“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer
While no-one can guarantee a workplace that will always run efficiently and productively, there are some changes you can make that will encourage workflow around the office.
Sufficient lighting is an absolute must in an office. It should go without saying that your employees need adequate lighting to perform their duties, and any straining will only lead to a loss of motivation and interest in their work. There have also been numerous studies to suggest that natural daylight improves energy levels and increases productivity amongst workers. If it’s not possible to have natural light in all work areas, there should be common areas set up with access to the natural daylight. Alternatively, you could even purchase natural daylight light bulbs. You should be considering the duties of your staff when organising the work areas, as some tasks require stronger lighting than others.
Uncomfortable workers quickly turn into unmotivated and unproductive (un)workers. Headaches, back aches, neck aches are all common ailments experienced from office workers spending long hours in uncomfortable furniture. If you want your staff to work productively, it’s imperative to set them up in a workspace using ergonomic furniture, allowing them to sit comfortably in the same position for hours on end. Consider the duties required from your staff when making a choice on the furniture in their workspace.
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Once again it’s important to note that an uncomfortable worker is more likely to lose interest in their work and become unmotivated. It’s actually been scientifically proven that our work performance is affected when we are too hot or cold. So for a productive workplace, you should be controlling the heating/air conditioning to keep it at a comfortable working condition, and continue to check this frequently. The quality of air within an office also hinders the productivity of workers. Spending long hours indoors, it’s vital for your staff to be able to easily breathe in clean air, so make sure there is plenty of natural ventilation within the office space.
While you may not always have control over the sound happening outside of the office, you can over what’s happening within. When a staff member stops to use the water cooler or printer it shouldn’t mean having to interrupt the whole workplace. It’s these kinds of thoughts that need to be considered when designing the office layout. Take into consideration elements of the office like, noisy machines and devices, items that are shared, or common areas. Try to keep these spaces and devices separated from the areas with work desks and offices to prevent disruption and loss of motivation. Desk dividers are also a great way of minimising general working noises.
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5. Office Arrangement
Following on from the last point, consider the way you will be using an office and where specific duties will be completed, when deciding on the design layout. You should be setting up shared devices and common areas in spaces that are convenient to those using them. This will prevent staff from having to continually move around the office to access things, and disrupting every one as they pass. It’s more important for the office layout to function for staff and how they need to work, rather than staff having to work within the spaces provided. Check out our article on the pro’s and con’s of the most common office layouts.
6. Specific Task & Break Areas
A sure-fire way to keep your office busy and productive is to set up task-specific areas. Not only will it provide a welcome break from the desk and change of scenery for staff, but also ensure they stay on-track by having to complete certain tasks at specific workstations. Further to this point, when a particular task requires different office equipment, it’s going to be far less distracting if a recognised area has already been set up with everything needed to complete the task. From the other perspective, there should also be designated areas created for collaborative working or breakout spaces so staff members can take time out without disrupting the rest of the office. Comfy and stylish breakout and staffroom furniture doesn’t have to break the bank.
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Seeing as your staff will be stuck in the office day in and day out, it only makes sense for you to try and make it an inspiring and motivating environment. Consider colour meanings when choosing wall paint and decorative pieces. You could experiment using wall art, as well as fun and bright furniture to lift the mood of an office. By giving the workplace a personality it will create a place your staff enjoy being in and in effect feed their motivation and productivity.