Productivity is a key driver in prosperity and business success, and with UK productivity falling to its lowest level in recent years it’s no surprise that companies are continually looking at ways to save time and money to improve their output.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, a total of 25.7 million working days were lost in 2016/17 due to work-related ill health. One thing that experts agree on is that the working environment has a direct impact on employee productivity and morale, so it makes sense to generate a workspace that is conducive to the well-being of your workforce. No matter what sector you are in, a well-planned workspace can help you to improve all areas of your business.
Research has found that temperature, air quality, lighting and noise conditions in the workplace can all affect concentration and productivity, as can the layout of the office space, so when planning your workspace here are a few things to consider:
The temperature of the environment and the air quality:
Ensure your workspace is fitted with appropriate ventilation systems, as well as energy-saving heating and air conditioning systems to maintain thermal comfort and reduce the spread of illness and work absence. Plants can really help to improve the air quality within closed environments and have been proven to enhance employee wellbeing.
Lighting of the environment:
Try to use as much natural light in your work areas as possible to save energy, and reduce the use of fluorescent strip lighting which has been found to contribute to visual fatigue, exhaustion, stress and headaches.
Environmental noise and acoustics:
Some employees may feel unable to concentrate in large open plan spaces, so design silent areas and consider providing technologies such as noise cancelling headphones. The use of low panels, partitioning and soundproofing meeting rooms can also help improve the office productivity levels and boost employee morale.
The layout of the office environment:
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of a good layout. The interior configuration of the office, including the workspace and resting areas, is a factor that directly affects concentration, confidence and creativity. For example, an open plan office makes it more convenient for an employee to talk to a co-worker compared to individuals in separate rooms, but there should also be private meeting/conference rooms and spaces for workers to organise informal meetings, as well as individual working areas for when employees need to concentrate wholly on a task.
A great office environment can really invigorate your workforce and help boost your productivity, but this will only be achieved after a thorough study of your resources, your needs and your goals.
This recent example from Planned Office Interiors with Croud shows how you can maximise capacity without impacting well-being, using a variety of flooring, flashes of colour and effective breakout spaces.
Planned Office Interiors has delivered a breadth of office refurbishments including many hotdesking integration projects. Experienced in partitioning and mapping out work areas to suit the needs of businesses and their teams, we can offer a whole approach from strategy, design and delivery, from structural services through to furniture sourcing and provision to suit your budget.