Arrange Your Office for Higher Productivity
Feng shui for boosting productivity
As much as productivity is naturally linked to focus, motivation, consistency and hard work, it is often the small things that can make a difference in the quality and quantity of our output. Although feng shui may seem like just a fancy, Eastern word-of-the-day, it is comprised of principles which today are commonplace and common sense, when it comes to arranging home or professional environments for optimal efficiency.
Factors affecting productivity
The colour of your office walls, the spatial arrangement of your office furniture, the ergonomics of your desk, chair and computer station, the supplies you use, the room temperature and lighting, all the way to the cups of coffee or tea you enjoy every day, can all affect your daily comfort at the office, and indirectly -- how much you get done in those eight hours.
Add some colour to your work day
It has been proven that certain colours affect our moods in different ways, which in turn can affect creativity, office relationships and productivity.
- Red can increase the heart’s blood blow and is recommended for workers who perform physical labour as it can boost their energy levels. It can also evoke emotions and passion and is eye-catching.
- Yellow is known as an optimistic colour and can boost creativity, so it is a good one to incorporate into the office spaces for designers and other creative types.
- Blue is universally known as the colour of productivity. It is also a stable and calming colour that helps workers focus on the task at hand.
- Green is a colour that helps people who work long hours. It prevents eye fatigue and helps workers stay calm and efficient.
- Pink: gives off a relaxing, feminine sensation and is good as an accent.
- Orange: helps keep employees motivated and can boost creativity.
- White: often considered too sterile and bland; when combined with the right lighting can boost productivity and make spaces feel clean and roomy.
When repainting entire walls or furniture units isn’t a possibility, you can still add vibrancy to a dull, uninspiring space by sprinkling in office objects (sticky notes, staplers, hole-punches, computer mice, mousepads, calendars, etc.) in various playful and powerful colours.
Working in the best lighting conditions is one of the most essential elements of a comfortable and productive office environment. Poorly lit spaces can damage eyesight and lower productivity; fluorescent lighting can lead to headaches. The effects of natural light on boosting mood and facilitating teamwork cannot be underestimated, thus it is advisable to incorporate it whenever possible, and place as many team members near windows.
Office workers often complain that their working environment is too hot or too cold. Finding the right ambient temperature for everyone can be challenging as this tends to be a very individual preference. Nevertheless, making it possible for employees to adjust the temperature in their area when needed, is important, and can prevent temperature-related grievances.
Controlling Noise Levels
Few things can be as distracting and as detrimental to productivity as excessive noise from office chatter, phone conversations, creaking chairs or noisy keypads. It is important to allocate quiet spaces for concentration and individual work, as well as small meeting rooms for 1:1 catchups so that these don’t take over entire open office spaces. Team members who are on conference calls often should have the option of working in closed offices or booking rooms where they can speak undisturbed and undisturbing others.
It goes without saying that office chairs and desk stations need to be optimised for individual employees’ wellness needs and preferences. Separate monitors and keyboards, along with adjustable chairs and desks can make a difference in posture and prevent neck and shoulder issues. Swiss balls and standing desks are now considered standard around many offices, along with lunchtime yoga, tai chi or Pilates classes for the willing and massages or reiki for the most fortunate of office workers. All these out-of-the-box wellness activities can help break up routine, provide much needed relaxation, reduce stress and boost focus on long working days.
Silicon Valley companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook have long been known for providing comfortable armchairs, couches and beanbags for workers to lounge on. In Japan, many enterprises also provide sleeping stations where busy bees are encouraged to take 20 to 30-minute power naps when needed.
Arranging space for teamwork
Studies show that people are more productive when they sit next to others with similar job functions, goals, working styles or personalities. In addition, seating weaker performers next to stronger ones can result in increased productivity for the weaker worker without adversely affecting the stronger one.
Today’s team members are rarely given the choice on where to sit but it is about time that their preferences are taken into consideration, within reason. Companies like PegusApps can also develop web-based or mobile apps to help enterprises manage office relationships, facilitate inter-office communications, and ultimately boost employee efficiency.
Copywriter: Ina Danova