Findings of some recent research have demonstrated that in order to improve productivity levels at work we need to start looking more at office design and improving the environment in which this work takes place.
The link between health and happiness, and in turn between happiness and productivity, is well documented. So as long as we keep employees satisfied and comfortable then we should be seeing positive results in the work that they produce. The research carried out by Dale Office Interiors asked 500 members of the public what they would consider beneficial to their productivity in terms of office design. These are the four most popular requirements that came up from the research.
Space to relax
One in five respondents agreed that having a dedicated space to relax away from their desks, whether that be during lunchtime or to hold informal meetings, would help to increase productivity and creativity during work time. Not only does having this space address various health benefits, such as eyestrain, backache and stress caused by too much time spent at a computer, it also could encourage employees to share skills, knowledge and ideas in an open space, therefore creating a much more collaborative working culture.
Clutter free workspace
13.5% of respondents stated that a clear workspace would help drive performance and productivity, as too much clutter, especially in an open plan office, is off putting for current staff as well as potential employees.
Second to a breakout area, 17.5% of respondents said that better technology would help them with their productivity. Unfortunately major technological advancements are not always a possibility to businesses due to their high costs. Having said that, simple solutions like faster WiFi or more power sockets could still make a huge difference to an employees work ability.
It seems there is a need for a decent balance between open plan office layout and partitioned, quieter areas that allow for privacy to make phone calls or concentrate away from the hub of the office. The latter are still important to 17.1% of office work, and the 45-54 age group deemed this need for privacy at work the most important factor for increased productivity.
The preferences highlighted in this piece of research are not necessarily relevant to all staff and it is important to recognise individual employees preferences if you want to get the right balance of staff satisfaction and productivity. One way you could do this is set up your very own staff survey for your employees. By doing this you can determine exactly where this room for improvement before you embark on any sudden office design changes.
For more information on what can enhance or hinder your productivity at work see ITR Partners Productivity Blogs