Time spent at work should be spent on work, right? Now, we are not advocating a totalitarian workplace where any slip of focus is punished. There is of course time within the working day to turn the focus away from the work itself. It keeps every fresh and flowing. But those times differ for different people, and if you are not careful the distractions of the office can be counterproductive, with the duplication of conversations, email or physical, and the general antipathy to work caused by fatigue – the Friday afternoon syndrome.
Here we look at the issue of UK office design, incorporating UK office furniture, and how, if approached correctly, you can ensure that the distractions of working in an office are minimised and thus ensure that your team are always working at their most productive. Keeping your team active and engaged is key, so what can be done?
Your employees are the ones that will be working within the office, so get their feedback on how things are at present and how they can be improved. This is empowering and also engaging. This doesn’t mean you give in to all demands regardless of their suitability, but active dialogue on matters such as ergonomic furniture and open spaces etc. can be great going forward.
Open plan offices are great, people feel the team ethos and are constantly engaged with the working processes throughout the day. They also feel less isolated. But of course there will be times when conversations, either between staff, or with customers demand a degree of privacy. Private or quiet areas should therefore be available, comfortable and well equipped with any necessary tech’ such as PCs etc. They should also not be too far away from the main office, otherwise they will never be used – and wasted space still has to be paid for – ask any workplace consultancy in London and they’ll tell you that for free!
The best way to avoid simple distractions is to ensure that each team member has the right tools to hand to complete their task. This way they do not have to leave their desk, seek out an item and ultimately, as will happen, get dragged into a conversation about last night’s television that could so easily have been avoided. Tools include comfortable, ergonomically tested UK office furniture too. It is self-evident that uncomfortable members of staff will always leave their desk, just to get away from the discomfort. Think also of headsets for the telephone, so that any noise is nullified.
Other tips to consider when thinking of design and distraction include the following:
- Managing individual time, for example working in blocks and tackling difficult tasks first thing.
- Limiting technological interruptions – think of emails and whether they really need to be spent to everyone.
- Organise desks to avoid visible distractions, for example, consider sitting with your back to a window overlooking a busy interesting street.
- Ensure that everybody communicates their intentions, making known when they are engaged. If you have to ask if someone is busy, you have already distracted them from what they were attending to.
- Ensure that you reflect – thinking time is as effective as doing time and can help to drastically cut human error – as well as facilitate creativity. You need a designated space that encourages this.
- Be healthy – the physical and mental wellbeing of your team will affect their focus and thus their ease of distraction. Encourage breaks and getting out of the office for a change of scenery and provide the correct furniture to ensure that comfort and health is not compromised.
Time spent at work has to be productive. But simply slogging away endlessly all day isn’t always the answer. It is knowing when to focus and when to have a break and also respecting the needs of others who will have a different workload and focus. Engaging your staff in the process, rather than a workplace consultancy in London, will be both cheaper and more empowering to your team. They are you key asset, so use their skills, reward their efforts and pay attention to their needs. This way, you will ensure that they are less likely to lose focus when any distraction pops its head up.
There are many ways you can make your office more practical, simply purchasing higher quality furniture can help. If you can’t afford this, take a look at this secondhand office furniture from Evans office furniture.