There are many ways to increase work productivity, from effective communication, through delegating certain tasks, to offering incentives and rewards. However, a strong connection exists between an office environment and productivity. A well-designed office addressing the needs of your employees can have a huge impact on the work they are doing. If you feel like your workspace needs an up-lift, read on to find out what office changes are the most beneficial for team productivity.
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It is said that open floor concept has a negative impact on productivity and the ability to focus. If your office utilizes an open plan layout, put some effort into reinventing the cubicles. It is also a good idea to install sound masking devices to protect speech privacy. Modern workplaces offer flexible working conditions and more and more companies give their employees a possibility to work from home, so do consider this option, especially because working remotely tends to increase work satisfaction.
Set up a cozy breakroom
Every now and then your employees need to take a break, let it be a short recess to gather their thoughts or a few minutes to stretch out and relax. Considering that, it is a good idea to set up a breakroom where they could have a nice lunch, chat casually with some friends, and play some darts or Fussball to unwind and recharge. You do not need to designate a special space for the breakroom, as it can be easily combined with your current kitchen area.
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Create multipurpose rooms
From time to time a need arises to organize a meeting or a closed-door training. In order to do it effectively, your office should offer a special space for such purposes. It should be equipped with a conference phone and a high-resolution screen to deliver presentations and rundowns. Do not forget to come up with an efficient booking system that will enable all employees to book and use the room as needed. Ideally, employees should be able to transform this space into a quiet room whenever they are working on PII or complex and time-sensitive tasks.
Get rid of clutter
Every office has a file retention policy which means that documents can pile up very quickly. If your office struggles with paper clutter, do encourage your staff to go paperless and store their files digitally. If it is hardly possible in your line of work, put a clear file organization systems in place. Designate a special nook for the documents used on a regular basis. If you have limited office real estate, consider renting out a storage space and move unneeded equipment and papers to a storage unit. Cheap storage units can be found on sharing community websites. Encourage your staff to maintain clean desk policy to eliminate distractions and put maximum focus on the workload.
Introduce visual performance management tools
Signs, graphs, and charts, either printed or distributed via e-mail, enable the staff to see, understand and engage with work priorities. They are effective tools for communicating performance against goals and objectives. Visual performance management tools help track progress and provide quick and timely feedback to the staff. Your team can also use them to understand the issues affecting their performance and align the workload to meet expected targets.
Team whiteboard is an effective tool to drive performance. It can be a forum for solving issues and raising solutions to common problems experienced by your team on a daily basis. Use the whiteboard to create a mock-up supply and demand balance sheet, share knowledge, assign tasks and address communication pertaining to important team matters. The undeniable benefit of using the whiteboard regularly is that you will not waste valuable time on meetings and huddles, as everyone will have the necessary information all in one place.
Quality of air impacts the mood, the ability to think clearly, as well as the ability to focus on tasks. Opening a window is not always the best solution due to traffic noise and air pollution, therefore it is wise to invest in high-quality air purifiers. Not only will they refresh the air around the office, but also reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, which is essential especially during flu season. It is also a good idea to bring in some nature in a form of potted plants that will add some vibrancy to the office space and filter the air naturally.
Pay attention to healthy habits
Sitting behind the desk for eight hours a day can be a huge strain on the spine. Considering that, it is recommended to supply the office with ergonomic chairs and standing desks. If your office has vending machines, do make sure that they offer healthy snacks, such as nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, and whole grain products, as opposed to fatty crisps, high-carb chocolate bars, and soft drinks. While you may not be able to change your employees’ dietary habits, you may encourage them to eat healthier at the office by providing free fruit and vegetables, filtered water, herbal teas, and carbonated sugar-free drinks. Apart from that, offer on-site yoga classes or discounts on gym memberships to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Your employees spend a significant amount of time at the office, so it is important to make this space inviting and functional. With the help of our simple, yet effective changes you can make the office a better and more productive place to work.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space in Sydney whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.