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How office design can improve productivity
A report released by the World Green Building Council last year revealed that there are a number of factors which can impact the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers.
Surprisingly, a significant proportion of the factors were linked to design – placing strong links between office design and employee productivity (www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2015/feb/03/perfect-workspace-productive-ideal-office). Below we have highlighted just a few of the ways you can construct your office to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your staff.
Views of outside space
We all love to be in the great outdoors and although this isn’t a possibility for most of us while we’re at work, even just having views of the outside world can help. Several studies have found conclusive links between productivity gains and being sat by a window. In many, it was in fact found to yield the most significant gains.
Studies have found that many employees experience strong feelings of dissatisfaction because they find it hard to concentrate in noisy offices. Unwanted distractions can be difficult to overcome in busy working environments but the good news is that there are several things you can do to help overcome noise complaints.
Have designated quiet areas where mobile phones and talking are banned so that people can focus on their work.
If outside noise is the problem, why not think about installing solid shutters? As well as being fantastic sound barriers, they can solve a number of other common workplace complaints including:
- Too cold – shutters are fantastic heat insulators and are therefore great at keeping the office warm during those cold winter months.
- Too hot – the sun’s powerful rays can make the office uncomfortably hot and also make it difficult to see computer screens.
We spend most of our day at our desk so it is of course important that we’re provided with a comfortable space to work in. Ensure that employees are sat between 24 and 36 inches from their computer screen and that the top of their monitor is at or below eye-level. A slightly reclined chair posture is also beneficial because it reduces pressure on the spine and minimises lower back pain.
The Guardian recently reported on a study conducted by Exeter University who have been researching how offices devoid of pictures, souvenirs or other distractions are a ‘toxic’ space for humans to work in. Their findings suggested that minimalist offices produce miserable employees, however placing plants in offices increased happiness and productivity! They concluded that employees were 15% more productive when “lean” workplaces are filled with just a few houseplants, as employees who actively engage with their surroundings are better workers. If you’d like to read their study follow the link below:
Create different areas
We’ve all had days where we’ve sat at our desks for hours on end just staring blankly at our screen. Sometimes a simple change of scenery can work wonders for productivity so try to create different spaces for people to work in. Anything from break out areas to conference rooms can be hugely beneficial because being able to work somewhere else can help to shift the brain and stay focused.