Productivity. A word which has seen almost as much attention as unprecedented in the last two years. Whether it’s concerns surrounding decreased productivity or how working from home has affected it. An area that has always been of importance to employers is now taking centre stage. With workforces returning to the office, this article looks at how your office environment can minimise disruption and increase productivity.
Common office problems
Before examining office layouts it’s important to look at some of the main roadblocks to productivity in the office. The first of which is stress. In addition to having negative associations with general health, it can also be detrimental to output. Stress is unavoidable, and in some cases can be beneficial, however those exposed to high levels of stress over a long period of time will not experience a benefit. Most problematic from a production standpoint is an inability to focus. Without focus a decline in productivity is inevitable.
Once we begin to look at these barriers it becomes quite clear that many are interlinked. Another negative involves not having the right equipment or resources in place to complete tasks. Feeling unable to perform at one’s best can be damaging to morale. This in turn contributes to unnecessary stress in the workplace. It also forms part of a wider problem faced by employees, that of poor working conditions. The issue is not confined to facilities but also includes distractions reducing focus and lack of communication.
Evaluating the space
Now we’ve established some of the main barriers to a consistent output, we can discuss how to work with our office space to best tackle these. Some of those previously mentioned, such as stress, will be a result of a combination of factors. However, we should still look to maximise our efforts where we can, and our work environment is one that is readily accessible. Admittedly you would be forgiven for assuming that this involves Feng Shui or something energy focused. It needn’t be this complex and can be achieved using more of a common sense approach. Remember office distractions? If possible, remove anything that could prove distracting such as especially noisy appliances. If this isn’t practical then plan your employees’ seating accordingly. It may also be worthwhile to ask your staff for their input, as each may have individual needs.
In a similar vein to this it was thought that an open office facilitated better communication between staff. Research has since shown that the opposite may be true, due to concerns around sensitive conversations and disturbing other colleagues. To combat this doesn’t mean the return of the cubicle, instead ensure that the office has a designated space collaboration. This allows employees to share ideas, improving both work and morale.
Finally, check your office has all the facilities needed to function efficiently. This reduces the chance of any avoidable delays. An excellent option for maintaining consistent quality in facilities is the use of serviced offices. These provide not only the office environment but everything staff need to work well.
Following these tips should place you in good stead when setting up your office for maximum productivity.