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How the Layout of your Office Affects your Productivity

16. July 2019

An article by Leanne White


Productivity is a fundamental component to the success of any business. A productive working environment will achieve higher results with less input, meaning you can effectively maximise sales, profits, and revenue within your business. Productivity also helps to motivate employees and boost moral, producing an even better working environment. Did you know that everything from your lighting to your chairs can affect productivity in the workplace? With this in mind, here are some of the key ways that the layout of your office affects productivity.

Lighting

Lighting can have a significant effect on productivity and should therefore be a crucial element of office design. A recent report by Staples found that 80% of office workers feel that good lighting in their workplace is important to them, and 32% said better lighting would make them happier at work. Other studies have also found a direct link between natural sunlight and improved production rates in the workplace. It is therefore important to take advantage of natural sunlight wherever possible. Place desks and workstations near windows and consider installing larger windows or skylights to let more natural light flood into your office. Giving walls and ceilings a fresh coat of white paint will also help your office appear brighter and airier. Taking advantage of natural sunlight will mean you have less need for artificial lighting, so will effectively reduce your energy usage. This will reduce the carbon footprint of your business and also save you money on energy costs in the long run.

Desk layout

According to Cornerstone - “There has been a massive shift in office space style in recent years. Rows of private cubicles have been swapped for open plan layouts and senior managers having their own offices is a concept slowly being phased out. This means that all staff are together to encourage open communication and less of a hierarchical feel between colleagues.” Designing your office in an open plan style is an effective way to boost productivity by encouraging collaboration between team members. Employees are also likely to be more productive when working in an open space as they are aware that their managers are nearby and monitoring them. Not only does an open plan layout help employees communicate and work together better, but it should also save your business money. Not having to build individual cubicles and workstations will save you a significant amount on construction costs.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics aim to modify and improve the conditions under which everyday activities are performed in the workplace, to help eliminate discomfort and risk of injury due to work. A poor desk setup and inadequate equipment can lead to pain and serious injuries resulting in periods of employee absence and associated costs for your business. An employee who is sat comfortably at their workstation is far more likely to be motivated, happy, and productive in the workplace - these are all the basis of a successful working environment. It is therefore important to make ergonomic design considerations to help improve conditions and comfort levels in the workplace. This may include:

  • Ensuring computer monitors are positioned correctly by using a screen support.
  • Providing employees with rests for the keyboard and mouse to ensure that their hands, wrists, and arms do not become strained.
  • Making sure that seating is comfortable and offers the correct level of support to avoid pain or injury.

Air quality

A study carried out by the World Green Building Council found that staff productivity improved by 11% as a result of increased fresh air in the workplace and a reduction in pollutants. Air quality can have a significant effect on your employees’ overall health and productivity, so it is important to look for wants to improve the quality of the air in your workplace. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to improve air quality and reduce pollution. This includes: installing air filtration systems, keeping the office free from clutter, cleaning flooring (especially carpets) regularly, and opening windows to let fresh air flow through the office. Adding a touch of greenery with some indoor plants is another effective way to improve the air quality and visual appeal of your office.

Final thought

Remember that the layout of your office can have a significant effect on productivity in the workplace. It is important that you consider the impact of office design and look for ways to create a more comfortable working environment. Try these useful design tips today and see the difference they can have on productivity in your business!