Top tips to improve your office space to help boost productivity
According to studies, the most significant factor that affects an employee’s productivity is their physical environment. A well designed thoughtful and fun office space can boost productivity levels by almost a quarter! Now which employer wouldn’t want to see this happen?
Well apparently, it’s quite a few! Many businesses when asked do not consider workplace design to be a good investment.
Well – if that’s the case for you- read on. There are lots of small things you can do to improve your office space and make your work day more productive.
Moving from the desk that you sit at day in day out will help you to stay more focussed. Working in an office environment already means you may be lucky that they already offer multiple environments that you can take advantage of. These include break out rooms, conference rooms, lounge areas, quiet zones, kitchen and eating zones.
Organisations tend to place employees alongside those in similar job functions or within the same division, for convenience or maybe just out of habit. Studies show that people are more productive and dynamic when they sit amongst colleagues that are working towards the same goal or project. In doing so the benefits include fast answers, quick feedback, collective solutions. Being surrounded by those who make you feel accountable and on task can be a great motivator!
Join a group of people from across your workplace who are all working on the same project and bring them together in a collective space – such as a break out room. Just see how much better the work rate flows without having to wait two days for an email to be responded to! Reducing delays and streamlining workflow can be extremely satisfying!
Bring the outside in- or take a step outside
The University of Exeter undertook a survey to investigate whether plants can have a positive effect on the workplace. Their results suggested that yes, plants really do make staff happier and more productive- up to 15% in fact!
Worried you aren’t green fingered?
Succulents are a great option – they need minimal love and even less water. Peace lilies and snake plants are also ideal – coping well in low and artificial light.
Biophilia- our impulse to connect with nature boosts our overall health and cognition. Apple is one of the biggest companies that has hopped onto this design trend of reconnecting with nature. Their new offices so aptly named ‘Apple Park’ boasts over 10,000 trees.
Now you may not work at Google but just ten minutes outside away from your screen and phones can help you refocus and reset.
Is your open space office your biggest distraction?
Open plan offices may be increasingly common but they can also be increasingly loud. Phone calls, chatter and informal meetings at the desk next to you can make it more difficult to concentrate particularly if deep work is required for the task at hand. BT futurologists suggest that a worker is distracted every three minutes in an open plan work space.
It may be that you are still in an open plan space- so what can you do? First thing is to get hold of a pair of good quality noise cancelling headphones. Music suggests such as white noise or music for concentration can also be helpful.
If headphones aren’t suitable then carve out time in your day to move to a quiet zone away from the chatter of colleagues. Block it out in your diary as Do Not Disturb time – and stick to it!
Strong snack game
Hunger pangs by 10.30 and dreaming of doughnuts at 3pm? Keeping a stash of healthy and handy snacks nearby can help keep your focus as quite simply food is fuel for the brain, allowing yourself to get too hungry will sap your energy, fog your brain and quickly lead to cognitive impairment. Make sure you have snacks to support your focus and effort throughout the day. Keep snacks lower in sugar and higher in protein and you should be sitting pretty.