Designing For Efficiency - How To Make Your Office Space More Productive
Design either makes people happy, productive or more functional. I don’t think one can deny that, especially when they’re wearing a shirt that they like, be it their favorite design, color, pattern, or fixing up their home to make it look bright and cheerful - so why treat our office design differently?
Many reports claim that a well-designed office reduces employees taking off because they are sick and encourage them to take shorter breaks increasing productivity by as much as 20%. If we put this into numbers, then 16 people can produce the same result as 20 people, thereby making up for the investment in design.
Here are some aspects of design that can make your employees more productive.
Drive out the darkness
Lighting does more than just improve visibility. It has a substantial impact on a person’s ability to concentrate and influences their mood. While bad lighting can cause fatigue and headache, dark spots can be depressing. Space which lets in natural light during the day, and is well lit at night provides the ideal work environment.
If you are not in a position to influence the lighting at your workspace, you can brighten your personal space with lamps which have natural light bulbs or invest in a light therapy device for your desk.
A great chair that supports your back
A chair that you have to keep shifting in to find a comfortable position is sure to distract your colleagues and frustrate you. When furnishing an office, it is best to pick ergonomically designed furniture. If the work at your place of business involves a lot of sitting or working with computers, this is one area which needs adequate attention. Invest in adjustable chairs which employees can tailor to their comfort. Make sure the computers you pick can be adjusted as well.
Tip: if you have a modern office design, try to bring in some wooden furniture or a collection of plants so that the place looks cozy and much less like a hotel.
A place for everything
While the use of computers has done away with most of the clutter caused by old files and voluminous paperwork, it has replaced it with tangled wires, multiple phones, printers, scanners and much more. Add to these, writing pads, pens, coffee mugs and personal knick-knacks, and an office is a potentially high-entropy place.
Clutter not only makes the office feel uninviting but also adds to a feeling of fatigue and disorientation. Make sure there is a designated place for everything you need in your workplace, and each desk is neatly organized. Allocating time to ‘putting away things’ everyday is the best way to keep your workspace neat and optimize productivity.
The choice of colors
Different colors have different effects on the human mind. While green and blue have a calming effect, yellow is believed to enhance productivity. When decorating your office space, pick colors which are invigorating. At the same time, do remember that a single color palette may not be the best option. Mix and match to attain the perfect environment.
Even if you are not able to influence the entire office, you can still make sure your personal space is decorated with items in a pleasant color.
Temperature of the room
How often has too hot or too cold temperature irritated you? An office which is too cold will make people uncomfortable, while one which is too hot will make you sweaty. Choose a temperature which will keep you fresh and active, so that you can work at your highest potential.
Research has established that men can withstand lower temperatures than women, and while male employees may be comfortable in a cold office, it is more than likely that the female employees have a shawl or jacket tucked away in their bags to deal with it. A temperature of 23 to 25-degree centigrade is usually ideal in most places.
Your office has smell too
Just like you spray on your favorite deodorant or perfume before you head out, your office needs to have a pleasant smell too. With a range of natural fragrances available online and in physical stores, you have the option to pick a fragrance which is refreshing and invigorating.
Keeping It down
While some amount of noise is inevitable in any workplace, the disruption caused by it cannot be denied. Make it a practice to speak softly when speaking on the phone or to a colleague, or step out of the room if you must speak loudly.
If you are designing an office, make sure you make space for soundproof meeting rooms where your team can retreat for a boisterous meeting or a fruitful brainstorming session.
Keep it moving
Changing the work environment is a proven way of increasing productivity, laptops and Wi-Fi have made this a viable option in every office. If you are fatigued at your desk, consider sitting on a comfortable sofa in your office lounge. The change of place could give you new ideas.
You are what you eat
Working long hours drains your energy, and a quick filling snack goes a long way in keeping your energy at optimum levels. It is a good idea to have a pantry close to every workspace where one may go for a quick coffee or snack. If your office space does not have a handy snack bar, stock up on your favorite munchies, a few tea bags and some hot water, so that you can tuck in whenever you need some extra energy.
Increased productivity is not just an organization goal, but every individual’s aim too. While productivity ensures that the organization meets its objectives, the individual has access to more professional opportunities. Whether you are an employer who is focused on ensuring the employee’s comfort, or an employee working to get to the top, designing an efficient workplace can be helpful in more ways than one. Reach for success with a well-designed office space.
Vinil Ramdev is an entrepreneur, business writer and marketer. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Marketing in 2004. Since then, Vinil has been involved in starting and growing several businesses predominantly in retail, marketing, media, advertising and on the internet. His skill for seeing the big picture, and identifying trends and patterns have made him a sort-after consultant for companies who want to grow their business and make their products more discoverable.