How Your Office Environment Affects Employee Productivity

25th February 2019 - Business & Marketing
How Your Office Environment Affects Employee Productivity

The office isn’t usually known for being a stimulating space. Drab colours, artificial lighting, and uninspiring layouts can combine to create a dreary environment that has significant consequences on an employee’s happiness. An unhappy employee is an unproductive employee, so it’s crucial to optimise the workplace atmosphere to bolster staff morale.

Here’s how the physical working environment can affect productivity and what you can do about it.

Noise Is Distracting

Everyone has a different level of tolerance to noise. But for the most susceptible staff, even a moderate amount of background babble can create a massive distraction from their work. Unfortunately, with phone calls and conversations being part and parcel of the modern workplace, there’s no feasible way to eliminate noise entirely. But not to worry, here are a few things you can implement.

If possible, group staff with phone-heavy roles together and designate a social space where employees are encouraged to converse. Employees who feel distracted might try listening to music through headphones, preferably ambient tunes with no vocal track. Noise-cancelling headphones can silence humming background sounds such as air conditioners. As a last resort, consider designating a quiet, noise-free area in the office.

Artificial Light Inhibits Sleep

Studies have shown that excess artificial light affects our bodies’ circadian rhythms, which in turn makes it difficult for us to sleep. As a result, a lack of access to natural light makes workers tired, which reduces their productivity and positivity.

Try to arrange your office space so that each worker is within view of an exterior window. Wherever possible, grow pot plants around natural light sources as these have been shown to help keep depression at bay.

Colours Affect Our Mood

Although the monotonous shades of grey found in your average office are thought to enhance concentration, recent studies have shown they’re also making many workers feel depressed.

The ideal colour to paint your workplace depends on the kind of business you run. Calming hues of natural blues and greens enhance focus and efficiency. Meanwhile, red evokes a sense of urgency, while yellow makes us feel optimistic and energetic, which leads to greater creativity and innovation. An office manager could mix and match these colours in the appropriate corresponding workspaces, perhaps even adding an attractive mural or two. Similarly, modern design elements such as timber fittings and exposed brick or concrete, can add to an office’s visual appeal.

Office Configuration is Key

How you arrange the layout of an office space affects employee morale. Although open plan offices have largely replaced the old-school cubicle set up, some staff feel that they lack privacy and personal space, which impedes their ability to focus.

A practical solution is to opt for a combination of different layouts throughout your office. Conference rooms can be used for collaboration, common areas for socialising, cubicles for heavy concentration tasks, and an open-plan co-working space for everyday jobs. The best office layout is flexible and dynamic rather than rigid. Getting the maximum productivity possible out of your staff can make or break a business. In addition to traditional strategies, such as bonuses and team building events, optimising your workplace atmosphere is one of the best ways to enhance employee morale.

Give some of the above tips a go for a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce. Alternatively, approach your local office fitout experts for their professional advice and let them take care of the design and planning process.

Share this article