A design project for any office begins with studying the specifics of the business in a given workspace. This is the only way to achieve a result in which design, on the one hand, pleases the eye, and on the other hand, works together with employees. Therefore, the most common mistakes of a designer of office spaces are associated with understanding the nuances of a particular business, as well as the requests and needs of employees.
Office space, created not only according to the laws of design but also taking into account psychology, improves labour productivity by up to 30%. In this article, we will tell you about the basic rules by which you can shape your workspace and build a corporate culture to improve the productiveness and well-being of your employees.
How does office space affect employee performance?
It’s no secret that you lose money when your employees are unproductive. Many employers believe that employee productivity depends only on the employee. But a leader can go a long way towards helping their employees increase their productivity. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for all businesses. Understanding the needs of your employees can help you create an office environment that will enhance their productivity.
At first glance, insignificant things like lighting, noise, odours, and even the location of the office can significantly affect the work of the team. By overlooking these factors, be prepared to experience poor performance, discomfort, and stress.
1. Individual workspace “transformer”
This implies the greatest possible freedom in arranging your workplace for its owner. Let’s start with the tables – it’s best if they are height-adjustable so that you can work while standing. This is especially important for specialists who spend all their time on the computer. In addition to standard chairs, fit balls should be offered to employees, sitting on which it is easier to keep their back straight. If your employees work at a stationary computer with one monitor, let them have the opportunity to request and receive an additional screen. Yes, these are costs for you, but they will be offset by increasing the speed of the owner of multiple monitors. Ideally, everyone should also have a laptop. It adds mobility and allows you to move around the office, and, as you know, the change of scenery is inspiring and energising.
2. Quiet space
The result of the empirical study in the Glasgow laboratory showed that all kinds of sounds have a negative effect on human cognitive abilities. Even music, which the subject himself previously designated as helping him think, had a negative effect. The melody only contributes to the creative process, as proved by the University of Illinois. As part of the study, they asked subjects to come up with as many ways to use bricks as possible. Those who performed this task at a noise level of 50 decibels (comparable to the level of office noise) performed worse than those who were creative at a higher noise level of 70 decibels, which is slightly quieter than a conventional vacuum cleaner.
The ability to hide from the office noise is also important. For this purpose, you can create a room in which you cannot talk or work at the computer. People will come there to think in silence or read a book during lunchtime. To reduce the general noise level, soundproof booths can be installed in the office, where remote negotiations are carried out.
3. Social space
There has been a lot of research on the impact of communication on productivity, and many of them say that it negatively affects the workflow, since after each interaction it takes time to get ready for work. Some companies cannot agree with this statement. There may be the opposite effect – talking can improve the working environment and fosters the previously mentioned creativity. If this is the case with your company and employment team, you should think about the social area in your office. There you can hold general meetings and talk about the results of each week. You can have lectures, movie nights and play mind games.
By the way, the positive effect of networking was noticed by the Bank of America, which, as part of the experiment, assigned each employee a sensor that records any social interaction. It turned out that sociable people work better than those who prefer to lead a silent lifestyle. Relying on these data, the bank began to organise networking events.
4. The presence of decor stimulates productivity
Office work is sometimes quite monotonous and does not involve much variety. It is for this reason that employees do their best to decorate their workplace with items that add comfort. The task of the employer in this case is to help the employee with gaining comfort. In addition, this is quite justified: scientists from the British University of Exeter and found that office design has a positive effect on labour productivity. According to these data, employees working in rooms decorated with paintings, photos, plants and other interior items perform their duties 30% more efficiently than those who work in an office with bare walls.
5. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and hygiene
Let’s not forget the basics. Good hygiene and regular cleaning. No one feels good and cannot be productive in chaos. This applies to offices, but also to all accompanying rooms.
Make sure that your toilets are always clean and have all the appropriate equipment. It is obligatory to always have paper and good quality hand dryers.
Building a gym in the office can be a costly undertaking, but the investment will pay off with employee loyalty. And we have to admit that walking distance eliminates many excuses from the series “Why I don’t do sports”. It’s also a good way to clear your head in the middle of the day, so you can tackle challenging problems with renewed vigour.
Each company has its own set of criteria that determine how the working day should go. However, there are several principles of maximising the productivity and well-being of employees. Not all the methods we have recommended you in order to increase productivity are low-cost, so you can start with more economical options and gradually move to more expensive ones. It will definitely pay you off.