5 ways a well-designed office can increase productivity
Studies have suggested that a well-designed office can boost working rates, improve staff morale and increase retention rates and when you look at the likes of Google whose offices are more akin to a playground than a traditional workspace, it gives you a clue as to just how important it is to create the right environment for your employees.
Sadly, not all businesses have the luxury of being able to afford an expensive architect to design a custom office for them. So how can SMEs harness the benefits of a well-designed workspace without having to invest thousands of pounds remodelling? Here are a few simple measures that businesses can employ to turn their existing offices into a better working environment.
Give employees access to a variety of workspaces
Most traditional offices are divided up into departments and each employee has their own desk where they are required to sit for most of the day. Not only is this bad for your employees’ health but it can also stifle creativity and collaboration.
The advent of mobile technology means that employees no longer need to be tied to their desk in order to work effectively and allowing them the freedom to move to whichever room best suits their current task can have fantastic returns. Employees may choose to spend an hour at their desk for one task and then move into a lounge area where they can sit comfortably to answer emails or make calls.
Having a good mixture of private and public spaces open to all helps employees interact with others when they need input or inspiration and lets them be alone when they need to concentrate. It also breaks up to day, which can help to keep employees focused and avoid monotony.
The colours most often associated with traditional offices – white, grey and beige – are neutral, practical and dull! Injecting a little colour into your office can significantly affect the mood of your staff. Most experts agree that blue has a positive effect on productivity as it is calming while brighter colours are great for encouraging ideas and creativity.
If, as suggested in the previous section, your staff have the freedom to move between different work spaces then it makes sense to match your colour palette to the function of each room. Communal areas used for meetings and brainstorming sessions could be painted in bright inspiring colours while private offices for concentration should be calming colours.
Get staff together
It’s often been said that most good ideas happen by the water cooler. When people meet for impromptu discussions rather than formal meetings great things can happen. Creating communal areas (e.g. coffee stations or sitting areas) where staff frequently bump into each other and interact really helps to encourage good communication and discussion of ideas. Plus it can make for a much happier office as people get to know and trust each other more and work more effectively together.
Create a natural feel
Many people feel a natural affinity with the outdoors and working inside all day can lead to negative associations, particularly when the weather is nice. Bringing a little bit of the outdoors in can create a more positive environment. For example, plants are a great way to keep offices fresh as they filter air plus they soften the look of a space and make it more visually appealing.
Opening the windows to let in light and fresh air not only helps to improve morale but can also keep temperatures comfortable and improve air quality leading to fewer sick days. You might also consider adding window screens which block UV rays to prevent glare and keep insects out.
Choose your furniture wisely
Choosing the right furniture is a must for increasing productivity. If employees are uncomfortable, they are less able to concentrate making them much less productive. A comfortable, ergonomic desk chair can save employees from developing back problems and allow them to focus on the task in hand without having to constantly shift about to get comfortable.
Investing in sofas and comfy chairs for break out areas is also a great way to get employees out of their seats and moving around, which will help them to interact with other members of staff, improving communication and overall health and morale.
Workplace Property has over 35 year’s experience providing commercial properties, industrial units to let and workspaces in the region of Peterborough, Stamford, Bourne, Deeping and Spalding. Please see our industrial units to let page for current availability.