If you asked employees how they define a quality workspace, you would probably find the general consensus to be an open, stress-free, and productive atmosphere. This is especially true when you take into consideration the environment in which work takes place is vitally important when attempting to nurture an optimized and efficient place to do business. Ensuring that things run smoothly during day-to-day operations can surprisingly make a big difference in both total output and the company’s bottom line. However, there are plenty of changes that can be made to correct insufficiencies or bottlenecks that occur within many corporate offices. Here are some tips on how an office space can be reimagined for not only a better work experience but more importantly, a more driven workforce.
Open Floor Plan
When planning the arrangement of an office space, adapting an open floor plan can allow for better workflow within and between departments. Avoid using dividing walls, cubicles, and other design layouts that promote isolation of employees. Additionally, having managers and certain higher-ranking staff members sit among entry-level employees can prevent much of the disconnect and hierarchy issues that are apparent in many businesses. Allow your upper management to be available and have them work alongside their subordinates to better streamline communication.
Although it may seem insignificant, how well an office is lit can dramatically impact productivity and morale. Avoid dim lighting options, as these have been linked to sluggishness and fatigue over the course of the workday. Artificial lighting, which is often very bright, can be harmful to the human eye and can lead to headaches and impaired thinking if someone is exposed to it for long periods of time. Take natural lighting into consideration when choosing an office space or looking to renovate. Having excess exposure to sunlight has been linked to better improve your carbon footprint, while also giving staff a sense of serenity while in the workplace.
If possible, give employees additional resources that will help them do their job faster and more efficiently. Softwares that have the capabilities to schedule deliveries, auto-fill documents and help with customer service needs are all great for helping staff prioritize their workload on a daily and weekly basis. Many companies have even begun to utilize advanced technologies that will automate repetitive workflows, allowing workers to focus their attention elsewhere—whether that be on larger-scale projects or to be more productive in their day-to-day responsibilities. Although these programs can be expensive, they can boost total output and project completion rate, saving both time and money.
Many businesses neglect to think about small things that could make a big difference from an efficiency standpoint. Having desk space and comfortable chairs for employees can make desk work and staying organized a breeze. Also, consider implementing standing desks to promote movement within the office. The more employees are up and moving around, the more collaborative and communicative teams will be. Some companies have even added furnishings around the office such as couches and tables to allow for meet-ups in a communal space. Making an office space feel secure and as home-like as possible will give employees peace of mind knowing that coming to work will be more of a joy than a chore.
Depending on your office’s location and layout, you can use the space as part of an employee incentive. Many companies will offer their staff priority seating or in some cases, a private office once they have reached a certain level of management. This offers your employees a goal to strive toward and a sense of status within the office. Additionally, by sitting teams close together within the floor plan of the space, collaboration and team-oriented goals become more achievable. Incentivize teams using this strategy (if applicable) to gain a healthy competitive landscape among staff.
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