Can an Office Environment Really Affect Productivity?

The answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”. If you’re redecorating or relocating your office, spend some thinking about your décor and set up.  The way an office is set up, along with the furniture and office accessories used, can dictate the productivity of your entire team. Of course, it depends on your industry and the department. Some need to be able to easily communicate with one another in person, or share their screen with a neighbor while others may need peace and quiet, or a room where they can talk openly without disturbing the people in surrounding cubicles.

Stats

You may not think much about it, but the way an office is set up, from individual desks to the entire office’s lighting, has an effect on the productivity of employees. If you’re dealing with sluggish staff or just want to boost the overall productivity of an office, here are some statistics that can help aid you in your redecoration and relocation ventures.

·       VIBE conducted a study which found that multiple computer screens increase productivity and efficiency by 9 to 50 percent, especially when it comes to tasks such as cutting and pasting.

·       Studies show that comfortable, well-ventilated and well-lit, safe workplaces increase productivity as much as 16 percent and job satisfaction as much as 24 percent, while reducing absenteeism.

·       In one study by the Center for the Built Environment, researchers found “some evidence” that poor ventilation decreased productivity in a call center.

·       In a study conducted by RPI, workers in windowed offices were shown to spend 15 percent more time staying on task than colleagues in windowless offices.

·       Studies show the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking.

·       Organizations with strong learning culture have 37 percent greater employee productivity, according to Bersin & Associates’ 2010 study High Impact Learning Culture.

Improving Your Office

Now that you’ve seen a few statistics about how productivity can be improved, and areas that may need work, there are three areas you want to focus on when it comes to a workspace and increased productivity: furniture, lighting, and company culture.

Office Furniture

When it comes to office furniture, a productive business needs more than desks, computers and office chairs. If you want to reduce the amount of time wasted during the work day, choosing the right pieces of office furniture can help you do just that.

·       Get organized and minimize clutter. Having filing cabinets and folders available to every employee can reduce the time spent shuffling papers.

·       Look for ergonomic chairs. An uncomfortable chair can decrease productivity and increase the number of back aches felt by employees. Take into consideration employee health and comfort.

·       Think about the location and position of workspaces in your office. Different departments have different needs and catering workstations to the individuals can increase productivity individually and as a department.

Lighting

Lighting in an office is debatable as some suggest little lighting keeps individuals focused while others argue that well-lit spaces increase productivity. From the many studies we’ve come across, it seems that there is a strong correlation between natural light and employee efficiency.

·       Look for an office that offers natural light to most, if not all, of your employees.

·       Consider task lighting. Task lighting refers to office lighting, where the task light is used to increase luminance on the reading area.

·       Take a step back from overhead lighting which can cause a rise in the headaches, fatigue, and eye strain felt by employees.

Company Culture

From snacks to “Happy Hour Fridays” and quarterly events, your office needs to have a culture. Open communications about the values and goals of a company can increase the likelihood your new hires will fit with the company culture you’ve already established. Understanding that working for one another is a factor in office productivity.

·       Encourage employees to take quick breaks where they walk around. Exercise breaks can lead to a higher work performance, from better time management to improved mental sharpness.

·       If the leadership is visionary and open to ideas from all levels of the organization then this can create extremely high productivity as employees feel they can contribute, no matter their position.

·       Provide extensive, educational training for new hires so they can see right away whether they’ll be a good match with your business. The more you support an office culture that clearly lays out what you see as productivity, the better employees can follow the principles that culture values.

The layout and setup of an office contribute greatly to the overall productivity of employees. By making a few simple changes with lighting and the placement and selection of office desks, you can increase the efficiency of your staff. Not only will productivity improve, so will company culture which leads to an even greater improvement in efficiency. Each aspect of your business is dependent on another aspect and productivity is no different.

 

Author Bio: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as office furniture and project management. She is a web content writer for Business.com.

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11 thoughts on “Can an Office Environment Really Affect Productivity?

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  3. Paramount Office Interiors

    I 100% agree with this article. How could anyone not think that an office environment can affect productivity. It’s like the argument about school classrooms and how they should be bright and fun because it helps them to learn. Its just the same with adults, they need a bright and fun environment so they find it easier to learn and concentrate.

    Reply
  4. Office posture chairs

    Superb article Julia, I totally agree with your point of view and I am sure everyone will. The office environment is the directly connected to the efficiency of the staff. A dull boring atmosphere will never be able to bring the best out of employees. Using proper office furniture will make the employee feel better valued and will surely be a moral booster. Also because of less injury and pains attendance will never drop.

    Reply
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  8. Teala Reeve

    I totally agree with your views. How often have I heard my colleagues ruing the lack of proper “corporate environment” affecting their productivity. However, I would like to add that bolstering your office supplies (like water filters and coolers) as well means of recreation (like coffee makers) can help improve employee productivity as well!

    Reply
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  10. Mr John Bresnahan

    Yes, of cause. Office environment can deeply affect the productivity. Stress free office environment and comfortable furniture will make employs to contribute more and help raising the productivity.

    Reply

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