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6 Science-Backed Tips for a Productive Office

Employees can’t productively function in a poor office environment. It’s your responsibility to equip them with what they need to succeed.

6 Science-Backed Tips for a Productive Office

Maximising productivity in the office is important to all businesses, whatever size they are. Every manager wants to be successful. Part of that involves keeping employees motivated so that they work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

A productive office environment can have a major influence on how motivated, happy and engaged workers are. Simple changes in the office design can boost creativity, collaboration, and financial success. So it is no wonder, businesses are focusing on ways to improve their office environments. Making workspaces more flexible and appealing to staff goes a long way towards increasing productivity.

Over the years there have been many studies on productivity in the workplace and what factors affect it. Here we look at 6 science-backed tips you can easily put into effect to improve your office space and be more successful.

Think About Your Office Design

The design and layout of an office can greatly affect business productivity. The best designs include a variety of workspaces to cater to employee’s different personalities and working styles.

Today open plan office designs are trending. However, noise and distractions can be an issue. Some people prefer quieter, more private places to work alone. Open areas can be combined with more secluded areas where people can work by themselves and offices or conference rooms for private meetings.  

The variety of workspaces enables staff to use the office freely and choose to work where they feel comfortable and will be most productive. This can vary with different projects so, it is advantageous to have a choice of work areas. Research has shown that there are significant links between employee happiness and greater productivity. Flexible office spaces with provisions for both collaboration and privacy are beneficial for staff morale.  

Factoring in the needs of your employees in the design and layout will help you maximize productivity in the office. Workplaces with a balance between individual focus and collaboration are popular with today’s employees and encourage more innovation and creativity.

Let the Sunshine In

It is well known that sunlight has positive effects on people's moods, wellbeing, and circadian rhythms. Studies have shown that access to natural daylight promotes health and wellbeing in office workers. So the more windows you have letting natural light into the office the better.

If you do not have a lot of access to natural light in the office, or areas without windows, there are things you can do. An open office policy where workers can move between desks means people can share the window seat and areas with better lighting. Also allowing the freedom to go outside during the day is helpful. Taking breaks or meetings outside enables people to benefit from sunlight throughout the day.

Adjusting the lighting conditions inside the office to resemble daylight has positive effects on productivity and alertness. Using softer lighting options rather than fluorescent lights can help. Fluorescent lighting can be harsh on the eyes and increase fatigue and eyestrain. LED lighting could be a preferable option and it also helps increase alertness and productivity.

Invest in Some Plants

Plants and greenery are a welcome addition to all offices. They add a natural element to the office environment and are also beneficial for the air quality.

Field experiments in large commercial offices in the Netherlands and the U.K. found that workers in offices with plants had a 15% higher productivity rate. When compared with workers in offices that were not enriched with plants. Research also shows that adding plants can improve cognitive function and memory retention in the workplace.

Introduce Color

Different colors can spark different emotions and affect your mood. They can conjure up common associations and affect our decisions. For example, blue and green are considered calming. Whereas red increases pulse and heart rate and can give a sense of urgency and competitiveness. There are many studies on the psychological associations of individual colors.  

You should consider these color associations in your office decor in order to create an environment that promotes productivity. You do not have to paint all the walls in bold colors but think about adding some artwork or colored furniture. This will enhance the interior decor of your office. Strategic use of color can create different areas, where you can incorporate tones that promote creativity and productivity.

Offer Healthy Refreshments

Unhealthy eating habits can be detrimental to workers' productivity. A study from Brigham Young University found that “Employees with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to report having a loss in productivity”.

Healthy food has positive effects on employee focus, energy levels, and happiness. Providing healthy snacks boosts employee morale and can improve productivity in the workplace. Research shows short breaks are beneficial for successful work strategies. Healthy snack options will give workers the energy boost they need.

Celebrate the Little Wins

A happy, focused and engaged work team is a more productive team. Keeping team morale high, creating motivation and showing appreciation is crucial for the long-term productivity.

Every business has big goals but these are often long-term. It is worth celebrating the small wins as well, not just focusing on the larger goals. Showing appreciation and celebrating with your team will help them stay motivated, feel supported and happy at work.

Research into positive practices in the workplace has shown they increase productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. The study indicates that positive practices such as mutual care, kindness, support, and emphasizing the meaningfulness of work projects promote happiness and loyalty in the workforce. A positive work environment also makes employees more creative and resilient to stress and challenges.

Creating a more productive office environment does not have to be hard work or involve a complete redesign. Simply introducing some plants, adding an inspirational touch of color, offering support or making the most of natural light will help improve employee wellbeing. Leading to a better, more positive and innovative office environment that encourages productivity.

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