Your office design impacts productivity. A poorly designed workspace can affect employees’ ability to focus on their tasks. Morale can go down, making your team less productive.
How do you know if your office design inspires productivity? Here are some ideas to help you improve your employees’ work area.
Have a Plan and Budget
Before you start buying ergonomic furniture and rearranging the room’s layout, it’s a good idea to create a plan.
Think about what your employees need for their comfort. You also want to pay attention to the size of the room. Your team needs space to easily move around.
It’s also a good idea to get feedback from your employees. Find out what is working for them and which aspects they want to change. You may not have the budget to give employees everything on their wish list, but they will feel appreciated.
Refresh the Room’s Color
Some colors inspire productivity, while others can affect your concentration. For example, shades of blue are inspiring but don’t go overboard with a favorite color.
Too much of a single color is overwhelming, making it hard to focus on work.
Instead of painting every wall the same color, consider accents. Painting the trim freshens up a space, without inducing sensory overload.
Accent walls are another way you can refresh a space.
Bring Nature Inside
Opening the windows isn’t always an option, even with a home office. While fresh air is always nice, there are other ways you can bring nature inside.
Potted plants do more than add a touch of greenery. They can brighten up a space and inspire creativity.
Keeping the shades open is another way you can enjoy nature from your desk.
Depending on location, you can also encourage employees to spend time outdoors on their breaks.
Find a Home for the Clutter
Almost every office space has some clutter. It might be files and other papers on your desk.
Your electronics can also become clutter, especially when the gadgets come with connecting cables.
When a workspace is filled with clutter, it’s hard to concentrate on work tasks.
Employees working with multiple screens may not need to keep their smartphones and tablets close. Storing these and other unnecessary electronics in a drawer or bin keeps them out of the way.
Your team is also less likely to spend time on the devices, instead of focusing on work tasks, boosting their productivity.
A few ideas to help reduce clutter include using storage bins and desk organizers.
Did you know warmer office spaces are typically more productive?
Go ahead and check the thermometer. If it is set below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it might be too cold in the office.
Turning the temperature up a couple of degrees comes with a bonus. You can save money on heating and cooling costs. Your HVAC system doesn’t need to work as hard when it is set slightly above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Just like you don’t want chilly office space, you also do not want it too warm.
One way to get the temperature right is by talking to employees. They are usually more than happy to let management know if it is too hot or cold.
It’s almost impossible to concentrate when you are surrounded by loud noises. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that’s not always easily resolved.
Keeping the windows closed can minimize some external noise, like traffic sounds. If the source of the noise is internal, it’s harder to block it out.
Allowing employees to wear noise-canceling headphones is an option. The headsets effectively block sound, allowing employees to concentrate on their work.
Sometimes it’s possible to move employees to a different space, further away from the noise.
Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality can be expensive for employers. Workers call in sick more often and are less productive. Over time, it can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.
Placing plants around the workspace can help improve indoor air quality.
A better option is investing in air filters. Some, like HEPA filters, can block up to 99% of pollutants and allergens from getting into the air.
Air filters do come at a price, but you will see a return on your investment in fewer sick days and improved employee productivity.
Lighting is crucial for productivity. It’s also vital for safety. Advances in lighting technology are making it easy for businesses to create the ideal workplace ambiance.
Sensors on fixtures can automatically adjust the lighting according to the sun’s path, following natural circadian rhythms.
Using warmer colored lights can make a space appear warm and welcoming. Employees feel more relaxed and comfortable in their space. Cooler colored bulbs can improve productivity and prevent fatigue.
Keep Refreshments on Hand
Some companies have the space and budget to keep beverages and snacks on hand for employees.
It’s impossible to concentrate on an empty stomach, and sometimes a lunch break isn’t enough.
If you are supplying company snacks, keep the food healthy. Sugary foods may provide instant energy, but it’s short-lived.
Businesses that can’t provide snacks, may want to encourage employees to bring some from home. You can let them keep the food in the break room or at their desks. A quick snack is often the perfect pick-me-up employees need to stay focused on their tasks.
Add Some Art
Blank walls, even freshly painted ones, do not inspire creativity or productivity in your employees.
Adding some art is an easy way to brighten up a space and make it feel more inviting.
Hang inspirational quotes and pictures to boost employee morale and productivity.
You can also take advantage of works by local artists. Asking your employees what they would like to see on the walls gets them involved. It also shows you value their opinions.
Making a few changes to your office space is an effective way to inspire productivity. These ideas can also be implemented in a home office.
The main goal is to create a space you want to spend time working.
Image credit: Myriams-Fotos / Pixabay