It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the workplace can directly impact your productivity. Check to see if the layout is inefficient in your office or if it encourages distracting and unhealthy habits. You’ll want to improve productivity at your office, and business productivity takes a leap when the design of your office is taken seriously. Here are ten office design tips that will boost employee productivity.
1. Consider your layout.
Before setting up your office, you first need to take into consideration the needs and challenges of you, your team, and your startup. You also need to factor in your company’s culture, personalities, various working styles, and your budget. These considerations may sound like a lot of work upfront, but it’s the most effective way of determining how you’ll want to design your office.
For example, open plans have been all the rage for years. But, some studies have found that private offices make employees more productive and happy. At the same time, that may not click with your startup. There may not be enough money to give everyone their own space — it also may not align with your culture flexibility and free-thinking. In this case, you may want to invest in standing desks or allow your team to work wherever they want.
If you’re stuck, the folks over at SnackNation have 15 creative office designs you could use for inspiration. You can also ask your employees for their feedback on what type of office layout they prefer. If you are a remote worker — please set up your home office with the same care that you would if you had an entire office full of employees.
2. Create opportunities for movement.
“The best way that I stay focused during a long day of work is to acknowledge when I’ve hit a productivity wall and to take lots of short, quick breaks to gain a new perspective on what I’m working on,” Jamie Fertsch, director and co-founder of XDesk, told Business News Daily.
There’s so much truth to that statement. For starters, there has been this gives everyone a chance to take a break and recharge mentally. As a result, these “mental” breaks keep us focused. Additionally, this can counter a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, you’re improving your overall health, reducing stress, and increasing your energy levels.
One way to encourage your time to get up and move is to provide them with stand-to-sit-desks. You could also place specific equipment, like a copy machine, on the other side of the office. You could also have multi-purpose areas where people can exercise. And you could hold more walking meetings instead of relying on a conference room.
3. The psychology of color.
Different colors have various effects on us psychologically, such as emotion and behavior. You likely have heard this before if you’ve been in business long. When picking the colors for your brand, colors are critical and applied to your office design can be a great bonus.
With that in mind, here are how the following primary colors impact the psyche:
- White. It’s associated with cleanliness, but can be uninspiring. Use this color for the kitchen or open space.
- Black. Conveys authority, as well as sinister undertones. However, when used as a complementary accent, it can create a luxurious workspace.
- Purple. Purple is considered an unnatural color. But, it also represents the color of royalty and ambition.
- Green. Affiliated with balance, growth, and nature. Research also shows that it can improve your creative performance.
- Blue. Usually seen as one of the most productive colors. Of course, this depends on the type of work you’re doing. However, it often boosts relaxation and intellectual thought.
- Red. An emotionally intense color that can raise mental energy flow — And, I don’t care because it’s my favorite color. It can be overpowering, however. It’s better suited for furnishings or social areas.
- Yellow. A popular color for teams since it promotes happiness and positivity.
- Orange. This color can promote mental stimulation and happiness. It’s used best when highlighting your most important design elements.
4. Soak up natural light.
Lighting can affect everything from workplace safety to productivity to mental health. More specifically, natural light is essential for circadian rhythms and can boost happiness and Vitamin D intake.
In a study entitled “Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life,” researchers compared workers in offices with and without windows:
“The extent to which daylight exposure impacts office workers is remarkable,” said study co-author Ivy Cheung, a neuroscience doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. “Day-shift office workers’ quality of life and sleep may be improved via emphasis on light exposure and lighting levels in current offices as well as in the design of future offices.”
If you haven’t been able to install more windows in your workplace, you can use mirrors or reflective furniture. But, find a way to amplify the natural light you do have. Or, you can purchase full-spectrum lightbulbs that can mimic the appearance of natural light.
5. Incorporate plants.
Plants can reduce stress, sickness, and noise levels. They can also boost creativity, productivity, and clean the air. So, if you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to place low-maintenance office plants throughout your office.
6. Art and personal items.
Besides incorporating plants, add some artwork in there as well. According to a Business Committee for the Arts and the International Association of Professional Art Advisors survey, 94% believed art enhanced the work environment. Also, 64% experienced an increase in creativity and productivity. As an added perk, art makes a statement about your company’s values.
Also, allow your employees to personalize their workspaces. It’s been found that this can lower stress, and it makes them feel more comfortable.
7. Designate office zones.
Create various spaces in the office that are used for specific tasks. Examples include:
- Collaboration zones, like a break room that encourage your team to mingle and exchange ideas.
- Fun zones, such as a game room, where everyone can decompress and come together.
- Quiet zones where people can nap or think without being disturbed.
- Private zones where employees can work on their most essential tasks in peace and quiet.
8. Rethink meeting and conference rooms.
We spend a lot of time in meetings. Middle managers can spend around 35% of their workday in meetings. So, it just makes sense that you make them as productive as possible — including its design.
Like the rest of your office, let in as much natural light as possible and make sure that all the equipment and furniture are comfortable and functional. Make sure that you use the right colors, go back, and review the psychology of colors. And, eliminate distractions like flickering lights, outside noise, or tables that wobble.
Also, if the room isn’t large enough to accommodate the size of your audience, then move it somewhere else. You need attendees to be comfortable enough so that they can focus. Learn how to invigorate your meetings.
9. Install community boards.
“Pin-up boards a great way to broadcast messages about what’s going on in the office or can act as a central location to share corporate culture, big accomplishments or office humor,” writes Shelcy V. Joseph on Forbes. “Get creative with the display!” adds Joseph. “Make sure to refresh the images, flyers, or photos for a new dose of inspiration.”
You may also want to have whiteboards or chalk wall in the office. This way if anyone has an idea, they can quickly jot it down.
10. Change up amenities.
“Sometimes it’s as simple as amenities that make life easier,” writes Jeff Pochepan on Inc.com. “While having that game room, or the soundproof music room can be a great place for employees to recharge their batteries, collaborate with colleagues, or just relax for a few minutes — these are not the only things companies can do.” Remember, “not all amenities are luxuries.”
Replace the unhealthy snacks in vending machines with better options. Or, sign-up for a delivery service like SnackNation that will dropoff nutritious snacks for the office. Also, you can offer on-site services like on-site childcare.