We spend a lot of time working in order to earn money that we can spend on our daily needs, lifestyle, luxury and then save some for the future. We spend a large portion of our day at work; in fact, 94-percent of professionals put in 50+ hours a week at work, according to a survey conducted by Harvard Business School in 2008.
When we spend almost 1/3rd of our life working in an office, it is extremely important to consider a healthy and productive environment to be able to work to potential and remain healthy.
Employee satisfaction and happiness are two most important things related to productivity. An employer needs to take due notice of it and ensure a congenial workspace where professionals would not hesitate to work.
Considering the importance of workplace conditions and environment, employers wanting to attract the best talent and improve productivity should give serious thought to furnishing the office adequately. Read on for some essential tips to improve physical workplace quality:
Lighting is one of the most important factors of office interior design that affects the productivity and health of the employees. An employer should, therefore, invest thoughtfully in it. Improving office lighting doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a need to install more lights – it will possibly result in adding glare to space which is again not good for people’s health.
One can do it effectively through better positioning of the lighting fixtures, frequent cleaning, and maintenance. Letting in natural light is also a good way to improve lighting levels. It can improve sleep, physical activity and quality of life, in addition to saving a great deal on the utility bills, a study by Northwestern Now suggests.
Furthermore, color temperature also has an effect on employees’ wellbeing and work performance. A study published at The Journal of Circadian Rhythms indicates that cooler color temperatures are better for workplaces.
Upgrading to reliable and energy-efficient LEDs is also a viable way to improve the quality of light in offices.
In lieu, it’s easy to say that well-lighted room keeps employees alert and let them focus on the work. Any employer would want his/her employees to remain productive for the whole day. Improving lighting is a good way to ensure it.
Does office furniture play a role in boosting productivity? Certainly, it does, and you might have experienced while working in an office. Comfort is the key factor any employee would seek in an office. You would not feel good working for a full day sitting on a flat wooden chair.
A research published at Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs shows ergonomically designed furniture and workstations can positively affect the productivity of an employee. So businesses wanting to maximize their employees’ productivity should provide them with quality office furniture that allows for natural function, ensures flexibility, and facilitates comfort. When an employee feels comfortable and safe, it is natural that he/she will work more steadily.
Another study by the University of North Carolina briefs how office ergonomics affects productivity. From chair design to footrest to storage facilities and desk accessories, every usable office furniture item should be bought wisely.
Researchers from Dutch Information and Analytics Company Elsevier have also found that using sit-stand desks (standing desks) in addition to usual workstations, to let employees work in a standing posture does not have a negative impact on productivity, rather it influences an employee’s health positively.
Colors affect human behavior and mood, it’s essential thus for employers to implement them in office design cleverly. Colorful, vibrant workplaces are eye pleasing but every color has a different effect on people, to understand which color effects in what way The One Thing has details.
A study conducted by the University of Texas predicts the effects of interior color in offices. It says that workers in blue-green office color scheme will have a positive effect on productivity and mood. Keeping these things in mind, it is always a great idea to change wall colors of office to elevate the mood of employees and enhance their workability. One can also add wallpapers, paint motivational quotes, and make other pleasant touches to create a congenial workplace.
Ventilation and Temperature
Absence of adequate ventilation can lead to building up of harmful contaminants that can cause discomfort, health problems and reduced performance levels in employees. Improving the indoor air quality will make workers feel safe and boost their productivity. It will also reduce absenteeism of workers due to illness caused by poor quality air.
You will also like to know that the temperature at the office is closely related to employees’ output. Research by the University of Southern California found that men perform slightly better at a lower temperature, while female workers have increased productivity in warmer workplaces. Employers should ensure that temperature controls are available that they can use to adjust the temperature accordingly to make the workforce feel comfortable. HVAC design, positioning, repair, and maintenance are some of the issues employers should investigate repeatedly.
Cleanliness of a workplace has an influence on the productivity of employees but employers may not be responsible for a dirty office every time. There should be a dedicated cleaning staff in every office, who should clean the entire office daily. However, it is also an employee’s duty to keep his/her workplace tidy and clutter-free. A clean office will create a healthy work environment that will benefit the business and its employees too. It will also represent an image of the office.
A study published in Emerald Insight investigated the influence of cleanliness on the productivity of employees of non-profit organizations in The Netherlands. It found that higher objective cleanliness correlates significantly with higher perceived productivity of employees.
Noise Level and Acoustics
High noise workplaces cause stress and low morale in employees, leading to a decrease in productivity. Many studies elaborate on the time lost by workers due to distractions. Good office acoustics enhances employees’ ability to concentrate and assists in communication.
According to a study by Harvard University, businesses can follow a number of measures to cope with the problem by providing employees with dedicated quiet and loud spaces, using sound absorbing materials and partitions and arranging the furniture in a manner that employees do not disturb each other.
Adding greenery: Placing some indoor plants and succulents in office will not only enhance the working atmosphere but also have positive effects on employees. It will make them happy and productive.
Storage: Providing employees with proper physical storage to keep their belongings and equipment will allow them to organize the office efficiently. They will be able to access any files or office equipment easily and finish the work fast.
Pantry and break room: Employers can think of providing their employees with refreshments to reenergize their employees through the long day at work. It is a good idea also to have a break room where employees can take private phone calls and relax for some time, during their breaks. Including a refrigerator and microwave in the break room can be a plus for employee motivation.
Breaks: Meal breaks are an employee’s right. However, if employers are giving them additional rest breaks, it will certainly boost employee enthusiasm and commitment toward work.
Rewarding top performers: When employees perform well, it is the employers’ duty to acknowledge their efforts. It can be done by putting up a hall of fame board in the office or simply by rewarding the ones with promotion or hike in salary. It will motivate them to keep on their attitude toward work.
Suggestion box: Putting up a suggestion box in the office will allow employees to express their views on improving the office environment.