When it comes to employee productivity, smart hiring and thorough training can only go so far. A growing amount of research reveals that work environment can also have a significant impact on production. While it might seem obvious that safe working conditions and a clean, organized work space would have an impact, you may be surprised to learn how much other areas of the office's design, layout and operation can affect workers. If you're looking to boost output and reduce errors, these four potential projects offer substantial benefits to employees and employers alike.
Studies suggest that too much noise in the office not only increases employee stress levels, but also reduces job satisfaction and productivity. To keep noise at bay, have a contractor add acoustic control measures to your office space. This could be as simple as installing absorbent materials, such as acoustic ceiling tile, carpet and sound-dampening wall panels. Acoustical-rated doors and windows, including special seals around these openings, can also deaden sound. Finally, if you have an open concept office, consider adding a few enclosed rooms or spaces for meetings, or where employees can find quiet when they need to focus on important projects.
Layout and Daylight
In the traditional office layout, a row of private offices hug the exterior walls, preventing daylight from reaching those workers beyond these offices. One study found that exposure to natural daylight in the workplace enhances the overall health and well-being of employees, while another found that employees who are exposed to daylight spend 15 percent more time on task than those with no daylight access. Based on these studies, office managers may consider a more modern layout, one where offices are clustered in the center of the room, allowing daylight to permeate the entire space. Another option is the open-concept floor plan, where private offices are kept to a minimum so daylight can pass freely through the space.
Studies show that proper ventilation in the workplace increases employee productivity and well-being. This can be accomplished in some space by simply replacing fixed windows with operable ones that employees can open to let fresh air flow as needed. Of course, other offices will require mechanical ventilation improvements, which require the guidance of an HVAC contractor.
Your office heating and cooling system also provides opportunities to increase productivity. In one study at Cornell University, researchers found that increasing office temperature from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit reduced typing errors by 44 percent, and boosted output by 150 percent. To take advantage of these gains, contact an HVAC contractor to see what kind of changes are needed, whether it's a system upgrade or some simple repair work.
Surprisingly, even the color of the office walls can impact worker productivity. One study found that workers make more errors in a white room than in one painted blue, green or red, even though the same workers stated that they preferred to work in a white space. This is good news for office managers, as a simple paint job is one of the most affordable office renovations available. Contact designers like WDI Group in Hamilton for more information.Share