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When it comes to increasing productivity, it’s important to keep your employees engaged in what they are doing while at work. There are many factors to consider to improve employee engagement. But the best place to start is with the basics, which includes the physical space and set-up of your workplace. Around the world, companies are experimenting with different ways of working with great success. The following ideas can help to guide your thinking when designing your office space.
Don’t enforce methods of working – everyone is different
Everyone has their own way of working. Generally speaking, we know our own workflow patterns. Your office should be set-up to put trust in your employees that they know how they get work done most efficiently.
When new employees come on board, don’t prescribe a workspace. Ask them to describe what works best for them. A conventional sitting desktop might be sufficient for some people. Others may prefer a standing desk. Others still might prefer the flexibility and mobility that working on a laptop provides. As much as you are reasonably able to, allow your workers to decide what spatial layout works best for them. By allowing them to decide, it will help foster employee engagement and be beneficial for the company in the long run.
In practice, this office space would look varied and dynamic. Instead of a uniform set of cubicles or open plan desks, you would expect to see many different set-ups spread throughout the space.
Use space to encourage serendipity and interaction between teams
Some of the biggest companies in the world are constructing their offices to create chance meetings between workers. This is based on the idea that face-to-face interaction and hallway conversations are a crucial part of generating new ideas.
An interactive office design creates opportunities for people with different skillsets to discuss projects. Combining different thinking styles leads to creative solutions and new innovations. Sometimes a group of people with the same skills struggling to advance a project just need a fresh perspective.
In light of this, you should do whatever you can to reduce barriers to interactions between different teams. Implementing attractive shared social spaces such as break rooms are a great place to start. Also, try experimenting with seating people with different skills together. This is likely to foster productive exchanges of new perspectives and approaches.
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Use plants to enhance aesthetics and boost productivity
Indoor pot plants bring a great touch of the natural world into any office space, providing bursts of colour and freshness. But their benefits are more than just aesthetic. Some studies have shown that a concentration of plants in the workplace can actually increase productivity. As well as being pretty, they help to regulate air quality, producing fresh oxygen.
Due to these benefits, introducing plants in your office is a quick and easy way to boost productivity and employee satisfaction. A popular option is to construct a plant wall. In addition to being an efficient use of space, it makes for a bold and impressive statement piece.
Provide opportunities for leisure at work
There has been increasing importance placed on tech companies offering facilities like table tennis, pool tables, and video games at work. Some are sceptical that what works in one company is likely to work elsewhere. However, evidence suggests that offering opportunities for leisure at work helps to increase productivity.
This may seem counter-intuitive at first. When employees are at work, they should be working, right? In fact, there is an optimal allowance for leisure time around which
This has implications for how you design your office space. You should allocate some space where your employees can unwind and enjoy some time to themselves, or engage in a bit of friendly competition. These activities help to increase employee satisfaction. This, in turn, has positive effects on their productivity. The bottom line is, your employees are going to be spending hours in your office space every week. A poorly designed and uninspired space will impede productivity and harm employee engagement. With a bit of planning and imagination, you can create an office space which your employees will enjoy working in. In turn, you will reap the benefits of a more focused, productive workforce.
Cloe Matheson is a New Zealand-based freelance writer whose artistic passion extends beyond creative writing into DIY craft projects – that is, when she’s had enough flat whites. When Cloe’s not poring over her favourite books, you’ll see her strolling around their local hardware stores, looking for tools and inspiration for her next project. Discover more of Cloe’s world through her Tumblr page.