair mat underneath each chair in order to facilitate movement and prevent back strain. Putting some thought into this aspect of your offices will make your employees feel appreciated and happier to work for you.
Mind the noise
Besides clutter, another one of the most detrimental distractions is certainly noise. We already mentioned the problems that can arise from working in an open-layout office. Adding cubicles for individual work is a solution to unwanted noise. There are special cubicles that are designed to block sound, but you can also take this step yourself when constructing your cubicles and add a layer of isolation. Another way to ensure your employees don’t get distracted by others around them is by giving them noise-canceling headphones.
Think about break times
The time spent at one’s desk is not all there is to productivity. In fact, a well-timed break can be infinitely more productive than staying glued to one’s chair. So, make sure you keep this in mind when designing your offices. Designate a separate space for breaks and make sure it’s some distance away from the main work area. This way, your employees will get to move their muscles a bit when getting up for a snack. Making this room soundproof is also a great idea. Your employees will be able to recharge their batteries while listening to music and get back to their desks with newfound energy.
Whether you are working from home or at an office, avoiding distractions and staying productive is paramount. As a business owner, you have the power to make sure your employees’ environment will not work against you. Make sure it’s a healthy space and minimize noise and clutter, and you’ll already do a lot in terms of your business’s productivity.