Encouraging, monitoring and measuring productivity in the workplace is always going to be an important focus for businesses.

We’ve explored how everything from biophilia and office design to office temperature in the workplace can affect productivity, so we thought we’d ask someone outside of the workplace design sector to share their opinions on the topic.

Alan Price is Chief Operations Officer and Employment Law Director at Peninsula, leading HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety Consultants. He’s here to give us his thoughts on the impact office design can have on staff productivity.

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What drives productivity?

The productivity of your employees is based on a variety of factors. From their work-life balance to their relationship with their co-workers. From the company culture to their workload; and the list goes on.

However, did you know that the design of your workplace can also have an effect on the productivity of your workforce?

In the UK, an average employee spends up to 35 hours at work every week. So it should come as no surprise that the space we work in can influence how we go about our job.

In this piece, I’ll explore the role that your office design can play on your employee’s morale, engagement and productivity.

Workplace Layout

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The Gensler workplace survey explores the relationships between the physical working space and an organisation’s performance metrics.

Since they started the survey in 2005, Gensler has found a direct correlation between design and performance. They’ve identified four key features that should be available in every office.

These are spaces to:

  • Collaborate
  • Focus
  • Learn
  • Socialise

Providing employees with these spaces gives them the autonomy to collaborate or work independently. Open-plan offices allow for collaboration opportunities and private cubicles and meeting rooms provide them with a quiet environment if they need to focus. You can also consider partitioning areas of the office to create these spaces.

Workplace Lighting

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This has a huge impact on the productivity of your employees. Not only can it affect their jobs, but it can also have an impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

It’s common knowledge that reading in the dark can harm your eyes, but the effects of lighting go much further. According to a study carried out by the American Society of Interior Design, of all employees surveyed, 68% complained about the lighting situation in their office.

Dim lights can be detrimental to the productivity of your employees as it can lead to eye strain and headaches. It can also result in drowsiness which affects their focus, leading to a decline in productivity.

As an alternative, consider natural lighting. Not only does this help reduce costs but it’s also said to have an effect on employees’ satisfaction levels.

Given the fact that natural light has been seen to impact our mood, behaviour and hormonal balance, organisations are also likely to see a reduction in absenteeism and employee illness.

Workplace Furnishing

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When designing your office, one of the most important things to consider is your furnishing. Not only does it need to be visually appealing to visitors and employees, but it also needs to be functional.

A well designed and furnished workstation maintains a healthy and happy workforce.

By focusing on ergonomics you’re showing your employees that you care about their wellbeing, which can improve morale and their loyalty to your organisation.

Consider adjustable office chairs to prevent back pain and stiffness and reduce the instances of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) by sourcing ergonomically-design office equipment; keyboard, mouse, telephone etc.

While this is by no means an extensive list, it is a good starting point. You should also speak to your employees; they are in the best position to tell you how you can help them.

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If you’d like to find out how our office design and furniture specialists can help to improve efficiency and productivity in your workplace, give us a call.