Tips for Making Your Workplace More Conducive for Productivity
There are many things that affect a person’s productivity in the workplace, including their skill level and the resources they have access to. Another big contributor to productivity is the conduciveness of the space, both in the actual physical environment and the company’s culture. If employees are uncomfortable or unmotivated, then they won’t be as effective in performing their tasks.
Luckily, there are a lot of simple ways to boost productivity in the office. Here are a few that you can implement right away.
Create a Culture of Gratitude
Motivation is an important component of productivity, and one way of motivating your people is to make them feel appreciated. This not only contributes to their better performance, but also to their sense of loyalty to the company and their overall happiness with their work.
Encourage your team to practice a culture of gratitude. One of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective ways to do this? Thank your team personally and sincerely. Of course, tokens of gratitude like small gifts or even a treat to lunch also don’t hurt.
Bring the Outside In
Studies have shown that workplaces with plants have higher productivity rates than those that don’t. Employees who work in spaces with plants and other mementos like photographs have also been found to have better focus, cognitive functioning, and psychological engagement. Another benefit of live plants in the office is that they can help improve indoor air quality.
Indoor water fixtures like fountains can also contribute to office productivity. Like plants, fountains can also help promote cleaner, healthier, indoor air; the sounds they produce can also create a more relaxing ambiance. If your office is located in a rather busy environment, the sound of flowing water can help drown out background noises, allowing people to concentrate better on their tasks.
Get Rid of Harsh Lighting
Sunlight is the best option when it comes to lighting in the office because of its scientifically proven health benefits and positive effects to alertness and motivation, and therefore productivity. However, not every office space have ideal locations and structural features to let in the most amount of natural light -- so how do you get around this obstacle? One way is to use bulbs with yellow or orange tones, instead of harsh, white fluorescents. Instead of traditional downward lighting, you can also try installing recessed light fixtures to provide more of a glow rather than a glare.
Give Some Sense of Privacy
A few years ago, an open-plan workspace is all the rage, with multi-billion dollar companies like Facebook and Google designing their offices this way. And while this layout does have some benefits, such as encouraging and facilitating better communication, recent studies have shown that it is not that conducive for productivity. This is because of, among other things, noise levels and the lack of privacy.
Provide a balance between collaborative and solo work. Allocate a couple of rooms where people can accomplish their work alone; this is especially valuable for knowledge workers like accountants and lawyers. You can also impose a “quiet hour” in the office and other simple rules that will allow people work in relative privacy even with an open layout.
Vacations are important, obviously, as a way to de-stress and simply forget about work for a while. However, taking breaks within the work day is also crucial in ensuring daily productivity. In fact, research says that those who take short breaks -- 10 to 15 minutes after every 45 to 50 minutes of work -- are ultimately more productive than their counterparts who work for longer stretches.
Do whatever you need to do to “reset” during these breaks -- listen to music, take a walk outside, or simply check your social media newsfeed. The important thing is that you come back from your break mentally refreshed. A power nap of about 15 to 20 minutes may also be a good option especially in the afternoons.
With these minimal changes and investments on your part, you can transform your office into a place where people are happy, focused, and motivated, ready to achieve business goals.