Having the right working space plays a significant role in improving the overall productivity of employees. As such, if you haven’t given much thought to the design elements of your office, you might benefit from reviewing and implementing at least a few of the following design ideas.
1. Eliminate the Mess
It can be difficult to control the amount of clutter that employees have on their desks. However, studies have shown that people with messy work areas are less productive. As such, you should at least try to keep your office as neat as possible.
Implementing clean, streamlined design will help further your cause. In addition, make sure that employees have enough storage space. For more on the problems associated with a messy workplace and ideas to help your employees keep their stations clean, check out this article from Forbes.
2. Let Employees Roam
In the past, without Wi-Fi or easily transportable computers, it was important for employees to stay tethered to their desks. However, these days, with wireless Internet being easily accessible and devices, such as laptops, smart phones and tablets, people can easily complete many tasks from anywhere in an office.
In addition, studies have shown that sitting for too long has negative health effects. Furthermore, different tasks require different settings to be performed the most productively. Moreover, you want your employees to be able to collaborate spontaneously to come up with new solutions.
As such, try to provide different areas where employees can work freely. An office that has common areas where people can work together, private nooks for impromptu meetings and personal desk spaces will allow people to work naturally and comfortably, increasing productivity.
3. Shine Some Light on the Subject
Offices with a lot of natural light are more productive places. While you might not be able to put in a skylight or add windows to your workplace, you can make sure that employee areas are as close to windows as possible. Also, make sure that your windows are free of dust and dirt to allow the maximum amount of sunlight in.
If your office space just doesn’t offer a lot of natural lighting, you should install a lighting system that provides bright but not direct lighting. Direct lighting can make people feel tense and agitated, decreasing productivity.
4. Adjustable and Moveable Furniture
Employees need different things at different times. As such, buying furniture that can easily be moved is a good idea. This kind of furniture will allow employees to effortlessly arrange work areas for groups, which will increase productivity.
In addition, having desks that can be easily turned into standing work stations will also help employees get more done. Basically, when you are thinking about purchasing office furniture, you should look for versatility and comfort.
5. Provide Some Entertainment
No employee wants to feel like a cog in a machine. As such, in addition to providing a comfortable and versatile work environment, you should provide a few entertainment areas. While, employees should never be encouraged to slack off, having a space where they can relax and take a break from work will increase their overall productivity.
Think about creating lounge areas with TV’s, video game systems and table top games, like foosball, table tennis and pool.
6. Not Too Noisy
According to a study by Gary Evans and Dana Johnson, two psychologists at Cornell University, offices that are noisy are more difficult to work in. As such, you should try to keep the noise level of your work place low. To accomplish this task, place employees that spend a lot of time on the phone in one area and employees that spend a lot of time typing or doing other less noisy tasks in another.
In addition, try keeping copy machines and other noisy office equipment in an area that is isolated and closed off but still easy to access. Furthermore installing wall and ceiling panels and carpet will also help to reduce noise levels.
7. Encourage Chance Meetings
Big problems get solved when employees work together. As such, you should design your office in a way that encourages employee interaction.
Think about the routes people will take to go to the coffee station, copy machine or bathroom. Try to make these paths cross as often as possible to boost the chances of your employees meeting and interacting.
About the Author: Sonia Allen writes for a specialist in office interiors. Saracen Interiors at www.saracenoffice.com is one of the leading providers of fit out and facilities management solutions in the UK.