As an active employee, you spend a significant part of your day at the office. During that time, you need to carry out tasks, meet deadlines, interact with co-workers, and still have complete insight into the impact of your work. However, what you are unaware of (most of the time) is how your office affects the way you work. Whether you work at home or in a large company building, office design can impact your mood, your ability to concentrate and stay focused, and your ability to be productive.
According to a study on workspace performance, the most significant input employees gave, when asked how they could improve their own productivity, was directed at office design. Every employee has their own unique work habits that make them productive, and the concept of the office should reflect this. The best office concept relies on employee freedom, allowing the employee to choose their work environment.
Companies should embrace both the open plan type office and the cubicle design, to provide workers with a choice. When it comes to home offices, choose the room that works best for you, while the local coffee shop is the ideal solution workers who need an active environment.
Often overlooked, lighting is a key element of the office in helping workers stay focused and inspired to create. Bad office lighting requires employees to exert more energy when working, resulting in fatigue and reduced concentration. Ultimately, this minimizes productivity by making workers less detail-oriented and increasing their task-completion time.
A simple to this problem is natural light. A professional commercial fitout of a company office can ensure every desk receives the maximum amount of natural light available, and combine it with general light to create optimal work conditions. Alternatively, a home office desk should face the window at a right-side angle to receive the best natural light, and should consider using a desk lamp and natural light bulbs, as well.
In recent years, sitting has become a harmful health affliction of contemporary society, giving rise to the phrase – “sitting is the new smoking”. Because the side-effects of prolonged sitting can lead to a number of health issues, like back pain and obesity, even cardiovascular problems.
A company office should invest incorrectly fitted desks and chairs, to ensure proper posture and reduce neck and lower back pain among staff. At home, you can invest in an ergonomic adjustable chair, or add pillows if you feel your chair is too low. Also, you should use a separate keyboard to maintain the ideal 90-degree angle of your hands. In the long run, this improves productivity since employees are more focused on their work, and less likely to get sick.
Breaks during office hours are important factors in increasing productivity and boosting morale, since they provide employees the chance to exchange ideas, rest after an ASAP task is complete, or gather their focus and brainstorm ways to achieve their next challenge. These spaces should be visually appealing community spaces that emphasize company achievements and have a colorful, fun tone.
Almost all contemporary company offices have at least one community room, like a kitchen or break room. These places should be brightly colored, equipped with games, drinks and fresh food, and emphasize company achievements, to allow employees to rest during their breaks and motivate them for the tasks ahead. At home you may have less flexibility, but you can put a sofa in, motivational paintings, plants, or change your favorite coffee house for the park or local library from time to time.
So, to answer the question “Does office design really affect productivity?” – Yes, it does! Where you work really does matter. By designing your workspace with productivity in mind, your will have created an office environment that keeps you focused and helps you achieve all your work goals throughout you’re the day.
About the author: Arron (f | t) is architecture student and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He enjoys browsing the web in search of fresh ideas about residential moving, storage, cleaning, clearance, waste removal, recycling, gardening, landscaping and home maintenance issues. Loves: all things spicy, barbecue, winter vacations. Doesn`t like: bad manners and narcissism