Our physical environment can have a big impact on how we act and react in those surroundings. This is absolutely true when it comes to our workplace and how the characteristics of that space have an impact on our behavior, perception and productivity. Workers lacking satisfaction in their surroundings may find themselves less excited to come in every day or less motivated to perform the tasks assigned. Atmosphere is the unsuspecting key to unlocking more potential from your workers.
Employees should feel comfortable and at ease at their workspace and in the office as a whole. There are important factors that can be utilized in order to improve upon productivity in the workplace and today, we will go over the best examples of how these can be put into action.
Design Factor #1: Comfort
Comfort in the workplace is key to maintaining alert, healthy employees who aren’t simultaneously suffering while sitting at their desk working. Comfort is crucial in the workplace, so providing ergonomic furniture is key to reducing repetitive stress injuries. Reducing discomfort through an ergonomically designed workplace results in higher efficiency, employee satisfaction, and fewer absences. The use of ergonomics can also help decrease muscle fatigue, increase productivity, and reduce the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, which are the primary cause of lost work time in the office.
A few ways you can create comfortable and focus-driven workplaces include:
- Ergonomically crafted work areas with the ability to alternate from sitting to standing positions
- Provide employees with different areas to work during their day
- Invest in ergonomic furniture for your employees
- Limit outside noise and distracting sounds as much as possible
- Create informal meeting areas for brainstorming and group work.
Design Factor #2: Lighting
A Cornell study showed that employees seated within 10 feet of a window reported an 84% decrease in headaches, eyestrain, and blurred vision symptoms, as well as increased productivity and decreased drowsiness. Exposure to natural light helps to regulate our circadian rhythm and also can help with seasonal affective disorder. Employees spend a large part of their day inside the office, so an adequately lit working area helps keep them motivated and energetic for the day.
Here are a few ideas for reworking your office lighting design:
- Adding skylights gives much needed natural light
- Control glare on windows to protect from headaches
- Maximize natural lighting as much as possible
- Replace flickering or outdated lighting fixtures
Design Factor #3: Small Spaces for Group Work
To encourage team building, create small spaces in the office for meetings. Collaboration is key and the lack of it can increase turnover and ultimately affect your company’s bottom line. Well-designed offices have a number of different spaces for employees to work in. If workers are finding that their primary workspace is too noisy, there should be an area on-site where they can go and have the quiet respite they need for their work. This might be a meeting room, booth, or well-lit and decorated sitting area. Likewise, if small teams need a space to collaborate and utilize creative brainstorming, breakout rooms can facilitate the added noise and the space required to do so while not disturbing others in the office.
A survey by Clear Company showed that 97% of employees and executives believe lack of team collaboration can negatively impact the outcome of a project. Transparency and effective communication are the keys to true alignment in the workplace and when co-workers turn into a real team, the positive effects will be felt in every sector of the workplace.
Design Factor #4: Private Spaces for Uninterrupted Work
Studies show that people are made uncomfortable and uneasy if their work habits are made too public or they feel they lack privacy while working. Those without even the slightest privacy can feel less driven and productive. The Harvard Business Review reported that employees who worked in open offices had less quality conversations and the quality of their work suffered as well.
Privacy in the workplace can also help slow the spread of germs, which is quite important now more than ever for those re-entering office spaces. One study found that employees working in open offices took 62% more sick days than employees working in individual offices or cubicles.
Design Factor #5: Provide Storage Solutions to Enhance Organization
Any spacious office should not lack storage for employees. If people are forced to use their desks to store extra papers and office equipment, they’re likely to feel their space is cluttered and may also waste time trying to find items or work that has been misplaced. One survey found that 66% of participants spent up to 30 minutes a week just looking for things at their desks or around the office. Added up, that can account for each worker losing around 38 hours (or one work week) a year searching for these items.
Help your employees to de-clutter their workspaces by utilizing storage furniture such as shelves, filing cabinets, rolling cabinets, or under desk drawers.
Upgrade Your Office with T2B Commercial Interiors
At T2B Commercial Interiors, our designers listen carefully to your design needs and workplace objectives to help get to know your brand’s personality and learn about the unique work culture you have cultivated.
Our designers work with state-of-the art software and will provide you with CET design and renderings to help you understand the design vision and provide valuable input early in the process. Budgets big or small; new space or renovated space; office, healthcare or educational, our designers have the experience to meet all of your needs.
Whether you need new window treatments, flooring, or furniture for your hard-working employees and guests, contact us today to learn how our designers can meet your needs.