When most people think of increasing productivity within their workforce, they think of big structural changes such as introducing remote working or summer working hours. The office environment design can affect productivity as well
While these things are important — and we’ve covered them in a previous article — it’s also crucial to consider how your workplace itself affects your staff’s productivity. Your office environment design can hinder or improve workplace productivity.
You will probably know from personal experience that your environment can have a huge impact on your mood, which can, in turn, affect your work performance, and your staff is absolutely no different. Read on to find out the tweaks you can make to the design of your office to ensure it’s conducive for your employees to produce their best work.
Give your employees responsibility for designing their own office environment design
A simple change you can make to the design of your office today is to give your employees free rein over their own workspace. This may not seem like it would have that much of an impact on workplace productivity, but according to a study by Craig Knight and Alex Haslam from the University of Exeter, workers who were given full control over the décor of their small office were up to 32% more productive than those who were not. Invite your employees to decorate their workspaces however they wish to benefit from these productivity benefits within your own business.
Utilise the benefits of house plants
The benefits house plants have on our health and happiness is becoming increasingly clear as more research is conducted into the subject. In short, introducing a bit of the outdoors into your office can have a surprisingly large impact on productivity within your workplace, especially if you allow your employees to be in charge of caring for them.
However, not all house plants are created equal, and you should choose yours wisely to get the maximum benefit around your office. Country Living has listed eleven houseplants that have been scientifically proven to increase happiness, all of which are great picks for your workspace.
Let there be light
A recent study from the Northwestern University of Chicago concluded that there is a strong relationship between office daylight exposure, and workplace productivity, as well as the employee’s quality of sleep. While introducing more daylight into your workspace isn’t a simple fix, take this factor into account the next time you are moving office.
You don’t need to move offices to reap some of the benefits of the right kind of lighting. For example, you can separate your breakout space from your workspaces with subtle changes in lighting, dimming the lights slightly in any areas that are designed to be a place for your staff to relax. This will help them mentally separate work from downtime, helping them to fully recuperate during their breaks and come back to work with as much energy as possible.
Give your staff a place to relax and a place to concentrate
The perfect office would have space for your workforce to meet and share ideas as well as places to retreat to whenever they need to deeply concentrate on a solo project. Depending on how collaborative your staff needs to be during daily operations, your business may benefit from adopting a compartmentalised layout, where there are several different rooms for staff to work alone or in small teams rather than an open plan office space.
Another must-have area for any business owner who wants to optimise their premises for productivity is a dedicated breakout space. Providing a relaxing place for your employees to eat and socialise will help them unwind during their lunch hour and come back fully recharged for the rest of the day.
Of course, the design of your workout space is all-important. Matt Deighton, managing director at Timeless Chesterfields, says: “When it comes to designing your office breakout space, your best bet is sticking to classic designs. While kilim and marble might be all the rage in interior design at the moment, they’re likely to look dated within months. Instead, pick three complementary colours and choose unifying pieces that all tie in with one another in that scheme.”
So, there you have it — everything you need to know about how the design of your business premises can increase productivity throughout your workforce. Keep these tips in mind and you may be able to make simple alterations to your office that could lead to a much more efficient workforce.