Does office design boost productivity?

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You probably spend a lot of time in your office, and if you have employees, they are spending as much, possibly more, time in the office as well. While there are many technical services and applications that can assist in boosting productivity, one of the easiest ways to directly affect how you or your employees work is to change the design of the work environment itself. Not only is this easy to do, it may also be done cost-effectively.

Design tips for increasing office productivity

The colour palette of the office is a priority, since colours have such a direct effect on our mental and emotional functions. Avoid bold and bright colours except as accents or if you put them in a specific area with a specific purpose. For example, you may design an area for employees that functions as a sort of “hot desk,” a place where they can go when they need to focus completely on a task. A space with warm walls in reds, oranges or yellows will help stimulate creativity and an atmosphere of warmth. Creating a sense of airiness and calm is important in common areas; cool blues, greens and purples will help to relax employees and welcome visitors.

If new furniture will be part of the design change, you should select desks that suit the type of work being done. If you or your employees are on the computer all day, you will probably not need large desks; save the drafting tables, conference tables and large-surface desks for more hands-on areas. It is also important to choose a comfortable and ergonomic chair to suit the desk. Productivity can be significantly increased and employee ailments, such as neck and backache and eyestrain, can be eliminated with proper posture and ergonomic positioning.

An organised office is a productive office; so having ample storage and organisational design will be significant in increasing overall productivity. There needs to be adequate and appropriate storage for computers and other technical equipment, files and papers and general office supplies. Storage options that help to keep the desk cleared of clutter are ideal – bookshelves, wall shelves, a small table, and file cabinets.

Lighting is another important element that can determine just how productive your office is. Natural light is always the best choice for your workspace, so make good use of any natural lighting available. Desks may be positioned near the windows, and lighting can be regulated with blinds or shutters. If ample exterior lighting is not available due to lack of windows, mirrors can be positioned to help harness the natural light and reflect it back into the room. If natural lighting is not available at all, ensure that the overhead lighting, which is usually fluorescent, is enough to illuminate any tasks being attempted.

Boosting productivity in your office begins with making it easier for you and your employees to do your jobs comfortably and effectively. A few design tweaks, repositioning furniture, changing colour palettes and keeping the work areas well-lit and organised will help you create an efficient and attractive work environment, one in which productivity is increased along with job satisfaction.