8 Office Design Tips to Increase Productivity

Category: Office Design

If you’re trying to boost employee productivity, take a look at the environment they’re working in. A well-designed workspace can have significant benefits, and if yours isn’t quite up to par, a few simple changes can reap big rewards.

Oculus Office Design

1. The Ergonomic Office

Human bodies come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to office furniture. Every employee should be able to adjust their desk and chair so that they can sit and work comfortably for extended periods, without suffering from common problems like neck, back, or wrist pain. This is an important thing to reinforce on a continual basis—it’s easy to slip into bad habits—so it’s helpful to display graphics that model the correct way to sit and provide information about furniture adjustment.

2. Reduce Clutter

Should you be enforcing a clean desk policy? It’s probably not necessary to go that far, but it’s definitely good to encourage employees to keep their workspaces well organized and free from clutter. Maintaining a reduced-paper or paperless work environment is useful too—the clutter-free concept can work well in the digital workspace as well as in the physical one.

TubeMogul Office Design

3. Back to Nature

If making larger-scale changes to the office environment isn’t possible, the simple addition of living plants to a work environment is a quick and easy way to boost productivity, as well as improve the office’s air quality. All that’s needed is a small potted plant at each desk, and there are plenty of easy-care flowering plants that can thrive indoors.

4. Change the Colour Scheme

Colour has huge effects on emotion and productivity, but don’t just look at colour—saturation and intensity of colour is important too. Yellow promotes creativity, green calms, and blue is stimulating, but softer shades of these colours are more soothing than bright ones.

GamaAviation Office Design

5. Let there be Light

Natural light can boost employee energy, creativity, and productivity, but that’s not the only benefit. In a retail or sales environment, it not only improves employee performance, but also increases the time customers spend in stores. While most offices probably aren’t going to be able to make the kinds of changes that involve adding skylights or windows, one thing you can do is maximize the number of employees who work near a window or have a window view.

6. Rethink the Open Plan Office

Open office plans have long been considered the gold standard, based on the idea that they promote employee collaboration and productivity. However, open plan offices also tend to reduce employee job satisfaction, largely because they lack privacy. In most open plan offices these days, what you see is employees wearing headphones to create the illusion of privacy—and little collaboration, because when the entire office can watch you and hear what you’re saying, conversation is somewhat intimidating.

Again, an office redesign might not be possible, but employees should at least have access to private rooms or spaces where they can work undisturbed when necessary.

7. Provide Opportunity for Movement

It’s well known that most people perform best in spurts, and that the opportunity to take a five minute break every hour or so results in employees who are overall more productive. And yet, many managers still insist on virtually chaining employees to their desks, not realizing that they’re reducing office productivity in this way.

AirFrance Office Design

8. Remind Employees that their Work Matters

Working every day at an office job isn’t exactly glamorous, and for many employees it becomes a grind. They forget that the work they’re doing is important, they stop caring, and productivity plummets. This is where office branding can come into play—it reinforces your company ideals, reminds people of where they work, and can help them remember that while they might only be a small cog in a large machine, the machine still needs that cog to function.


Posted 1st September, 2015

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