When you own and/or run a business, you find out very quickly that a big part of your success hinges on how motivated, inspired, engaged and productive your workers are. While there are many factors involved in increasing employee happiness and building a positive company culture, one thing that many entrepreneurs don’t think about enough is workplace design. Read on for some tips you can follow today to ensure your business premises are as conducive as possible.
Give People Their Own Spaces
While for many years the trend in workplace design was for open-plan spaces, more and more businesses are now converting back to designated offices, cubicles, and nooks. This is because, although open offices were meant to increase collaboration and productivity, many people actually find they’re unhappy with an open floor plan and less engaged at work. For lots of employees, having no privacy, as well as no relief from noise and distractions, is a problem.
To counteract this, consider giving your workers their own personal spaces to not only work, think, and communicate with colleagues or clients in, but also decorate in a way that’s conducive for them. For instance, some people might want to put up inspirational posters, while others may like to surround themselves with pictures of family members, friends, pets, or favorite travel destinations. No matter how people personalize their space, this can help them to feel more satisfied on the job, and like they have more control over their environment.
Another way to increase employee motivation and productivity is to keep work spaces as decluttered as possible. Having loads of paperwork, unsightly cords, boxes of records, inventory, and other items in the way when people are trying to work simply doesn’t help with focus. Managers and staff members should be encouraged to keep environments clear and organized so that things can be found quickly and easily, plus professional cleaners should be brought in at least once every week to clean spaces.
It pays, too, to think about ways you can help to eliminate the clutter that comes from wiring and cords. With everyone using so many electronic devices these days, such as laptops, docking stations, electronic whiteboards, tablets, smartphones, and the like, it can be very easy for a jumble of wires and cords to take away from the overall aesthetic. As such, look for ways to hide, or at least organize, these things behind desks or walls. This will help to streamline spaces.
Use Helpful Colors
Keep in mind, too, that the colors we surround ourselves with every day can have a significant impact on our mood, level of focus, clarity, and other brain functions. Colors can give us a physical and emotional response, and typically have much more of an effect on our productivity than we realize.
To help workers feel happier and more engaged at work, don’t avoid color all together in workplace design, or oversaturate spaces with hues that are overstimulating. You might want to think about decorating different spaces in different colors according to the type of effect you want to have.
For example, blue is considered to be quite a calming hue and can help productivity, so it is a perfect choice for office spaces. Orange, on the other hand, is said to help increase energy levels, so it could be fantastic in a sales environment or meeting room; while green is believed to boost creativity, so it could be used to great effect in communal brainstorming and planning areas.
Have Good Lighting
Lighting is another very important (although overlooked) part of creating good workplace design. After all, when people have to work in areas which don’t have enough light, they can not only end up dealing with headaches, fatigue, eyestrain, and general irritability, but can also be more prone to depression.
To combat this, and help employees stay focused, inspired, and uplifted, look for ways to bring in more natural light to workspaces. Add more windows and doors wherever possible, and where not, invest in light bulbs which give off natural-looking light. Desks and other spaces may also need to have lamps added to them.
Provide Ergonomic Equipment
Lastly, remember that workers will never be able to concentrate well, or feel good in themselves, if they are physically uncomfortable on the job. Lots of employees are less productive than they should be because they must continually move about, stretch, or adjust their position in order to alleviate aches and pains.
If people get sore bodies from the chair they use, or have to stretch or slump to reach a desk, see a computer screen, or otherwise complete their work, their energy levels will drop. You can avoid this issue by providing staff members with ergonomically sound chairs and desks that can be adjusted to suit varying body types and heights. Also consider investing in ergonomically designed keyboards, mice, and foot rests.