Office space design is a hot button topic. Should you knock out all the walls and open up your space? Are the closed doors around your office hurting communication and collaboration between employees? Is your office design helping or hurting productivity?
Google made waves when they transitioned to an open office filled with all the amenities you might need. However, as more businesses followed the search engine’s example, employees spoke out in frustration and concern for their productivity.
Office design goes beyond the structure. Color, layout, sound, and lighting also have a tremendous impact on productivity. Here’s how you can optimize your workspace.
Studies show that paint color has a huge impact on productivity. Women don’t work well with neutral colors and men don’t work well with bright oranges or purples. By getting back to the primary colors (and throwing in some greenery) you can influence your employees productivity levels.
When you want to keep your employees calm and on task, paint the walls blue. If you want to spark conversation and energize your team, add splashes of red to your walls.
From making copies to getting a cup of coffee, your employees need to break out of their office at one point or another. When they do, where do they go?
When communal items are easily accessible to everyone in your office, you make it easier for your team to get their work done quickly and efficiently.
Don’t have an open office layout? Placing communal items in accessible areas is even more important. These are the places where your team members can come together to collaborate outside of closed walls and doors. Giving your employees an easy place to mingle naturally throughout the workday will keep your team working together cohesively without stealing from their productivity in a distraction ridden office.
Sound privacy is the biggest frustration employees have with their office space, according to the Harvard Business Review. Overhearing conversations (or worrying about others overhearing your conversation) distracts from the task at hand.
Optimize your workspace by reducing sound pollution. Installing absorbing wall panels in noisy rooms and giving your employees a place to go for complete silence and privacy can help. If that’s not an option, consider offering noise cancelling earphones instead.
When it comes to lighting, follow the goldilocks rule. Too much can strain your employee’s eyes. Too little can cause them to get drowsy and lose energy. You need to find the lighting that’s just right for your team.
Your brain is hardwired to be active during the day and rest during the night. By adding natural lighting to your office space, you encourage productivity. Don’t have any windows? Compact fluorescent bulbs offer the most natural lighting.
What else have you done to optimize your workspace for productivity? Share your tips in the comments below.
Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.