You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again—happy employees make productive employees. You’ve provided the benefits, sought out the best technology for your dedicated workers, and done what you can to create a great sense of camaraderie within your ranks. Still, there’s more to be done to ensure your employees maximize their productivity potential, and it can be found in an office redesign. Make your employees feel comfortable and positive about their work environment, and watch their efficiency rise exponentially.
Some Beautiful Vistas
Humans are attuned to nature, and subconsciously crave connection to the outdoors—a hard urge to satisfy from inside a sterile office building. If you have areas in your office that feature views of the outdoors, maximize this area for workspace. One study found that those who had great views from their office worked more quickly and efficiently, by an impressive margin of 16 percent. If you own some of said outside area, do what you can to landscape into a natural vista. This might mean investing in plants or creating a manmade pond, but the investment is worth it; green spaces have been shown to alleviate stress and calm the mind, always necessary facets in an office environment.
Check Your Thermostat
Do your employees constantly complain about the heat in the office? Or perhaps they’re consistently pulling on sweaters and jackets indoors. Either way, temperature woes are a very real threat to performance. Next time you head into the office, check what temperature your thermostat is set to. Numerous studies have been done on the subject, and the general consensus for ideal office temperature falls between a range of 69 to 71 degrees. Beyond keeping your employees comfortable improving their rates of productivity, this could also see your company saving in energy costs—it’s a win-win.
Avoid the Open Floor Plan
You might want to emulate the big players that have transformed their offices into open floor plan meccas (think Apple, Google, and the like), but as the hubbub around this design scheme has gone down, the realities have surfaced. While it seemed every startup in the last few years focused their efforts on an open area workspace, many of these same companies found that the setup actually decreased productivity. Having a multitude of employees with different responsibilities and tasks congregated in the same area actually served to create higher levels of distraction, instead of better collaboration.
In terms of both furniture and décor, you’ll want to stick to a minimalist design. Study after study shows that uncluttered spaces have a negative impact on productivity levels. Luckily, achieving a minimalist but comfortable office feel is easy and inexpensive. Buy some glass office desks online, incorporate modern light fixtures, and keep décor clean and neat. Don’t mistake minimalist design for an office that’s bland and boring. Allow employees to choose their own office art; they’ll be in their work space for the majority of the week, so make sure they’re comfortable in it. Offer to purchase your employees their selected (and office appropriate) art prints from a website like 20×200, for a synergistic but individualized décor feel between offices. Maintaining an uncluttered space means having storage for all of the documents and materials that seem to accumulate on our desks throughout the work day. Check out The Container Store to make sure your employees have dedicated spots for all of the supplies.
Sitting eight hours or more a day is harsh on the human body, but unfortunately, many of today’s jobs require an individual to do just that. Some purport the benefits of desk extensions that can allow a user to stand and sit at different points during the day, while others swear by the use of a balance ball chair to engage the core while sitting at the computer. You want to ensure your employees are happy and healthy, so communicate with your office and determine what types of wellness initiatives would best fit the individuals under your hire.