How to Design an Office Space that Maximizes Employee Productivity

14 Apr 2014 9:09 AM | Anonymous

Everything in your office, including its physical layout, impacts the efficiency of your employees. What should you do to make sure your employees are as productive as possible? There’s no set strategy that’s right for every business.  However, if you follow these tips, you’ll find something that works for you:

  1. Ask your employees for their opinion.  If your employees like the layout of the office, they’re going to enjoy being there.  See what their thoughts are, and integrate them as best you can when determining the final layout of your office.
  2. Use attractive colors that inspire energy.  Blue gets your mind going.  Yellow makes you more creative.  Green helps you feel balanced.  Besides just paying attention to the color, though, you also have to take the brightness into consideration.  Dull colors calm while bright colors energize.
  3. Use natural lighting as much as possible.  It only makes sense that humans respond better to natural than artificial light.  Keep all windows as clean as possible so the maximum amount of light can enter.
  4. Give your employees their privacy.  Yes, open office plans are often looked upon with more regard than closed ones.  However, a 2011 study by two researchers at the University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture found employees working in open office plans are less productive.  Their main reason was because they did not have the “sound privacy” they needed – there was too much noise for them to concentrate.  Let your employees have their private space.
  5. Allow breaks and have well-outfitted break areas.  Employees should have an area they can walk to and take a break.  Ideally, they can quickly go outdoors and get a breath of fresh air.  However, just having the physical facilities available isn’t enough to do so.  Rather, your company needs to have a culture that makes employees feel comfortable when taking breaks.
  6. Get the temperature under control.  Your office should be kept at a comfortable temperature year-round.  Employees that are too hot or cold aren’t as productive.  If you can’t keep your office space at an even temperature, get in touch with maintenance right away.
  7. Make sure all workspaces are ergonomically correct.  Painful injuries, strained muscles, and missed work time are consequences of not following this practice.  To make each workspace comfortable for an employee, make sure their elbows rest at a 90 degree angle in relation to the keyboard.  Also, their feet should be planted firm and flat on the floor.  Their knees should form a 90-degree angle, and they should have room to stretch out their legs.  Ergonomic chairs should be purchased to make this easy for your employees.

If you follow those office design tips, you’ll have a more productive workforce.  This holds true, even if some of the tips differ from traditional thinking.

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