Invest in increased productivity through office design

09/10/20< Back to news index

For an organisation to be successful, it needs maximum productivity from its workforce. Many different factors influence this but one of the easiest for a company to control is office design.

A comfortable, contented workforce is the most efficient and for companies considering making improvements to their workplaces, two figures from recent research stand out. Firstly, that workers lose about 90 minutes of useful working time a day to distractions. This is the equivalent of a full working day every week lost unnecessarily. Secondly, that over 90% of an organisation's operating costs is linked to employee efficiency.

You can make a big effort and get spectacular results but if space, money or other resources are scarce, even a few improvements can have a positive effect. Reducing stress, along with increasing morale and concentration, will naturally add to productivity and generally improve workers' health. When we are comfortable at work, with appropriate facilities, we show our appreciation by working better.

Starting with layout, the Gensler Workplace Survey has, since 2005, found design to have a profound, positive influence on workers. If a complete refit is too much right now, you can still make spaces that workers can adapt to the needs of their jobs. As it's likely that the flexible working methods adopted due to COVID-19 will continue, we also need to incorporate this and help those working remotely participate in the company culture, with online meetings and activities.

In the office, movable room dividers allow for optimum collaboration and installing booths, where one or a few workers can concentrate on a project will ensure the perfect workspace for each job. Even moving from one space to another can help us focus. Noise is an important factor; in the UK, most workers spend 35 hours a week at work, so separating noisier, interactive tasks from those needing quiet and individual privacy makes clear sense.

Natural lighting is best, and helps avoid fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and irritability. Adjustable office furniture is also essential and many suppliers have an extensive range of ergonomic chairs and desks. Air quality is especially important for health; effective ventilation, either through controlled mechanical systems or old-school opening windows, is vital for wellness and this is an essential aspect of office design where nature's fresh air can help out. From installing complex biophilic features to just buying some plants, we all feel better when surrounded by greenery and nature, particularly when these include water.

Recent research has consistently shown that modern offices are usually colder than the ideal working temperature, so check on that too. Other improvements could include refreshments, colour systems and decorations, even room scents or something else altogether. Why not get in touch with us to talk through the most important factors for your working spaces?