It’s only the second week of 2016 but have you noticed? It seems like every business you can think of is moving offices.
Change is in the air proving a new office space is full of opportunity. It can foster a fresh start and improvements on existing procedures in your firm. It’s a chance to look at your needs and create a space that brings out the best in the people that work there. There’s plenty of research out there showing that where we work has a lot to do with how productive we are. In fact, there’s a whole field devoted to “workspace strategy,” and experts are finding that “our physical environment has a profound impact on the way that we think.”
Studies show that elements like ceiling height and paint colors can influence our level of creativity, and including features that promote productivity is a smart step in setting up a new office. It doesn’t take an office space expert to see if your company is primed for productivity — these are sure signs that your office is headed in the right direction in terms of maximizing efficiency and creativity.
1. Expansive Space
The research shows that higher ceilings (up to a point) will increase creativity, and the amount of exposure to daylight has similar effects. Access to windows has been shown to lower blood pressure and cause actual chemical changes in the brain that put us in a better mood.
It may not be possible to give everyone a window seat, but a great alternative is a company culture that encourages outdoor time during the workday. For example, employees who can participate in a “walking meeting” rather than being closed up in a conference room for an hour are likely to be more productive — not to mention healthier.
2. Range of Physical Options
A workplace that gives employees some options in regard to customizing their physical surroundings will encourage productivity. Being able to choose different types of seating and adjust desk height are really significant factors in productivity and general physical well being. Providing employees with as much flexibility as possible in personalizing their space can also boost morale, and thus increase productivity.
3. Informal Social Space
Creating spaces for impromptu interactions among employees has been shown to greatly increase brainstorming, problem solving, and innovation in the office. Encouraging this sort of interaction helps keep ideas and information flowing freely in the organization. Whether it’s a conventional break room, an outdoor space, or comfortable lounge, including an informal common space is sure to increase productivity.
4. Quiet Space or “Thinking Rooms”
As much as we value collaboration and interaction, there is a time in the course of the day when we all need some time to focus and work in a quiet environment. It’s not practical or productive to expect silence in the workplace, but most spaces include a room that could be set aside as a place for quiet, uninterrupted work. Some team members may use this space daily, while others rarely do. It’s a way to accommodate different roles and working styles in the organization, and make the overall office more productive.
Being aware of how our environment affects productivity is a valuable tool for evaluating office space. Making some adjustments to boost morale and performance can lead to unexpected improvements and help you to attract and retain top talent.
The modern workplace is changing fast...
Are you keeping up?