Office Layout: 10 Tips for Increased Productivity
No matter what industry your company is in, your employees are one of your most valuable resources. A well-planned office layout is essential in today’s corporate world in terms of your employees’ happiness and productivity. With employees in mind, we have come up with some of the most essential office designs to increase productivity include comfortable work stations and great office layouts.
The work environment at your office will influence the morale and engagement levels of your workers. Moreover, it can help change a wasted workday into a highly productive one. So it’s essential to develop a well-designed space with your employees in mind.
There are many nuances you should consider in regards to your office designs and how to increase their productivity. Anywhere from temperature, noise levels, the colour of your office furniture and layout can play a role in the productivity of your organisation. However, it should be emphasised that having the right office design not only increases productivity but also increases your employees’ mental wellbeing while at work.
In this article, we highlight 10 ways you can increase productivity and wellbeing of your employees with your office layout.
1. Introduce Natural light in Your Office Designs to Increase Productivity
The more happy and healthy your employees are, the more productive & motivated they are likely to be
Natural lighting is essential, for both physical and mental wellbeing. Natural lighting stimulates positiveness and keeps us awake and alert. A study by Northwestern University researched the effect of letting sunlight into the office. The office staff who had exposure to sunlight had an hour more of sleep each night, and their physical health, energy, and overall quality of life were far superior.
The Sydney Morning Herald also highlighted the importance of light in the office environment. The article stated that office layouts that utilise natural lighting for their employees and not just upper management and clients have a brand that stands out and attracts and retains employees longer. Ultimately, employees are happier and choose to stay with a company longer due to their craving for natural light in their office layouts.
A gloomy, dimly lit office has significant drawbacks and reduces the productivity of your employees. Auzzi Australia notes that better lighting design in office layouts increases productivity by up to 23 per cent! Increase natural sunlight in your office and set up office workstations close to the windows. Bring the outdoors in by positioning your desks with window views, to allow as much natural light as possible into your office layout and utilise well-placed lights or lamps in darker areas.
Finally, by removing cubicle walls, using movable glass walls and more open-plan space, you can increase the penetration of sunlight and increase visibility from within your office.
2. Choose The Right Colours
Studies have shown that colours like yellow can make us happy and joyful while also impacting productivity. Moreover, colours like blue and green can create a more comfortable and productive environment, while colours like red and orange increase alertness, urgency and attention to detail.
You might also want to consider how the workspace is decorated and how to incorporate colours with it. Do wall colours reflect your organisation’s branding? When creating a professional atmosphere, choose colours that will best suit the work in different departments.
The colour you choose for the office can make a huge difference in mood and brain function.
The human brain can’t handle high-intensity work for very long. Productivity expert Colin Boyd advises that a disciplined routine should be encouraged where you carve out 3 x 50-minute Focus Blocks. These blocks would be used to focus on your most important tasks during which you allow no distractions. Once the 50 minutes of work focus is up, allow yourself 10 minutes to relax and recharge.
4. Add A Touch Of Nature in Your Office Designs to Increase Productivity
Evergreen Walls highlights the importance of using nature in the office, as humans are spending more and more time inside and disconnecting from nature. Moreover, it notes that the disconnection harms our wellbeing and productivity. Biophilic office designs are a growing trend to increase productivity and expected to be a leading trend in 2020 and moving forward!
Even indoor plants can make a massive difference as they help purify the air, reduce noise and promote wellbeing. A few plants dotted amongst the workplace to lift the mood and add an aesthetic appeal to your office will do wonders for your office layout and employees.
5. Ergonomic Furniture in Your Office Layout
Quality office desks and chairs can make a world of difference regarding health and productivity in your office. Ergonomic chairs, desks, and even standing desks all are office furniture you should consider when looking to increase productivity in your office layout and are worth considering given the associated health benefits. Choose ergonomic furniture that will keep your people comfortable and lasts for many years to come.
Ergonomic practice means improving the conditions under which you do everyday activities in the workplace. Bodycare Workplace Solutions notes that we spend around 65 per cent of our working day sitting down. Moreover, they discuss the impacts this can have on your body if you don’t have proper posture or furniture to support you. Poor desks and chairs found in your office layout can negatively affect employees’ posture, which will lead to a higher injury rate. Ultimately, costing employees work days and your organisation valuable work hours.
Ergonomic considerations for different workplaces vary. To promote ergonomics into your office layout, consider talking to your employees about the current furniture and how they are finding it. There is no better way to evaluate if your company needs to invest in new furniture than to discuss it directly with your team.
6. Office Layouts Need Different Areas
Make sure you have different areas for different purposes. Some employees need to be in private rooms while they work, while others enjoy being in the middle of the action. Creating inviting areas for different purposes is precisely what John Ferrigan from Google recommends. He states that it’s essential to take a layered approach to design offices. Moreover, you should provide areas for everyone within the company no matter their role or personality, and foster a feeling of comfortability in them.
Ultimately, you should be asking, “What are the goals of the company?” and, “What do we want out of our office layout?” With those questions in mind, you can determine your needs and come up with a plan to accomplish it. All companies require different things out of their office layouts; thus, there is no one size fits all approach!
7. Work Structure
Is your office structured in the standard corporate way with individual desks? This is the traditional way of utilising space in your office layout. However, times are changing, and companies are finding success in open floor plans. Open office layout plans promote collaborativeness and teamwork while traditional office layouts can offer privacy and more rigid communication structures.
Depending on your company’s needs, your employees’ work style, and the brand you are going for, your office layout will differ. Once again, there is no one size fits all approach to which office layout you should use. Each will have different aspects to consider as well as pros and cons. Check out our blog on things to consider when choosing an office layout for your company here.
8. Limit the Noise Level in Your Office Layout
Libby Sander, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at Bond University Business School, states, “For most people the biggest complaint they have about the open office is noise.” The noise can make it hard to concentrate and be productive. Moreover, a noisy office can lead to increased stress levels and lower job satisfaction among employees.
There are ways to minimise noise levels, including staying away from open office layouts. However, if your company has decided that using an open floor plan is best, you should consider handing out or promoting noise-cancelling headphones. Other options could create secluded areas for privacy, like John Ferrigan from Google recommends. Partitions, plants, and sound damping materials on the walls can also be utilised to help lower sound levels.
9. Consider The Room Temperature in Your Office Layout
Another factor to consider is room temperature. A study conducted by Cornell University found that when temperatures were around 20 degrees, employees made 44 per cent more errors. Moreover, when there were temperatures around 25 degrees, they were found to be 50 per cent more productive. The research also found that if employees were cold, they would become distracted, resulting in them costing their employers 10 per cent more per hour.
Finding the perfect temperature in your office is difficult if you have a big team. Consider grouping people who want to sit close to the air conditioner or heater and those who don’t. This solves the issue of people who keep turning the system on and off. Open the windows and doors when you can and let in the fresh air.
10. Provide Space To Move Around
A study showed 72 per cent of participants that exercised during their workday helped improve their well being as well as helped them improve their time management and completion of workload! Another study showed that even taking a break to walk could increase employees’ creativity by up to 81 per cent.
Regular exercise releases serotonin (known as the happiness hormone) which helps individuals fight off the feelings of anxiety and depression. Encourage your employees to stay active to boost their creativity and productivity in the workplace. Employees who engage in regular exercise will experience less physical problems and have less decline in lost productivity due to sickness. If your office layout does not allow for exercise inside, you can create a small area for your employees to be active, or let them take breaks outside to get some much-needed exercise.
An office is the heart of your business. Make sure your office layout inspires your team to innovate, challenge, and work smarter. However, as we have mentioned, it’s a good idea to include your employees in the decision making process as well! With the right changes and additions, you can transform your pre-existing office layout into a highly productive area.
Your office layout has the potential to encourage staff to produce work at the highest standard and create an enjoyable place to work. Developing a productive design goes beyond just the physical concerns as it also considers the emotional wellbeing of your team.
Finally, the best office layout for productivity ultimately relies on you!
Our experienced team is here to help with any of your office fitout needs. We developed these 10 office layout tips to increase productivity for you in mind. Therefore, if you think we should add anything to the list or if you have any questions regarding it, please contact us!