How the Office Environment Can Positively Impact Productivity

How the Office Environment Can Positively Impact Productivity

Business success is largely dependent on revenue, but this in turn is dependent on employee productivity. A number of elements can impact employee productivity, including the office environment itself, so what should you be looking out for?

When you are moving your business into new offices there are many important considerations that you need to include to determine the best office solution for you. You need to think about the budget that you have in place, whether you want a fully serviced solution or not and what is the best physical location, in terms of business efficiency, productivity and employee satisfaction.

Cornerstone, an office search specialist, emphasize the importance of ‘cost efficiency and practicality just as well as recognizing the importance of image, sophistication and impact.’ When you are conducting the search, don’t forget that the interior space is just as important as the location, especially if you want to ensure that you have an office environment which has a positive impact on productivity.

Why is the office environment so important?

There is no doubt that the environment of an office can have a positive impact on productivity; if the environment itself is seen as positive by the workforce. The problem is that this is often not the case. Issues such as poor lighting, sound pollution, uncomfortable furniture and lack of storage space can be a source of ongoing annoyance and stress for employees. This can lead to decreased motivation and increased absence levels, as well as problems with staff retention. All of these issues can have an adverse effect on productivity.

When it comes to ensuring that the environment in your offices is conducive to having a positive effect on productivity rather than a negative one, there are several factors that you need to consider. 

The importance of effective lighting

One of the factors that is often overlooked when planning an office space is the importance of natural light. It's a fact that natural light helps to improve employee performance at work. One of the main reasons for this is that exposure to natural light during the day helps us to sleep better at night. This in turn helps to improve focus and effectiveness during the day. It's a positive cycle that you should promote if you want to optimize the productivity levels of your employees. There are several ways you can maximize the amount of natural light in an office:

  • Choose an office space with the maximum amount of window coverage; floor to ceiling windows are preferable.
  • Remove clutter from around windows.
  • Choose an open plan office space with privacy being provided by mid-height partitions rather than walls. This enables natural light to reach the entire space.
  • Choose electric lighting that can automatically adjust so that the use of natural light is optimized.
  • Ensure that all employees can see through a window, even if it's from a distance.

Why provide breakout areas?

If you are sourcing an office space, make sure that you factor in enough space to include breakout areas. People can only be at their most effective for a certain period of time, at which point they need a place to spend some time clearing the fuzz from their head and replenishing their concentration levels.

A small garden area or interior breakout room helps them to do this. Modern start-ups have embraced this idea in order to optimize the productivity levels of their employees. You don’t have to provide the type of unique environment that some of them have created, but having a breakout area in your offices is a good idea.

Why having ergonomic furniture matters

You have to appreciate that your employees sit at their desk for hours at a time; you need to ensure that they do so in comfort. If this doesn’t happen, they’re unlikely to be as productive as they could be. Chairs need to provide support for the back of the person who is using them. They should also be fully adjustable.

Desks should also be adjustable, so that they are at the right height for the person using them. Desks that enable an individual to stand for part of the time can be a good solution for anyone who is suffering from back problems.

Providing ergonomic furniture in your office helps employees to feel more comfortable and it reduces the risk of ongoing absences caused by neck and back strain. These factors can be important in sustaining high productivity levels.

Author: My name is Emily, but I normally go by Em. I have always been passionate about productivity, whether it be in the workplace or at home. When I'm not writing, I enjoy going to live music events or getting lost in a book.

Insights for Professionals