It is a proven and well documented fact that the environment you live and work in has a direct effect on you and your state of mind.
It is also a well documented fact that everyone already knows this.
I mean it really does go without saying that if you feel relaxed and comfortable then you are going to be a happier person (generally speaking), but what continues to amaze me (and contradict that last point) is how hard people make it.
Why is it that designing an office space that makes you feel more relaxed and comfortable is such a challenge?
This article aims to change that way of thinking and show that regardless of whether it is a home office, corporate building or even a small industrial office space in a back alley somewhere – creating an environment that encourages productivity and open communication is really not that hard.
7 Design Tips for a More Productive Office
You may not have the time or the budget for a total office redesign or commercial make-over, but a few simple ideas and and a little bit of common sense can do wonders and go a long way to increasing your business productivity.
1. Brand Consistency
Before you even start to look at layout and design you need to think about the message your business is trying to send and the branding and imagery associated with this.
There is no point having a brand that is ‘cutting edge’ and ‘technologically advanced’ if the office furniture in the office is old and out dated.
Make sure the message of your brand is consistent – even when it comes to office furniture.
2. Quiet Please!
Unlike the movies, no one is going to ‘shhhhh’ the photocopier or the printer – so it comes down to common sense and good floor plans/layouts to minimize any office noise.
Low level noises can actually have a greater impact on productivity – even if you are not consciously aware of the noise in question.
Reduce noise levels by moving office equipment like printers and fax machines to common areas out of the main work area. This not only reduces noise but also allows for greater control and flow of movement around the office.
Other ways to reduce noise levels could be to move noisy equipment away from walls and doorways, add carpeting where applicable to absorb noise and use office partitions and dividers where appropriate
3. Change the Office Layout
Take a look at where employees sit and the location of office equipment, and consider ways to improve the overall flow of your office.
This can also help to minimize noise levels and improve office communications – two important factors when trying to increase productivity.
Remember that a change is as good as a holiday (but it is NOT considered part of our annual leave thank you very much!)
4. Utilize Mobile Office Furniture and Hot Desks
When it comes to arranging the layout of the office, another good option is the availability of mobile and adjustable desks as well as ‘hot desking’ options.
If you have a growing business with limited space (or even if you are not limited) you can easily more and reconfigure workstations and office desks to accommodate growth and necessary change.
Utilize partitions and privacy screens to separate equipment, teams of workers, even partition whole departments if necessary.
5. Check Ergonomics
No, this is not just a buzz word that HR like throw around, it really exists!
The study of ergonomics (interface between human and machine) has proven that incorrect posture, seating position, monitor height etc can have a huge impact on productivity. Don’t ignore it.
6. Bring Nature Inside
Spending long hours in an unnatural environment can be hazardous to your health – both physical and mental, so it is important that we surround ourselves with the natural world where possible.
No, just because your desk is made of wood and you have a screen saver with flowers on it does not mean you can tick the ‘bring nature inside’ box, no unfortunately it requires a little more than that.
Easy ways to bring nature inside include positioning yourself near a window that provides views of the outside world (and not just a wall across the street).
Alternatively you can even use large images of nature and put them up on the wall, anything to break the monotony of the interior space and provide a splash of colour.
Related: 5 Simple Tips for Workplace Wellness
Finally – and most obviously, bring a plant or two to the office.
Indoor plants are easy to maintain, add life and colour to an otherwise drab work environment and most importantly – provide fresh oxygen….
7. Can’t you feel yourself breathing easier already?!
Just remember, it does not matter how much space you have or how much money your budget allows for – it ALWAYS comes down to smart office design.
Get it right and you will help reduce stress, improve productivity, and in the end – grow the bottom line and enhance the profits of your business.
Do let us know, how you design your office for maximum productivity!