If you are starting a company, you would want to design your own work environment so that it is productive and efficient. Interestingly, the physical office environment can greatly affect employee productivity – good quality office design counts!
- Open Floor Plans Doesn’t Work
Open offices have been around for a long time, but they don’t contribute towards increasing productivity. Startups in particular preferred to have open floor plans – most companies viewed this design model as the best way for increasing employee contact and better accountability. However, the cons of open floor plans are obvious. Open offices are unhealthy and more importantly, stress inducing. There’s little privacy and even if you have nothing to hide, being monitored continuously can put you on edge.
- Temperature of the Office Counts
While it is not a design factor, the temperature of your office can have a strong impact on the efficiency of your workforce. It is important to note that colder temperatures make employees feel uncomfortable. Similarly, warmer temperatures don’t make sense either. Remember that excess hot or excess cold temperatures are both counterproductive and costly to the company budget. Employee performance and comfort peak at 21 degrees Celsius, so make sure you stick to that temperature where possible.
- The Outside View
A study conducted at call centres concluded that an outdoor view from the workstation resulted in a 6% decrease in the time required to handle calls. Equally, inclusion of natural light was also seen to enhance productivity.
Experts suggest that outside views can help employees perform better than those with no view at all. When you are designing office space, make sure that your employees can see the outdoors and that there are plenty of beautiful surroundings.
- The Impact of Pollutants
Not many employers realise the fact that cleaning the ventilation system and other potential sources of pollution can improve the efficiency of employees. You should be wary of sources that spread pollution in the workplace such as ventilation units, carpets and heating systems and get them cleaned regularly.
- Noise Levels
A study conducted found that employees cannot perform efficiently when they are distracted by the conversation of their co-workers. Another important thing to note here is that men and women are affected by noise levels differently.
If you cannot provide employees with separate cubicles, you should allow them to use headphones to block external noise wherever possible. However, you should also avoid the temptation to turn your office into a library. Remember, if your office is dead silent, even the smallest noise becomes a distraction and this isn’t going to help your employees.
As an employer, you should understand that your company culture plays an important part in improving employee performance, and therefore consider carefully how to optimise your working conditions.