Increasing Productivity In The Office Through Design
It comes as no surprise that happier employees are more productive which is great for the long-term success of the company. However, if most of the employees are unhappy, that will eventually catch up to the company and will have a negative effect on the overall business.
So, what makes an employee happy? Is it how much they are paid? How much time they can take off? Or could it be something as simple as office design, and how just a couple of things make their job easier or much harder?
The number of people that can stay on task and be productive the entire time they are working is few and far between. In fact, 57% of employees who said they were very stressed at work felt less productive and disengaged, while only 10% of low-stress employees reported feeling this way.
If productivity throughout the office has plummeted, try boosting it by making a couple of design changes.
Begin With Feedback
Employees are aware of when they are doing a great job and when they are falling short. Many times, an employer can make sure that they are not falling short by making their life easier.
Productivity can be measured in many ways including the completion of a certain task. By conducting surveys and employer will learn the average employees’ workday and what it entails. By learning their workday, you can quickly see where they are starting to fall short and where their productivity decreases.
Knowing this information will reveal if anything going on in or around the office is the subject to why their productivity levels are decreasing. It may be to loud throughout the office, or they may not have enough space to complete the task at hand.
Many problems might look back to the lack of good office design and setup. Having material, space, and items frequently used near by will cut down on the time spent wandering around the office.
Collecting data and feedback from the workers will help you better understand their needs and what might help them do better while they are at work. By starting with this first, the knowledge you learn will help the end result in any changes you decide to make.
Some may think that by enhancing comfort throughout the office they may experience a dip in productivity, but the physical environment of a workplace greatly affects the productivity within the company. Great energy and culture can be created by an attractive, comfortable environment. This energy ultimately enhances productivity and success.
Office workers spend an average of 6 hours and 27 minutes a day in a chair. So, it is vital that the time they spend sitting, they are comfortable. If not, it might not only lead to pain and irritation, but it could also lead to sciatic nerve damage.
An ergonomic chair is the best option and should be able to be adjusted depending on the size of the person. Sitting in a chair that is to short or to tall can lead to bad posture and sore muscles.
While a chair can only help so much, a desk that is also adjustable could be very beneficial. This is not only helpful for your health but also your productivity. When having the option to work at a standing desk, employees are less likely to wander off from their desk as frequently as they normally would if they were to be at a stabilized desk.
The less time an employee fidgets with his or her chair, desk or computer the more productive they will be. So, offering adjustable monitor arms are important so that everyone has the option of where they would like their computer screens to sit comfortably.
Readjusting, getting up for a walk, or mindlessly squirming around may seem like it only takes a few seconds out of the day, but you would be surprised how fast all of those things combined add up to.
Taking out all the extra movement and making sure your workers are comfortable leaves them more time to do what they are actually there to do… work.
Employees lose much of their day by chasing things down that they may need, and as much as people fight it; a clean, organized space increases productivity. Having a system designed for everything from papers, samples, data, records, and even usernames and passwords are important.
The average employee spends around 1.5 days trying to remember logins and passwords over the course of one year. Designing a space that has room for all documents and paperwork that may need to be stored is vital. This way passwords will never get in the way of any task completion.
Providing an adequate amount of storage is necessary. As soon as papers and work start to overflow to employees’ desk, they are more likely to feel overwhelmed. Not only should enough storage be provided, but it should also be near or in close proximity of the task that they are completing.
Having enough storage is one thing, but if you have to walk all the way across the office to file it, it is not very beneficial, and you are still losing valuable working time. If everything is in it’s place you don’t have to search for it throughout the day.
Incorporate modular furniture whenever you need to add something or create more storage or space. This gives the office the option to grow and expanded if needed. Modular furniture will create structure by being able to designate working spaces.
Adding adjustable features can make a world of difference in the office. Adding moveable shelves or anything with makes it easy to pick it up or move it to a different space when needed.
The less amount of time that employees are looking for things and becoming distracted throughout the office the more productive they will be. Having everything they need to operate close by will increase productivity by at least half.
Reduce The Noise
There are people to the right and left of you and one is on a phone call, and one is speaking to another co-worker. Three desks over, the phone’s ringing and no one is there to answer if, and that deadline you’re working on is just a short two hours away.
There is no such thing as concertation during total chaos. Productivity drops as much as 67% in a chaotic room filled with background noise. But there are many options to fix this.
Acoustics can be dampened through sound-absorbing ceiling tiles or can add partitions. A moveable partition for when a worker needs to block everyone else out is extremely beneficial. This allows the worker to focus on the task at hand and complete it without the distractions of others.
To take it a step further, creating private offices or quiet areas are a great option as well. Even though many companies have opted to go with an open floor plan, incorporating a glass wall system to enclose an area to work quietly is necessary.
Take the layout into consideration as well. If workstations are located near high-traffic areas or where people tend to congregate, this could be affecting their work and productivity.
Rearrange the furniture to put workstations closer to windows and farther away from doors, elevators, and stairs. You could also use modular walls to create barriers in a big, open room to section off some areas for conversations and collaboration, and some for more focused alone work.
If your company has an open office plan, providing a section of cubicles that employees could escape to for head-down concentration heavy work would be a stress relief as they take on their tasks.
Frolicking around the office is one way to decrease productivity, but some workers may be at their desk trying to work and the noise going on around them could be stopping them from doing so. By decreasing the noise and having designated spaces for individual work and collaboration could solve many of the unproductive problems.
Being mindful of the significant design changes that impact employees’ wellbeing, such as the incorporation of comfort and organization, collaborative workspaces, and reduction of overall noise is the difference between a lackluster workforce and an energized one. A happy employee is a productive employee, and that is great for not only the company culture but also the business.