There are no shortage of things that can decrease productivity in your office. From March Madness to Serial podcasts to chatty coworkers, a number of distractions can invade your office and decrease your employees’ output. However, blocking every website on the Internet and forcing everyone to work in soundproof cubicles probably isn’t the best way to increase employee efficiency.
Instead, consider the connection between office furniture design and productivity, and take a look at the design of your office to see where you can improve your colleagues’ effectiveness. Over four out of five working Americans work at a desk, yet only one in four work in an office designed to improve productivity; your office design, therefore, is an opportunity to increase employee productivity without restricting their freedoms. Here are the areas of your office to look when deciding how to improve productivity.
Noise pollution is a major concern in many offices, especially if they’re open-plan offices, and reading and writing efficiency decline by as much as 66% when employees are distracted by colleagues’ conversations. Make it clear to your colleagues that headphones are allowed and encouraged in order to cut out distractions.
Only having one computer screen can make tasks more difficult and more time-consuming, and there’s a 50% decline in productivity among office workers with just one computer display. Provide your employees with an extra computer monitor for a 50% jump in efficiency.
Employees also get more work done when their office is bathed in natural light. There’s a 15% decline in task focus among employees working in offices without windows when compared to employees in offices with windows. Add skylights or windows to your office for a mood-booster as well as a productivity-booster.
You may be surprised to know that office temperature also plays a role in productivity. Most offices maintain a temperature of around 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit, yet it turns out that rooms that are 2-8 degrees higher in temperature are better for productivity. Turn the air conditioning down or off in the summer, or throw on an extra sweater in the winter to improve efficiency.
Even mishaps as simple as not being able to find what you’re looking for can lose the company’s money; in fact, companies lose an average of $4,800 per year due to employee time spent “looking for stuff.” Hold on to these profits by encouraging your employees to regularly declutter their workspaces, since having a clutter-free office space can help them to think more clearly and produce better results. Provide them with organizational systems to help, such as folders, paper trays, and other useful office supplies.
Since 95% of an office worker’s day is spent at a computer, it’s not enough to give each employee a folding chair for their desk, which could cause long-lasting and painful back issues. Instead, give each employee an ergonomic chair that has the ability to swivel so that they can turn to face co-workers easily. Employees should sit with their eyes level with the top of the computer screen, with a 24-26in distance between the two. The desk chair should be slightly reclined, and feet should rest comfortably on the floor.