So, You Think You Have the Perfect Office Environment?

The Perfect Office Environment

We all know the lifeblood of every business is its team, with this one invaluable asset directly influencing the ultimate success of the company as a whole. Streamlining your operations is a matter of logic and foresight, removing any present or potential obstacles on the hunt for a more efficient approach. Priming your team for productivity, however, is a little trickier - and it all starts with taking a look at your office environment.

If your office space needs a strategic shake-up, making a few simple and actionable changes to your team’s environment should help you propel productivity to the next level.

Find a Logical Layout - Collaboration is Key 

With the combined power of multiple skill sets making light work of whatever’s next on the to-do list. Using regular team collaborations as a map for your office layout is an effective way of ensuring your workspace is strategically designed with efficiency in mind.

Face-to-face communication will always be the most efficient and effective way of sharing ideas - and organising your office around these logical groupings gives everyone the chance to communicate their thoughts as easily and successfully as possible. A 2009 study by Forbes Insights highlighted that 8 out of 10 business executives still prefer face-to-face communications, despite increasing adoption of technology solutions such as email and video conferencing. To take advantage of this, ensure the most regular team collaborators are positioned closely enough to allow them to freely converse over projects.

Take the Temperature and Stop Wasting Time

Every employee needs a comfortable and stimulating environment to help them perform at their best - and the temperature of your office plays an important part in guaranteeing your team the optimal working conditions.

In an infographic by Andrews Sykes, it was revealed that 80% of office workers are unhappy with the temperature in their office - and with this leading to a significant drop in productivity, it’s a factor no business owner can afford to neglect. By ensuring your office is well ventilated, and providing office water coolers to keep your staff cool and hydrated, you can avoid a workplace meltdown. This is especially important during the summer months as productivity has been shown to decline significantly as temperatures rise above 25 degrees Celsius.

Sometimes Less, is Just Less! 

Ideally, every design decision you make for your office environment should support the overall aim of powering productivity. Harnessing tried and tested tactics on your search for success gives you a chance to use professional best practices to make your office a shining example of efficiency at work.

Natural lighting is proven to have a powerful positive impact on the way we work, so ensuring your office is flooded with natural light is one ideal way to influence productivity. Our bodies are programmed to follow a 24 hour cycle, commonly referred to as circadian rhythm, and artificial lighting can significantly distort this – resulting in a negative impact on our ability to focus during the day.

Greenery in the workspace has also been shown to boost productivity. A ten year research project lead by psychologist Dr. Chris Knight concluded that barren workspaces can hold employees back from reaching their full potential, and the simple addition of a few plants can increase productivity by as much as 15%. Considering the small cost of implementing a change like this versus its potential impact, this is something no business can afford to ignore for the sake of their office stylings.

Inject Some Colour

Bringing some vivid colour into an office space creates a richer, more energising environment for your team - and studies show that certain colours can be used strategically to make your workspace as motivational as possible.

The Colour Affects System, created by colour psychologist Angela Wright, explores the universal effects that colours have on our state of mind - considering not only the shade in question but also its intensity and saturation. The psychology of colour is something which marketers use extensively in branding an advertising exercise, using the emotional effects of colour to further enhance their message or brand positioning. This knowledge can be harnessed to decorate workspaces to reflect their purpose - with office spaces such as creative zones, meeting rooms and quiet areas all painted differently to enhance mental focus. Choose blue for mental stimulation, yellow to kick-start creativity and green to instil a sense of calm across the office.

Create a Culture of Positivity

Cultivating a work environment that revolves around positive thinking is a sure fire way to boost productivity across the board. Negative reinforcement is unhealthy and ineffective compared with an office culture built on support and motivation - so put positivity front and centre to supersize your team’s success.

Implementing an authentic and inspiring incentive scheme, rather than a competitive rewards-based culture, gives you a chance to motivate your team the right way - focusing on personal development and individual achievements rather than using incentives as a ploy to distract your team from a lack of legitimate rewards. A clear career progression path is a much better long-term incentive than a novelty prize. Ensure you communicate with your staff and highlight the milestones you’d like them to hit in order to be eligible for promotion, providing support along the way. Keeping one eye on the emotional wellbeing of your staff at all times will also help you to drive productivity through positivity, further enhancing company culture.

Take a leaf out of the motivational manager’s handbook and you’ll be able to send productivity sky-high - starting by giving your employees the TLC any team is entitled to.

More from Vistage:

David Smith, High Performance Culture


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