The positive impact of an office environment on productivity
When you are thinking of moving your business into new offices there are many important considerations that you need to include, when you are deciding on the best office solution for you. You need to think about the accommodation budget that you have in place, whether you want a fully serviced solution or not and what is the best physical location, in terms of business efficiency, productivity and employee satisfaction. For example, would you rather work in an upbeat and trendy office space in Shoreditch or a lavish and sophisticated environment in Mayfair?
Hiring a serviced office provider can help you when you are making these decisions. When speaking to a London-based office search company, they referenced the importance of ‘cost efficiency and practicality just as well as recognising the importance of image, sophistication and impact.’ When you are conducting the search do not forget that the interior space is just as important as the location, if you want to ensure that you have an office environment which has a positive impact on productivity.
Why is the environment so important?
There is no doubt that the environment of an office can have a positive impact on productivity; if the environment itself is seen as positive by the workforce. The problem is that this is often not the case. Issues such as poor lighting, sound pollution, uncomfortable furniture and lack of storage space can be a source of ongoing annoyance and stress
for employees. This can lead to decreased motivation and increased absence levels, as well as problems with staff retention. All of these issues can have an adverse effect on productivity. There are several factors that you need to consider when ensuring that the environment in your offices is conducive to having a positive effect on productivity rather than a negative one.
The importance of effective lighting
One of the factors that is often overlooked when planning an office space is the importance of natural light. It’s a fact that natural light helps to improve employee performance at work. One of the main reasons for this is that exposure to natural light during the day helps us to sleep better at night. This in turn helps to improve focus and effectiveness during the day. It’s a positive cycle that you should promote, if you want to optimise the productivity levels of your employees. There are several ways to maximise the amount of natural light in an office.
- Choose an office space with the maximum amount of window coverage; floor to ceiling windows are preferable.
- Remove clutter from around windows.
- Choose an open plan office space with privacy being provided by mid-height partitions rather than walls. This enables natural light to reach around the entire space.
- Choose electric lighting that can automatically adjust so that the use of natural light is optimised.
- Ensure that all employees can see through a window, even if it’s from a distance.
Why provide break out areas?
If you are sourcing an office space, make sure that you factor in enough space to include break out areas. People can only be at their most effective for a certain period of time, at which point they need a place to spend some time
clearing the fuzz from their head and replenishing their concentration levels. A small garden area or interior breakout room helps them to do this. Modern start ups have embraced this idea in order to optimise the productivity levels of their employees. You do not have to provide the type of unique environment that some of them have created, but having a breakout area in your offices is a good idea.
Why having ergonomic furniture matters
You have to appreciate that your employees sit at their desk for hours at a time; you need to ensure that they do so in comfort. If this does not happen, they are unlikely to be as productive as they could be. Chairs need to provide support for the back of the person who is using them. They should also be fully adjustable. Desks should also be adjustable, so that they are at the right height for the person using them. Desks that enable an individual to stand for part of the time can be a good solution for anyone who is suffering from a back problem.
Providing ergonomic furniture in your office helps employees to feel more comfortable and it reduces the risk of ongoing absences caused by neck and back strain. These factors can be important in sustaining high productivity levels.
These aspects of an office environment can all have a positive impact on productivity, they are essential considerations when you are looking for office space for your business and fitting it out.
Written by Ella Hendrix, a versatile freelance writer, currently covering articles on new business, office trends, digital technology and British working culture.
If you feel you are ready for a new office environment, do not hesitate to get in touch with Jobwise today!