Productivity at work

Arrange Your Office For Maximum Productivity

By wizu | 17 October 2020

Consider that employees spend about 40 hours per week at the office. Now consider your office space and how it’s arranged. Could your office layout use some optimisation and reworking? 

Studies have shown that office layout and the environment can affect how employees work. Everything from wellbeing to productivity is affected by the office. If an office is designed poorly, then stress may increase, teams may not be as effective, employees may have small and large disagreements, and more. Mental health can suffer in an office space that’s not properly optimised. This can lead to anxiety and health problems. When an office is arranged correctly, the work will flow, collaboration happens, and overall productivity improves. Plus, you’ll find that people get along better, as well as physically feel better. 

It’s All About Creating Flexibility

Because jobs and the workplace are constantly in flux, it can be challenging to find create an office layout that works long-term. For this reason, companies are investing in office spaces that provide flexibility to meet changing needs in the workplace. 

We’ve put together some tips on how to optimise your office space to improve overall wellbeing and productivity. 

Tips to Optimise Your Office Layout

1). Make a plan

Before you even begin to make changes, it’s a good idea to sit down and create an effective plan. It will be necessary to consider the budget and how much changes will cost. Next, individual requirements for employees will need to be taken into consideration. 

Here, it may also be helpful to create a survey or poll of employees to see what they may view as problem issues in the office layout. They’re also an excellent source for guidance on improvements and what kind of space they would like to work in. 

2). Utilise Office Space

Next, determine how to best utilise the space you have. When office space is used effectively, you may find the result is lower utility bills, improved workplace environment, and that the company’s carbon footprinted is decreased. Take a look at how employees use the space. Keeping them in the process not only increases employee satisfaction and productivity, but also helps to retain the employees you have. 

There are several options available to make better use of the office space. For instance, some businesses are creating flexible workspaces by including hotdesking spaces, multifunctional rooms, and more. Other options include saving space with modular office furniture, the addition of more power ports and wireless tech, and more. 

3). Get Rid of Uncomfortable Furniture & Incorporate an Effective Seating Plan

Before moving your current office furniture, or buying new furniture, consider if it’s comfortable. And for existing furniture, is it even good to keep it? 

Furniture, old or new, that’s not made well may not provide the proper ergonomic support employees need. Over time, the wrong kind of office furniture can lead to physical issues such as neck & back pain, migraines, repetitive stress injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), migraines, vision issues, and more. 

Ergonomic desk chairs and other furniture is what you need to have for employees. For instance, ergonomic chairs have armrests, swivel, and allow for the height and other parameter to be adjusted by the employee. This way employees can enjoy the right level of lumbar support and more. 

Upgrading office furniture can be expensive but look at this as an investment in your business. Improving the health and wellbeing of employees will make them healthier and increase productivity. 

4). Multifunctional Spaces

Optimising the office layout makes better use of all the space available. Again, flexibility is the key. If you’re in a small office, it’s still possible to create multifunctional spaces. It can be done through the use of modular office furniture, sliding walls, and more. 

The goal is to use the space you have more effectively by making that space work for different functions. For example, the open office layout could be turned into a meeting room. It’s this level of flexibility that optimises the space you already have. It may take a little creative thinking, but even companies in a small office can make their available space work more effectively. 

5). Don’t Forget Technology Requirements

When you’re in the process of optimising your office layout, don’t forget to consider the technology requirements that may be required. 

Consider where phone jacks, WiFi routers, and more need to be placed for easy access for everyone. Are there enough power sockets in the space? Where will printers be positioned? Is there enough storage for equipment that isn’t needed every day? 

6). Bring in Natural Light

Proper lighting is essential to staying productive at the office. However, if you have too much or too little it can cause problems for employees. Studies have shown that natural lighting is the best option. But it’s necessary to have plenty of windows or skylights that allow in natural light. 

Natural lighting includes many benefits: 

  • Fewer headaches
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced vision issues
  • Employees feel less sleepy
  • Productivity increases

While natural light is important, it’s also essential to control the amount and level of light that comes in. Too much or too little natural light can also cause problems. So, it may help to have window and skylight treatments that diffuse the light, eliminating glare on screens and surfaces in the office. 

Another idea is to use a matte finish on walls. This works to absorb the glare. Curtains and blinds that allow employees to control the amount of light is also helpful. 

7). Encourage Community

Creating a seating plan in the office can be helpful, but make sure that it allows for easy communication between employees, as well as departments. Here, you’ll need to consider how to manage the space to allow for collaboration, but also provide quiet spaces for those who need them. 

You may want to include areas that are especially created for collaboration and have other spaces where employees can work in quiet. If you have an open office layout, then creating quiet zones or using privacy pods can help employees who need a quiet space to work. Other spaces can be set aside for hotdesking, as touchdown spaces, and more. 

Optimising your office layout doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start off with a plan, involve everyone, and consider how to create areas of collaboration, with quiet spaces for those who need them. 

Making the most of your office space has many benefits including higher employee satisfaction and wellbeing, which lead to increased productivity. Consider this a long-term investment in the business.

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