There are very few ways in which our environment doesn’t impact what we do. From distracting bedrooms impacting the quality of our sleep to noise pollution impacting our ability to study, we’re constantly finding more ways in which external factors alter our ability to function. So, if you’re wondering why the question of how office layout affects productivity is such an important thing to discuss, the answer is both multifaceted and vital to the way that we go through our lives.
For those of us that work in an office environment, we’re often doing so for upwards of 40 hours a week. We work, we engage with our teams, we find ways to improve both ourselves and our work, all from a space that has been made with our needs in mind, or has it? At AOFS, we’ve experienced many situations in which businesses are working within spaces that are not up to the needs or requirements of what that job entails. This makes an enormous difference to the way people are able to work, and by changing your environment you can wildly increase your productivity and the productivity of your team.
So, to get further into the nitty-gritty of how office layout affects productivity, and what you can do to better your business.
For anyone who has spent any time researching the business landscape online, the idea of productivity has certainly come up countless times. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the topic of worker productivity stagnation has been ever-present, and studies over the past few years have found that employees are working harder than ever before just to stand still. This has, in large part, been put down to employees simply not having the tools and resources at their disposal to excel, even if they have the drive and skills needed to do so.
So, if workers are failing to excel, or feel that they cannot live up to expectations, and the issue isn’t their abilities or willingness to learn and grow, then businesses are forced to look at other avenues. So, if you’re thinking about how your office layout is affecting the productivity of your employees, what should you be looking out for?
As we have seen time and time again, one of the main issues that people find with spaces, whether that be domestic or commercial, is clutter. A cluttered, chaotic space makes it difficult to focus, and even the most diligent of workers can end up getting overwhelmed if they feel themselves being dragged down by too many things. The simple solution is to ensure that everything in the office has a place. This involves ensuring that piles of paperwork or files are either digitised to reduce the amount of paper altogether or filed away in a neat and organized manner. By creating a space for everything in your office, you can then get a better idea of how clutter forms, what your employees require to deal with it, and better control the area around you.
When we talk about how office layout affects productivity, we’re not just referring to the way desks are positioned or how much storage space is available. Every element that goes into space will be a factor in whether or not it is designed with productivity in mind. So, when you’re looking for ways to better set up your office, you need to look at the factors that may not be immediately apparent to the eye. For example, having adequate ventilation, heating and cooling will ensure that the space stays feeling fresh and will help to avoid respiratory issues in the short and long term. You should also consider the lighting within your office, and whether it is the correct brightness for people to see comfortably without the issues associated with eye strain.
To continue on with the trend of discussing various sensory factors, consider any noise pollution and whether sound from within the building or outside of it may be distracting to your employees. A single day of traffic jams may not be that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, but consistent noise can make overall productivity harder to maintain, so finding ways to remove or deaden those noises will save you a lot of wasted time and effort in the long run.
For those that wish to stave off the issues of sedentary work life, you may also consider adding facilities for light exercise or meditation. These may seem like luxuries initially, but having a way for workers to shake off the laziness that comes with sitting for 8 straight hours a day can make a world of difference to your company’s morale.
If this isn’t possible, due to either small office space or one shared by many different businesses, it may be worth finding ways that you can promote additional movement and exercise within your workplace. Suggesting company walks, providing bicycles for those that would like to take on a more active lifestyle in their commute; whatever you decide to go with, it will be sure to pay off in the long run.
As business owners, it’s easy to see people as employees first. However, the times are changing, and as more businesses start to look at how they can fulfil the more foundational human needs of their workers, there has never been a better time to look at what you can do to improve the lives of those you employ.
Are you ready to change the way that your office works for your employees? AOFS specialises in office fitouts, educational fitouts, medical fitouts and more. So, speak with one of our specialists today, and start your journey towards a more productive workplace.
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