8 Office Settings and Environments that Affect Productivity
With shrinking markets and competition becoming tighter every day, productivity has become the new buzzword in all corporations. Many critical factors could significantly alter how well two equally talented workers performs. Both office structure and culture affects how well employees conduct their jobs. While some of these factors carry greater weight than others, they all have an effect on the overall performance of your company. What differentiates world-class companies from merely good ones is the critical look that they give to primary issues related to office environments.
1. Office Furniture
Lockers, desk, chairs are a central part of office settings. Therefore purchasing ergonomic office chairs with lumbar support, backrest, proper seat height, as well as quality seat material affects employee comfort and efficiency. Make sure you minimise clutter and plan beforehand on the location and accessibility of all the furniture items in the office. You have to assign furniture based on departments, workflow, storage needs, and number of workers per units. Proper choice of furniture will reduce the amount of time wasted while amplifying cooperation, comfort and workflow.
The link between light, mood and productivity has been an interesting subject of study for a few years now. When designing your office setting make sure it utilises as much natural lighting as possible. Well-lit spaces tend to make workers active while dull lighting dulls moods and makes people less active and grumpier. In the absence of sufficient natural light, you can rely on task lighting in which you amplify lighting at specific areas and dull other areas. As much as possible avoid overhead lighting as it is linked to headaches, fatigue and eyestrain.
3. Company Culture
An office is affected by the accessibility of the bosses, the communication culture and employee relations. Open office systems that allow for smooth interactions work better than closets. The culture includes the attitudes, hierarchy, grapevine, power plays as well as values and goals. Do your employees feel appreciated or slighted? Do they have a clear career path or is it based on cronyism? For greater employee productivity you will need to provide visionary leadership and employee encouragement. There also need structures of mentorship and continuous training for new hires.
Great companies are wholly dependent on synergy for increased productivity. Therefore the office layout has to group together units and departments whose productively is closely interlinked. You also have to group together employees whose temperament gets along together. In layouts it’s critical that you decide whether a closed office system or an open system will work best for you. Issues of privacy, cost, available spaces, security and hierarchy come in handy when planning the layout. No single design works for all firms. They always have to be customised to suit your company’s needs.
5. Office Colour
Colours are known to affects moods and feelings. For example, dull grey colours would damp down the atmosphere while yellow or cream is likely to create an active and attractive office environment. Studies have shown that offices painted in beige, bland grey or white offices creates feelings of sadness, depression and boredom. Purple and orange coloured offices produce the same depressive feelings in men. Calming blue, restive green or mellow yellow are associated with freshness, vitality and efficiency. They are believed to trigger innovation and stimulate cooperation.
6. Acoustics are vital
Most people work best in quiet environments. However, most employees differ in this, and some may seek external stimulation to help them work. That’s why it’s critical to weigh the quality of the acoustics in your office. The ability to have spontaneous yet non-intrusive interactions at work is such an essential part of employee productivity. Employees in soundproofed offices have reported up to 27% improvements in complex jobs and 38% improvement in handling simple tasks. You can improve the room acoustic by choosing best acoustic flooring, walls, ceiling and furniture materials.
7. Welfare facilities.
The modern office setting has evolved from the utilitarian facilities of old to include social spaces and amenities. The best quality offices offer recreation areas, nurseries for nursing mothers and lounges for decompressing. They also have simple kitchens where you can snack as well as entertainment rooms where you can catch up on the news on the screens. These amenities may look small but in the greater scheme of work they enable employees to relax and work efficiently unperturbed.
8. Integrated Technology
Modern day workspaces need video conferencing facilities, Wi-Fi, shredders, printers, scanners and a whole host of other technological devices. The items are no longer luxuries but vital necessities that significantly affect the employee productivities. One of the item that is taking on significant importance is an advanced help desk software. Since most workers spend a fair share of their day at the office, they need it to be as homely and as wired as possible.