How Office Space Affects Productivity
Not everyone finds it easy to maintain a high level of productivity when at work.
If you work in an office, your surroundings have a big contribution on your mood.
This is somewhere you spend eight hours a day. A third of your life.
If your office isn’t set up right, it can have damning consequences on your output. But getting it right isn’t easy.
At One One One, we have access to every London office, so we know a thing or two about making an office space great.
That’s why we’ve come up with eight top tips to make your London office space the most appealing and productive it can be.
Let’s take a look.
1. Go Green
There are many things an office needs.
Good air quality and a pleasing aesthetic are two that are often pretty high up the list.
By bringing in some greenery, in the form of office plants, you are ticking plenty of boxes, including the two above.
This is because not only do plants create cleaner air by removing certain harmful compounds (as proven in this study by NASA), but they are also great at reducing stress.
Stress is something that can run rife in offices, where people’s days can be hectic, so having a spot to relax in the company of a fragrant indoor plant can offer a bit of peace.
Not only that but plants have been proven to actively increase productivity by a whopping 20%.
Especially when the office is in an urban area, having some nature throughout your working space is hugely beneficial to many aspects, including visually, physically and mentally.
2. Break Out Spaces
Having a break-out space can provide a huge boost to an employee’s morale.
But what is one?
Well, breakout spaces come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are small rooms in which employees can find a bit of free time to relax, and others are large rooms armed with things to keep people entertained such as pool tables and televisions.
A breakout area is a great way of giving your staff a short break away from their desk. It is a chance to take their mind off work for a few minutes, which can lead to a big jump in morale.
It is also a place they can socialise freely with other workers, which can help to build relationships between employees.
A breakout space is also a good space for people to go and be a bit louder than they would be in the office.
Phone calls or catch-up conversations can be had in these more informal rooms, leading to the productivity in the main office not dropping.
All in all, having a space to relax in your working day is vital, and a breakout area is a great way of providing this.
In a nutshell, it can be a big boost to employee happiness levels, and this has been proven to have a big influence on productivity.
3. Sound or no sound?
This is a tricky one to work out and may depend on what kind of business you run.
There are many things that can create sound in an office.
Do you share an office building with other companies who are loud throughout the day?
Do you like to play music over the office speakers?
Do you promote chatting between employees?
The answer to these will point you in the right direction of how best to boost productivity.
The best way to tackle this issue is to offer a bit of both. If you have the space, having a free-talk room is a great idea as this can boost collaborations and increase productivity between employees.
If you combine this with a quiet area where people who like to get their head down can concentrate without distractions, then your staff are sure to find somewhere they can be productive.
A recent study found 54% of employees said they would enjoy music in the office, but 61% of offices still prefer without, so maybe the tide is turning and the way forward is to let the music play to increase happiness amongst staff and boost productivity.
4. Choose the Right Colours
Colours play a huge part in a person’s mood and how you paint your office could have a big effect on the productivity of your staff.
For example, if you want to adopt a calm and relaxed environment, then choosing a light shade of blue or a dull green colour is a great option.
Alternatively, you may be looking to provide your staff with a burst of energy every time they step through the door and into work. In that case, why not opt for a red which is known for being a colour that evokes passion.
Be careful with the paintbrush though, as too much red can be a bit overpowering.
One of the main colours that people choose for an office is orange. Not quite as harsh as red, orange is a bright and joyous colour that can help to raise the mood of any workplace.
And of course, don’t forget black and white.
While black may be modern and elegant, it can also make a room feel dark and dingy. White on the other hand is a clean and bright colour, but is it really going to boost productivity?
The bottom line is what colour will suit your staff the best.
Do you have a relaxed working environment or a fast-paced and hectic one?
If you know the answer to this question, then your perfect colour won’t be far away.
5. Offer a Choice
As mentioned in the sound section, offering your staff a choice of how they work is a great way of creating the best office layout for productivity.
Everyone is different, and everyone’s ideal working environment will alter from the next persons.
So, how can you make an office suit everyone?
Well, you can try to offer as varied an office space as possible.
If you operate an open plan office, this may promote communication between staff, but also distractions, which could cost you 86 minutes per day!
If some of your staff have pressing work that they need to concentrate on, being able to offer private rooms, or quiet spaces where they can get their head down is sure to boost productivity.
Even in your breakout room, if you have some desks for the employees who find they work best in a busy environment, you may find their productivity will grow.
Having different rooms of different colours and styles is a great way to allow your employees to find something they are comfortable with and where they feel they work best, so don’t stick to one plan.
Of course, the best way to know what your employees like is to ask them, so it is always a good idea to run a quick survey and ask what people prefer.
This way you know where best to focus your effort to achieve the highest levels of productivity.
6. Get the Right Furniture
Employees work best when they’re comfortable.
If people are sat on stiff chairs that leave their back aching by the end of the day, they won’t be able to fully settle into the work at hand.
Making sure your employees are comfortable and have enough space is vital.
A generous office space should give each employee 100 sq. ft. and any less may leave your staff feeling cramped, which can drag productivity down.
Another piece of furniture that’s important is the desk.
Should all your staff share a desk, or would it be better to have individual ones?
This depends on if collaboration is paramount to your business or working alone may be the best way forward.
Would standing desks provide a fitness boost which in turn could lead to better productivity?
Do your desks have plenty of storage? If not, your employees may get flustered by how cluttered their desk becomes when working.
A clean, spacious, comfortable area is the ideal environment to promote productivity, so when choosing furniture, make sure to keep this in mind.
And don’t neglect the extras. There are a wealth of office productivity products available that are sure to give your staff a boost, so work out what works best for your staff and look into little add-ons that can make a big difference.
7. Embrace Natural Light
The final step to creating your productive office environment is letting in some natural light.
Big windows are a big help, but what if your office doesn’t have them?
Well, there are several ways you can brighten up a room, including using bright paint and wall designs as mentioned above.
Another good way of reflecting natural light is to use mirrors on your walls and make sure there is nothing blocking the windows.
Of course, if you can afford it and your landlord allows, installing bigger windows or a skylight can have a huge impact on staff morale and productivity.
A study found over a third of employees admitted to missing natural light in the office, and 47% reported a lack of natural light was making them feel tired.
No-one wants to be stuck inside on a sunny day, so bring as much of the outside in as you can.
Apart from the health benefits such as a boost in vitamin D, it is also a big morale booster for your employees.
What’s not to like?
And of course, if you can provide some outside space for your employees to enjoy, that’s even better!
8. Make it Feel Like Home
Not every day goes to plan, and sometimes the 5 ‘o’ clock finish stretches for a few extra hours.
When this happens, it’s important that your office space provides somewhere that your employees feel like home.
So, what do you like most about being at home?
Easy access to the kettle for a quick cup of coffee to give you a boost of energy for the last few hours of the day?
Or what about cold, filtered water readily available for all employees?
And of course, don’t forget about food. If you’re expecting employees to be in this building for eight or more hours a day, why not provide them with some healthy food choices like fruit and other snacks.
The more an employee feels at home in an office, the more they are likely to be productive inside it, so let them enjoy a beer on a Friday afternoon with their co-workers before leaving time and provide a recreational space they can enjoy this away from the desk.
And for the really keen workers, why not think about sleep pods? It’s amazing how productivity can be boosted after a nap, so allowing workers to take a break every now and then and head to the land of nod may not be a bad thing!
If you’re a busy company, and your staff enjoy working some overtime every now and then, making your office as comfortable for them as possible is essential.
Finding the Ideal Office Space for Productivity
By providing these things for your staff through the above hints and tips, you are sure to have a happy, and in turn productive, workforce.
For more advice, or to find your ideal office, why not get in touch with One One One today. With years of experience in locating the perfect office for any business, we’d love to help you find yours today.
And if you’re thinking of starting the search for your ideal London office, then why not check out our complete guide here.