Today we welcome guest blogger Holly Welles, who shares her thoughts on the impact of workplace design on employee productivity. Thank you for your contribution, Holly.
Designing an office where everyone can do their best work takes time and planning. Many companies base their office design on layouts similar to ones they’ve seen in the past. However, creating new, balanced work spaces allows for the most opportunity to make them productive and organized for what your business requires.
The ideal office design balances spaces for quiet work with other areas suited for collaboration. As every organization is unique, what works for one company might not work for another. Keeping productivity at the forefront helps business create the perfect office environment.
Problems with Poorly Designed Office Spaces
Following popular office design fads is much like following fashion trends; sometimes it works out fine. However, it could lead to the work space equivalent of a leisure suit. Traditional offices used to feature managers behind closed doors and others workers in cubicles. Today’s popular open office trend features a collaborative layout, sometimes at the detriment of projects and workers that require uninterrupted concentration.
Traditional and open office designs both have perks and drawbacks. Today, many companies have taken a hint from their grade school teachers by creating separate spaces for different activities. This is how organizations can achieve balance and boost productivity.
Different Spaces for Different Activities
When you need to focus on a specific task, distractions can hinder your productivity. You probably wouldn’t want to try to focus on payroll while a rock concert played outside your office door. Whether your employees devote time to quiet, focused activities or creative, collaborative ones depends on the mission of your business.
The quality of the office environment also matters greatly when you need your employees to be as productive as possible. Even the most introverted people on your team will resent having their quiet work area located in a repurposed broom closet. Give each team member the quality space they need to get their job done.
Additionally, acoustics make a major difference — large, open spaces tend to carry even quiet voices, especially when paired with tiled flooring. Consider carpeting or at least decorative rugs in collaborative areas to reduce the din.
But you also need to optimize your space in order to make the most of it. Creating collaborative workspaces doesn’t necessarily mean investing in a huge conference room and a long table. Try varying the sizes of group work areas, so small teams and discussions can take place without distracting those coworkers focused on individual tasks.
How Movement Benefits Workers
Creating a variety of workspaces that allow everyone gets up to move now and then provides a major productivity boost. Studies show that the average person maintains focus for approximately 15 minutes before seeking new stimulation. The good news is that even getting up and moving for a minute or two refreshes the brain’s ability to stay on task and be more productive.
Creating the Perfect Workspace Blend for Productivity
Even though no single office design suits every organization, a blend of work areas for different activities balances an employee’s need for privacy and quiet at times with their need to collaborate at others. The best office design balances cost efficiency with employee satisfaction and aesthetic appeal. The more everyone’s needs are met in the workplace, the more quickly a company can increase productivity.
If your office could use a productivity boost, contact us to learn more about our group productivity workshops or individual consulting sessions.