The right workspace can greatly increase employee peace of mind and productivity. But before you panic and install a Facebook style indoor go-cart track in your accounting firm's headquarters, relax. All you really need to do to boost your employees productivity is make a few small design tweaks.
Whether it's as big as painting the walls or as small as adjusting your desk chair, here's how you can tailor your office's design for maximum effectiveness:
We don't even need to cite science on this one (but we will), because it just makes sense. You're not going to be productive if your back is killing you from an improperly adjusted computer screen or desk chair.
Another no-brainer, but keeping a clutter-free desk will greatly increase productivity and organization. As a manager, it can be difficult to enforce a "clean desk" policy, but you can encourage employees to scan documents for a more paperless desk. A clutter free desk will make you more productive. Keep it tidy, keep it simple.
Colour has long been proven to affect people's productivity at work. The Colour Affects System, developed by world-renown colour psychologist Angela Wright, determines that while individuals might have certain preferences for colour, the effects of colour influence people universally.
According to Wright's theory, blue stimulates the mind, yellow inspires creativity, red affects your body and green creates a calming balance. Highly saturated posters, bright colours will stimulate while softer, muted colours will soothe. Fancy a yellow poster?
If you can't change the colour scheme of your office or have no control over the lighting design, adding a small potted plant to your desk decor is one of the quickest and easiest ways you can maximize your productivity at work.
Two studies, one from 2011 and one from 2013, found that having a plant on your desk increases productivity and cognitive attention, as well as filter the air to remove mold and bacteria, keeping your employees happy, productive and healthy. A desk plant can keep you more productive at work. That's why we offer posters with a nature theme.
Letting in a lot of natural light increases productivity, energy and creativity, according to this study, which showed natural light improved test results and let to customers spending more time in stores. Bright motivation posters lift the mood.
OK, so yes, this goes against everything that you've heard about open plans being great for collaborative work and productivity. But according to a recent study by Jungsoo Kim and Richard de Dear of the University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture, workers who were lumped together in an open floor plan often are less satisfied with their working environment, citing the lack of privacy — specifically "sound privacy" — as the reason.
An office environment goes beyond good design; it comes down to culture, in addition to whether or not your employees feel comfortable taking a 20 minute break to walk around for a mid-afternoon recharge. We always recommend inspirational posters that open the office.