In the past, there has been a general belief that if you designed an office space in a certain way it would improve worker performance. For example, if your office is located in the center of the campus or near a cafeteria where employees have free access to food and drinks, then it was thought that they would be more productive. This thinking was based on the assumption that workers would not want to go out for lunch breaks and therefore work longer hours. It had nothing to do with the fact that people are generally more efficient when they eat regularly throughout the day, as opposed to eating at odd times.
Today, we see many different offices in which the desks are arranged in such a way that allows privacy. Also, many companies have eliminated their cafeterias and replaced them with fast-food restaurants. This has resulted in many employees feeling like they don’t really need to eat during the day. Instead, they can just head over to McDonald’s for a quick bite to eat. In some cases, this will make some employees less productive due to hunger pangs, but in other cases it may actually help the employee perform better because he doesn’t feel the pressure to get back to his desk before the break ends.
The problem with these types of design decisions is that they are often made by managers who have little knowledge about how individuals function best. They also lack any real understanding of what makes workers most productive. The end result is that employees are forced to adapt to new work environments without truly understanding why they were put into those environments in the first place.
If you take a look around your own office, you might notice something interesting — everyone seems to be sitting right next to each other. While this may seem like a good idea from an ergonomic standpoint (as long as you aren’t standing too close), it isn’t very conducive to productivity. Most businesses today have adopted open floor plans so that they can allow employees to collaborate with one another. However, this usually results in a lot of interruptions, distractions, and in-fighting between coworkers.
This type of environment can be highly detrimental to a company’s success, especially when its workers aren’t focused on the task at hand. As a matter of fact, researchers have found that open floor plans are one of the main reasons that employees leave their jobs early. If you’re trying to hold onto your staff members, you should consider implementing some of these design tips to increase productivity:
- Make sure that the lighting in your office is adequate. Many employees report that they feel more productive when there is enough natural light coming in through the windows. If you are unable to provide sufficient natural light, try placing a couple of large windows behind your desk so that your eyes are exposed to the sunlight. You could even hang curtains or blinds in front of the window to block out all distracting outside views.
- Keep your office clean, well lit, and organized. You should also keep certain items in your office that can help boost your employee’s productivity, such as pens, pencils, paper clips, sticky notes, etc. If you find yourself using things like Post-It Notes, try replacing them with whiteboards or dry erase boards instead. These tools give your employees something to write upon and can help them think creatively.
- Create an atmosphere conducive to productivity. Try removing anything from your office that distracts employees, such as television sets, coffee machines, etc. These items can cause unnecessary disruption and often lead to arguments and disagreements among your colleagues. Some of these gadgets may even slow down your employees’ typing speed. You might also consider installing a few video games consoles or arcade games in order to add a bit of fun to your workforce.
- Provide plenty of seating options. If possible, you should offer chairs to your employees. However, if you don’t have enough seats available, you should use bean bags, stools, or ottomans to encourage them to sit while working. You can also purchase comfortable armchairs from Office Depot and Staples to enhance the comfort level of your employees.
- Give your employees plenty of space to move around. One study showed that people feel more relaxed when they can move around within their workspace. To maximize your employees’ mobility, you should remove any obstacles that may be present in your office, such as plants, bookshelves, boxes, etc.
- Consider using technology to boost your workers’ productivity. Today, many employers are turning to computerized systems in order to increase efficiency. For instance, you can install software applications that keep track of time spent on specific tasks. You could also use software programs that allow your employees to communicate with clients via e-mail and cell phones.
- Encourage your employees to take short breaks. Studies show that taking short breaks every 30 minutes can help your employees become more productive. In addition, you should always remind your employees to stretch their legs and drink water throughout the day, regardless of whether or not they are thirsty. In fact, studies have shown that having water bottles available helps employees stay more alert and attentive.
- Use whiteboard walls to promote creativity. A creative workplace is one where ideas flow freely and employees feel comfortable sharing and discussing their thoughts. In order to foster creativity in your office, you should paint your walls white or use chalkboard paint in order to create something interesting for your team to discuss. You should also consider buying several large pieces of art to display on your wall in order to provide inspiration for your employees.
- Eliminate any barriers in between your employees and the rest of the world. If you have a conference room, you should try to use it only for meetings and never for anything else. If you don’t have a meeting room, you should try getting rid of any furniture that stands between your employees and the door.
- Implement policies that encourage collaboration. When your employees work together, they will naturally be more productive. Therefore, it is important to implement policies that encourage communication between all of your employees. You should also try to reward your employees whenever they work together rather than individually.
A person can plan to do the designing of the desk accessories in such a manner that it increase the productivity of the business. In the long run the option will turn to be fruitful. The person should do the proper analysis of the business and then search for the option that will be best one.