Designing For Success: How to Maximize Productivity Through Office Design

There is a long history linking office design to the satisfaction and productivity of employees. A good design can ease the obstacles to productivity by minimizing distractions and noise and enhancing communication and collaboration. Office spaces, however, can become increasingly ineffective over time. Office layouts can affect employee absenteeism and productivity to a great extent. It is, therefore, wise to invest in a workplace designed to enhance the performance of employees. Here are a few tips to make your workplace more efficient.

1. Let some light in. Good lighting does not only improve the range of visibility but also affects people’s mood. A well-illuminated office decreases fatigue and depression and increases attention and concentration. It makes employees happier and increases worker productivity to a great extent. Large windows with lots of natural light are ideal and should be used whenever possible. If, however, you do not have access to windows or natural light, you can brighten up workstations with the help of lamps with LED bulbs. You can also flaunt your creative abilities through art as well as practical light fixtures.

2. Choose your layout plan. The 1960s launched the cubicle office design as a way of providing independence and autonomy to employees. Organizations, soon after, packed up as many employees as they could into these newly designed cubicles. Closed office designs, however, are quickly becoming a thing of yore. Employees are continually unhappy with this layout and report a feeling of isolation and confinement. This gave the rise to the idea of open plan designs (which ironically is what we were trying to avoid with the cubicle design). Open plan offices comprise of large amounts of open spaces with no barriers where everyone can interact with each other and collaborate. It increases productivity and creativity along with encouraging teamwork and cooperation. However, professionals are increasingly asking for more private spaces to think and reflect. An ideal design would, therefore, encompass the open space layout while providing for private spaces where employees can ponder over their projects.

3. Be minimalistic. Evermore offices are now turning towards a minimalistic design style. The mantra here is to get rid of everything and keep only the bare minimum. This aids in organizing and maximizing the workspace. A cluttered workplace encumbers employees both physically and mentally. An office space that screams disorder is hardly going to support efficient operations in the workplace. Whereas, one with that provides stimulation, displays a sense of purpose and organization is a place that delivers productive workers.

4. Designate work zones. Assigned areas for various activities aid in team collaboration and networking. Examples of this would be specified spaces for informal meetings, phone booths, private spaces, quiet areas, copy areas, breakout areas, brainstorming spaces and team collaboration areas, among others. Various work zone for specified activities ensures that all the tools necessary for your task are close by. They also poise the environment according to the existing activity. For example, employees reflecting on their thoughts or trying to make a phone call would need private or phone booths for silence and privacy. Whereas employees looking for interaction and stimulation would prefer the breakout or brainstorming areas. Thus, the environment is suited to the activity.

5. Design your space to increase chance interactions. Research suggests that offices that employ these strategies also exhibit an efficient workforce. Offices designed to increase chance meetings, of people who would have otherwise not met, brings about more creative ideas. This can be accomplished by increasing the number of common areas with various functions such as multiple cafes, libraries, and lounge areas. Google’s New York office exemplifies the profits of a workplace designed to encourage chance encounters. This fosters interaction and collaboration among individuals and inspires creative ideas and better productivity. Be sure, however, to provide private booths where people can sit and have a conversation near these meeting areas. This will enable people to discuss their ideas without any distractions or delay.

6. Incorporate an agile workplace. Employees engage in different activities during the course of the day. An agile workplace design enables employees to engage in these activities in different work environments, consequently increasing performance. It empowers improved knowledge sharing and collaboration. An agile workplace enables the employees to collaborate while preserving their sense of independence and adaptability. An activity-based office increases productivity, innovation, and vision among employees. Even in smaller offices, employees have a variety of endeavors to choose from.

7. Apply the psychology of color. Colours have a significant influence on the human mind. Different colors make us feel different things and behave in different ways. This knowledge can help you influence the mood of your employees. Red is considered an emotional color since it results in rapid reactions. It also boosts energy and can be used in café areas. It can be very distracting anywhere else in the office. The color green increases creative thinking and blue increases productivity. These colors have a calming effect and should be used most often in the office. The color white can help people reflect on their thoughts and therefore will be most effective in a private booth and quiet areas. Knowing which shades to apply in a specific area can be a valuable asset to your business.

8. Use less paper. Exercising restraint when it comes to using paper can be extremely beneficial. It can not only result in a more eco-friendly environment but also aid in a more agile workplace. It will encourage employees to use electronic items (most of which are portable these days) and thus, enable them to be mobile. A decrease in office paper consumption will result in fewer cabinets and thus more space.

9. Utilize vertical spaces. Instead of using up all your floor space, you should make use of the vertical space you have available. You could use wall shelves to store files and other office materials. The New York office of Google offers a vertical ladder for employees to travel so they don’t have to wait a long time for elevators.

10. Provide quiet spaces. Employees are increasingly complaining about the lack of quiet and private spaces in the workplaces. One way to achieve this is to incorporate private booths, libraries, quiet conference rooms, etc. where silence is a necessity and phones aren’t allowed. Quiet places minimizes disruption, enables employees to reflect upon their ideas and to contemplate contrasting plans, which allows for more innovative concepts.

We hope this information helped you. Please do let us know what you think in the comments section.

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