Employee productivity is no longer just a buzzword; it is something even the world’s leading companies are tackling as one of their core initiatives. Today, employee productivity is not limited to just work ethics or motivation. It’s the surroundings or workspace that play a major role.
For instance, Citigroup renovated its Manhattan office to allow the daily choice of seating by employees, following which even the company’s CEO does not have an assigned desk or office, supporting the CEO’s goal of more common interaction.
While different companies are investing in different strategies, optimising the workspace to boost employee productivity does not have to be a complicated affair or involve a complete renovation of the office space. A few changes can go a long way. These include:
- Picking the right colours: Paint a picture of productivity at the workplace by switching up the colour of walls from the common, uninspiring whites, off-whites or beiges to brighter and bolder colours. It is a less known fact that colours affect people’s moods and outlook. While some like red can encourage high energy, yellow is energising and radiates positivity, and blue and green encourage calm and peace. Painting a particular wall or adding wall art, posters or vases can also help.
- Utilising lighting to your benefit: When it comes to planning for ergonomics, lighting is one of the most crucial factors to consider. Drab lighting that causes eye strain can reduce productivity, but bright lighting, whether it is natural lighting or well-lit rooms, can boost productivity. Lighting is also a significant design component. Ambient lighting in lounge rooms can help to create a relaxing atmosphere. Artistic lighting, such as neon-lit backdrops or LED-infused reception desks, may create a statement in reception areas and lobbies, boosting the brand image.
- Getting comfortable with furniture: While comfortable does not necessarily mean expensive, it does mean keeping an eye out for chairs and desks that are designed for people to sit at for most of the day. Try and invest in chairs with arm rests; sufficient back support, adjustable to different levels, if possible; an adjustable height and back angle, etc. Think about it like this: If your employees are comfortable in their office furniture, they will likely stay longer and work harder.
- Creating collaborative spaces: Having a snack-drink-station with basic snacks and refreshments can encourage employees to avoid snack runs outside the office, and stay hydrated and fight off growling stomachs in the office itself. It also gives them a place to gather and discuss and bounce ideas off each other. Employees often want to collaborate with each other but lack the space to do so effectively. Depending on your budget, creating small community rooms—green spaces, lounge areas or break-out rooms—or even community tables, where employees can discuss projects or just work individually, are a great way to boost productivity. They not only serve as collaborative spaces, but also give employees an alternative location to their desks to complete tasks.
Ultimately, an optimised workplace strategy allows both new and returning employees to perform at their best.