When it comes to employee experience and company productivity, the way an office is laid out can have a bigger impact than you might think. Office layout can affect everything from employee relationships to overall company culture, all of which can either help or hinder productivity.
Everything from the way desks are positioned to the artwork on the walls and any communal spaces can all have an impact on productivity. This is because a poorly laid out office environment can affect people's mood, how engaged they are and even their health, all of which have a direct result on productivity.
Here are some of the most common issues with office lay out and the ways that they can impact overall productivity:
While cubicles can help to split a larger room into smaller offices that a single person can set up as their own, the physical barriers they create can mean that collaboration becomes limited.
The ability to personalize and organize a space that belongs to individual employees comes at the cost of people feeling unable to talk to other team members, work together on projects and even ask opinions. As a result, team building isn't particularly strong and neither are relationships between those meant to be working together.
Providing a more open space, complete with areas away from desks can help to make it easy to talk to other people, encourage collaboration and build a stronger team. This can lead to people being more willing to have conversations and seek advice, all of which can have a positive effect on productivity.
A lack of natural lighting in an office environment can have an effect on the health of employees, which can then impact productivity in a negative way. A lack of natural light, especially in the winter months, can result in low vitamin D levels, which in turn causes weaker immune systems.
Not only could this mean that staff are more prone to illness, it can also result in lethargy and tiredness, which can mean lower productivity levels on a day to day basis. This is why it is important to arrange an office in a way that maximizes the amount of natural light workers are exposed to.
In spaces where there is no natural light or it is limited, making use of sunlight lamps can be beneficial and help limit the effects of low vitamin D.
If employees are sitting for long periods of time, it is vital that they have comfortable furniture. Furniture that doesn't offer good back support, is uncomfortable and can cause a lot of issues, including physical injury and an inability to concentrate.
Not only should furniture look good to create the idea of an open, tidy and spacious office, it should be chosen with maximum comfort in mind. This also means ensuring people have enough room for their office chairs so they can move around comfortably and are not crammed into small spaces.
When workers are in pain or are struggling to get comfortable, it can drastically affect their productivity and focus. On top of this, it can also affect morale levels, which, over time, can further affect how successful a company is.