Now that flexible working has become the norm, business owners need to think more carefully about how they structure their office. Even if you only have five employees in at a time, it is still your responsibility to make their environment comfortable and conducive to employee productivity. Here are some things to consider that affect productivity.
Open or closed plan?
One of the factors that can affect productivity is the space planning of your office. For example, do people work best with open plan, closed plan, individual desks, or shared tables? The answer, surprisingly enough, is not so simple. Many people feel that open plan offices are the best for them – they allow collaboration and the room feels more spacious. On the other hand, closed plan office spaces make other people feel like they have more peace and quiet, which might suit their working style. The same goes for individual vs. shared tables. So what kind of office planning is best for productivity? Well, all of the above! The ideal office layout offers some spaces that are open plan, some closed, some private and some shared. By having a mixed setup, an office space makes sure that there is something for everyone. This also lets people get a change of scenery more easily – very important when you’re working for long hours.
Most people associate different colours with different feelings – blue is calm, red is passionate. Bear this in mind when you design your office space. There’s a reason you don’t get many red and yellow colour schemes. You want to stick to colours that are calming and not overwhelming. This means a limited palette of cool tones. You don’t need to make everything grey – a bit of colour here and there can liven things up. Here is a helpful guide on the psychology of colour to help you choose.
Ambience of the room
Ambience is created by a few different factors. This includes the sound, lighting, temperature and even smell of an office. Like spatial planning, different people are more productive with different ambiences. However, there are some factors that are universal.
Many employees say that noise levels play a part in their productivity – too loud and they can’t focus, too quiet and they become self conscious. One solution to noise and echo reduction is carpeted floors and soft chairs. This helps to absorb sound – the clicking of your keyboard won’t echo throughout the whole office. It is also important to have a headphones-only policy in shared spaces – not everyone in the office wants to listen to your true crime podcast.
When the body is cold, it spends more energy heating itself up. That’s energy that could be going towards working! You never want your office to be too cold – or too hot for that matter. Having a thermostat lets you choose the best temperature for productivity. Good insulation can also stop the temperature from getting extreme. People in the office will be comfortable, which will let them work better.
Finally, the best thing might be to ask around. People usually know what is best for their productivity. Do a survey about lighting levels, layout, and colour schemes and how they affect productivity. Once you get the answers, you’re all set to reinvent your office.