Where you work will always have a significant impact on how you work and your work results. Employees ability to focus and stay focused will often be one of the reasons your business will grow, and productivity levels rise. Knowing this, it is obvious to say that the design of an office can truly influence productivity and creativity.
The design of your office is of supreme importance, no matter where you work. Most think this is all about some Feng Shui magic, but in reality, it is just about producing results and getting things done with good office design.
According to many studies, the most significant factor that determines an employee’s ability to focus is the environment they are in. Did you know a well-designed office can increase your productivity levels by 20%?
How does office design influence our productivity? It is no secret that your office design has a great impact on your productivity. We require a bright, healthy and lively environment to increase productivity levels. Key design areas to increase productivity at your workplace are room color, room temperature, lighting, comfort, and clutter.
The workplace needs to be flexible and provide an inspiring vibe. To achieve this, you need a combination of creativity, unexpected solutions and a little bit of effort! The designed work environment will not only look aesthetically stunning, but it will also have an amazing influence on your business results. Today, there are still many offices stuck in the ‘80s, and it is imperative to change that.
If you are planning to renovate, or you wish to add something to your office that will help increase productivity, continue reading,
Furniture Quality And Comfort
Furniture, lighting, and equipment are used every day and therefore key to improving productivity in the workplace.
Desk and Chairs
Sitting at a desk all day can be a struggle. Stretching, moving, and adjusting your sitting position to stay focused can be painful. Having the correct ergonomic desk and chair is essential. Without this, many employees feel lazy, depressed, tired and overall less productive. When getting your furniture, select height adjustable so each employee can find the right ergonomic height for them, be it sitting or standing.
When setting up new office furniture, provide employees with the following simple ergonomic steps:
1. Your employee’s eyes should always be at least 25 inches away from the computer screen, the top of their monitors should be at their eye-level or below.
2. Their feet should always be able to reach the floor or have a footrest.
3. Get chairs with slightly reclined posture, these reduce the pressure on the spine and minimize lower back pain.
4. Your employees require decent lighting, more natural light
5. Your employees deserve fresh, clean air at all times, get air filters
If you work in a home office, select a comfortable chair or add a pillow or seating pad to make your chair more comfortable. If your desk is too high, increase the height of your chair or add another pillow. If your table is too low, try adding leg risers from a local hardware store. Alternatively, there are providers like Varidesk that provide a low-cost, flexible desk and chair solutions. See link to Varidesk to view their products.
See also Where Should I Put my Home Office Desk?
Lighting is known to be essential for productivity, yet it is often one of the things people overlook. Inadequate light can cause various problems, headaches, irritability, eyestrains, and fatigue. It is mainly dark spaces that usually produce depression at work.
Natural light is the best and if there is a way you can increase or make optimal use of it, you should! Try positioning the employee desks so that they can optimize natural light throughout the day. Sadly, not everyone has a lot of natural light available in the office, and if this is the case with you, artificial lighting might be your new best friend. To mimic the look of natural light, you can always use full spectrum bulbs that will simulate the daylight and keep the light warm and soft to the eye.
Unless you’re planning a renovation, changing office lighting is hard. Providing task lighting solutions to employees can dramatically impact employee productivity. I’ve recently added task lighting at my desk and felt a dramatic improvement, especially later in the day. Consider using a light therapy device or natural light bulbs.
If you work in a home office, open your windows let all of the natural light come in. You can also use lamps whenever it is cloudy and dark.
Using the natural elements to decorate your office is also a great way to compensate for the lack of natural light. Spider plants, ferns, and other plants are an ideal choice for offices with low natural light; these will bring a little bit of nature to space and make everyone feel a little bit brighter than before.
Clutter And Mess Surrounding Your Workspace
It is essential to keep a work environment clean and clutterless to maximize productivity. While clutter is believed to help the creative mind, it doesn’t help to maintain focus and productivity. Whenever you are about to start your focused work, make sure you tidy up your workspace, you will not only feel a lot better, but you will also have an easier time maintaining focus and staying productive!!
If you work from home, schedule a particular day of the week and clean your desk. You will need to commit at least 10 minutes a day to keep your office space clean and organized. Doing this will increase your working productivity, and on top of that, it will make you feel better. There are many ways to come up with good storage space for your files, documents, and paperwork.
When you work in a company office, things can be a lot different. You might not be able to control the cleanliness of the entire office, but you can at least try and keep your environment clean and tidy. Spending 10 minutes in the morning to clean your desk, put away useless things and organize yourself well is not a hard task. The more clutter you have on your desk the moment you start work, the more you will be distracted later, so why not prevent it?!
No matter where you work, you can surely make sure the environment around you is comfortable. Keep it just the way it works for you and let your productivity rise as you enjoy the tidy and healthy environment around you!
The Scent, Color, And Temperature Of Your Workplace
Research has shown time and again that the color around us directly affects our brain functions and our mood. Colors wake up our physical and emotional responses. Choosing the right color is not an easy task, it is often people overdo color, and the entire office ends up looking like a kindergarten. Be sure to know that too much of anything means getting overwhelmed.
To understand the psychology behind colors and shades, get to know how do they influence our brain!
Red is known to be a very emotionally intense color, people love red, but it is not always the wisest choice when it comes to offices. Red might have an impact on our faster reaction time and energetic boost, but it does not last forever. Sadly, a red color is proven to reduce analytical thinking. Therefore, too much red might not be the best idea at all.
Green has often been linked to thinking, creative thoughts and balance. Green is one of the colors that go well into an office. The color of nature is associated with growth and will easily promote a feeling of balance to your employees!
Blue is one of the most common ‘’favorite’’ colors around the world; it is commonly thought to be one of the most productive colors. This is because it resembles the sea and the sky, it is calming and makes us feel at peace. While many believe blue is the best office color to select, it can also feel a little bit cold at moments.
People often associate brown color with laziness, seriousness, and practicality, it is a color that often ends up unnoticed, so it is probably not the best color to go with for a working environment.
Pink is one of the colors you use when you need a calming effect, that is why some prisons use it as well! Pink is believed to diffuse aggressive behavior, so if you have a board room where you have discussions and meetings, adding pink might be a good choice!
White is a color many have turned too. Lately, it has a modern appeal. Apple use white to brand their sleek, clean look? Of course, too much of anything can be bad. Too much white can cause people to reflect their thoughts, they can easily be distracted and have their minds wander.
While many companies paint their walls to fit their brand colors, consider all of the psychological effects colors have on our mind and make sure they are in line with your employees.
See also The Power of Color in the Workplace
Just like the colors of your workspace, the scent of it can also have a powerful effect on our mood, mindset, and productivity. While many offices do not have any smell at all, you should try and add some scents to your workspace. Scents are known to have a good effect on our brain, especially if you know which ones to pick!
Scents helping us stay focused
– Lavender will help relax during a stressful workday
– Peppermint can lift your mood in a matter of seconds
– Any kind of citrus will wake you up and raise your spirit
– Pine will increase your alertness
– Cinnamon significantly improves focus on the work
If you work in a company office, it is possible your co-workers will not appreciate the scents added to their environment; you will need to be subtle. You can keep the essential oils in your bag, and whenever you need a boost, just put a few drops of it on a cotton ball.
Those who work at home, you can use any essential oils, incense and candles, there are even simmer herbs and spices in the kitchen that will easily fill your home with an amazing scent of focus and productivity!
Many offices keep their temperatures low, but it turns out that it is not the best way to do it. Warmer places make us more productive! Many employees claim their productivity is affected by the office temperature, and they believe warmer temperature helps them focus and brings a feeling of trust between the team. While landlords regulate most office temperatures, you can always bring a space heater, blanket or a sweater to your workplace. Anything to keep yourself warm and productive!
If you want to keep your employees happy and warm at all times, you might want to set the office thermostat to something between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and this is the temperature that seems to be fitting to both, men and women.
Refreshment And Meals At Your Work
If your office has no kitchen and your employees buy snacks from the vending machines, your employees struggle to maintain productivity! Our brain needs good nourishment to keep going, primarily when we work hard and focus as much as we do at work. Having a balanced meal or being able to make one is a priceless thing. Instead of buying various vending machines, try and create a small kitchen for your employees. They will love it and probably use it with joy. Kitchens in offices are a great thing; they often make employees socialize and get to know each other better!
If you work from home, you probably have a kitchen, and it probably distracts you often. Try to reduce the number of times you walk to the kitchen while you work. This might seem like a hard thing to do, but it isn’t. Prepare yourself with easy snacks and pre-made meals, place them near your desk and keep a water bottle nearby too. Doing this will lower the chance of you roaming around the house and getting distracted by a lot!
If you work in a company office and you have no kitchen available, pre-make the snack for the day. Bring your food with you and that way you will not be forced to eat junk food from a vending machine. Most companies also provide water, tea, and coffee, so you do not have to worry about that yourself.
Noise Levels And Air Quality Of Your Workplace
Noise in the offices is usually one of the most annoying things we have to deal with. The noise level in a working environment often varies depending on the size of the team and the office design together with company culture. Many employees complain about noise distracting them and also raising their stress levels. Some employees even claim it is impossible to remain productive in a noisy office. And this is all true! Noise has proven to be a bad thing for our creativity, focus, and productivity, it makes us annoyed, moody and lazy as well. If you are preparing to do something new for your office and employees, consider creating a quiet workspace for those who might struggle with office noise.
While you might not be able to reduce much of the noise that happens in the office, you can always bring noise cancellation headphones and use various music services out there. Some offices also have quiet workspaces for times when you might need your focus, find out if your office has one!
However, can you believe some homeworkers find silence to be just as distracting as noise? There is even a service for those who hate the quiet, and it is called Coffitivity – here you can listen to the sounds of a coffee shop while you work, some claim it helps with concentration. For me, the most productive app I use is brain.fm. It uses sound waves to change your state of mind. I plug in noise-canceling headphones, turn on the app and select focus setting, and for two hours my focus will go to another level. Check it out brain.fm
Air quality has a massive effect on our focusing and thinking abilities. Poor office air has been linked to various respiratory infections, and research has highlighted how dangerous bad air quality can be for employee productivity. Workers operating in bad air quality offices are inefficient and often leave their work sick.
To prevent this from happening in your office, install high-quality Merv 13+ air filters, and find a way to bring in the fresh air and see how great your business will improve.
To make it easy and less costly, provide or ask your employees to bring in their favorite plant, this will make them happy, but it will also help you filter the air, plants do that. Did you know NASA had investigated plants that actively clean the air and then they picked top 10 plants and put them in their new offices? There is a reason why our body requires fresh air, why not use it?!
If you work from home, check out this article https://workingfromhomeinsider.com/best-plants-for-productivity-at-home/
Organization Of Your Employees And The Office Itself
Organization/Communication of your employees
While most employers organize their employees around a specific job or function. Many studies show that people are more productive and creative when sitting with their colleagues and sharing the same client or goal. Having your employees conversate together will help them get the answers and solutions quicker. Experiment by clustering project groups together in a bank of desks or a meeting room for a day. Observe behavior and encourage everyone to participate in finding solutions to problems. The results will impress, and employees will feel a lot more productive than before. Those employees who often seemed the quietest might turn out to be the most productive, and it will all be because they’ve finally been given an environment to shine.
However, if you work from home, it might be a little bit more difficult. You will not be surrounded by your colleagues and you might often feel lonely. But do not worry, today anything is possible! You can create a Skype or a Discord group and have everyone log in during working hours. Communication is the key, and no matter what, you will all manage to come up with great solutions, check for the issues and deal with them on the spot.
The office should be a place filled with productivity, teamwork, collaborations, and creativity, without these things, your business will suffer. While not everyone will be able to provide all of that right away, it is important to note your employees are just humans as well. Your employees need clean restrooms; access to nutritious meals, social interaction, good conversation, and great support. If you want your business to succeed, you may need to think differently about office spaces. Consider providing different types of meeting rooms with various color and textures, seating arrangments, a kitchen, eating areas or a breakout space where employees can recover and have some alone time. We all get stressed sometimes, and we all require a little bit of peace.
Providing employees with different spaces and environments will often allow them to think differently, which means different solutions to problems and great business success!
However, if you work from home, things can get less entertaining. You should consider adding a comfortable couch to your working room, make your workspace feel flexible and creative. To change your daily routines, you can always get a lamp with multiple colored bulbs, change the pictures on your walls, add up a working board and track your work throughout the creativity. There are no limits to what you can do at your own house, just make sure you balance it all well.
See also Work from Home Guidelines
Does office design impact our creativity as well? Yes! Office design has a great impact on our creativity just as it has on our productivity. Our environment often changes our mood, thoughts, and ideas. If you are seeking for more productivity or creativity in your office, you should probably consider thinking of your employees a lot more than you are. Color the walls, get some artwork, give your employees more freedom with space and see them do miracles!
How to make all of the employees happy with the office design? Your employees will be happy the same second they figure out how well a good office design can influence their work. They will enjoy having freshly painted walls, comfortable chairs and an option to take a decent break when stressed out.
Which company has set an excellent example for office design and productivity? There are many companies having an amazing office design, Google, Shopify, Pixar, Adobe; they are all fantastic companies with excellent employee engagement and a healthy working environment!