There are many things that can influence a person’s productivity. One of which is the place he or she works in. Everything from the lighting to the tools you use impacts the way you work. As a business owner or manager, you need to know if your work environment helps your employees get things done in the most efficient way. Small discomforts in the workplace can pile up and interrupt their momentum, distracting them from what they’re doing. Here are some office workspace tips that can help increase your team’s productivity.
Natural light. Research shows that employees exposed to natural light have better performance than those who are not. They sleep better and can engage more in physical activity. Their overall quality of life is a whole lot better, too. Make sure that you have windows in your office that allow sunlight to come in. Natural light helps invigorate your team. The vitality they get from the sun gives them the boost they need to accomplish their work.
Add some color. Angela Wright discovered that there’s a correlation between color and our behavior. For example, if you want energy and excitement to be present in your workplace go for red walls. If trust, efficiency, and intelligence are valued highly in your company then blue should be your prevalent color. Yellow signifies confidence, creativity, and optimism. So pops of yellow can help spark ideas. Green represents harmony, peace, and balance. It can help foster a collaborative spirit in your office.
Ergonomic fixtures. Do you find your employees craning their necks or twisting their wrists often? Then check if their arms are positioned evenly with the height of their desk. Ideally, the chair should be 16 to 21 inches above the floor so that their feet are flat on the ground. The width should be roughly 17 to 20 inches wide. Take note if their chairs have enough back and arm rest, too. It should also swivel for easy movement. Providing ergonomic fixtures like an ergonomic mouse pad will help them remove certain aches and pains that can directly affect their productivity. It’s important that your employees feel comfortable in their workspace.
Collaborative space. Teamwork is one of the things you want to see in your employees. Having a collaborative space allows them to communicate with each other. This could be done by having low dividers or cubicles so that your team can still have their private spaces while making it easy for them to coordinate with their teammates. Contrary to what most people think, open-office layout is not conducive to collaboration. The loss of privacy and excessive noise make it more difficult for employees to concentrate. Instead, you can create a meeting area in an open space for quick brainstorming and informal meetings.
Learning area. This could be a library or a multimedia room where your employees can hang out during their break time. It contains books, videos, and other learning materials available at their disposal anytime. You can also ask your team what they want in their learning nook. By giving them the resources they need, you’re giving them the opportunity to increase their knowledge and creativity. If you don’t have the space then send them informative links to videos or articles that could help motivate them to excel.
Impose breaks. In Chevron, they install a program in their employees’ computers that automatically locks them every 45 minutes so that everyone will be forced to take a 5-minute break. Sometimes looking away from a computer is all you need to snap out of sluggishness or mental block. In a pressure-filled workplace, lunch break is simply not enough. Short breaks allow your employees to recharge and get back to work with more energy and vigor.
Latest technology. Slow computers and equipment can cause delays that can affect not only your business but also your employees. No matter how hard they try to be productive if the equipment or software they use is not suitable to what they need then the result you want can be difficult to achieve. It’s your responsibility as a business owner to ensure that they’re using latest technology that will enable them to work efficiently.
Open door policy. The workplace is not limited to its physical components. The culture and values you instill in your employees also influence their productivity. Having an open door policy allows them be vocal with their opinions and suggestions. Of course they will still report to their respective managers. However, your employees should also know that they can approach you anytime. This kind of work environment allows for effective communication on all levels of your organization.
Recognition. Nothing encourages productivity more than being recognized for what you do. Being vocal about your appreciation boosts your employees’ confidence and motivates them to give their best for the company. Recognition can range from something as simple as a commending email or a certificate to something grand such as a salary increase, promotion, a reward, or an incentive that they’ve always wanted to have. According to research, just thinking about getting a potential reward can motivate someone to take action. The main reason why the show Undercover Boss is such a hit is because it highlights the efforts of the unsung heroes in a successful company. Appreciating your people will not only increase their productivity but also their loyalty.
The work environment you create for your employees hugely influences their level of productivity. Your team gives their skills and service to the table. In return, they expect you to give them the facilities that will help them get their job done. Not only that, they also want to establish a genuine relationship with you. What distinguishes a great leader from a good one is his ability to give his employees both what they need and what they want. Sure they need an office but is it optimal for the work they do? Sure they have a salary but does it fully compensate their effort? Your people are your best asset and taking care of them is your primary responsibility. Take time to look at the environment you’ve created for them. Assess if the tangible factors and non-tangible ones contribute to the success of each of your employees. If anything is lacking, don’t hold back. It’s always worth investing in your people.
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