Is your business sinking because you have the wrong office space? Here’s how to fix it.

Part of the: Office Fitout Collection

Ask yourself this question: is your office space tailored to enhance employee productivity? Are your employees performing at their optimum? If the answer is no or you simply don’t know, then your business could be suffering because of it.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States has found that employees working at long open tables, i.e., sitting arrangements found in many open office designs, were 20% more active than employees in cubicles. Moreover, employees working in open offices have less self-rated stress.

By making simple changes to your office space layout, you could see an increase in productivity and have happier employees, which means your business is healthier. This means a bigger bottom line! 

Below we tackle some of the common issues related to office spaces and how to fix them.

Create a layout that’s more efficient

Your office space layout shouldn’t only be defined by the number of people you have. It’s where they sit that matters. According to a feature in Cover Magazine, 77% of workers believe that open-plan workspace contributed to their productivity.

Your goal should be to provide enough space for your employees to collaborate, take breaks from their desks or even work in silence if they want to. All of these factors play a massive role in improving their wellbeing and productivity.

How to fix it 

There are a number of things that you can do to fix this, such as providing a space for solo working, which will help people focus if they need to escape the open office space. 

For collaboration purposes, create areas that are dedicated to it or book out meeting rooms for creative sessions. Be sure to place teams that often work together in the same area as well.

There’s no magical, plug and play method for an optimal office layout, you’ll have to experiment and get feedback from your employees on a regular basis to find out if it's working and if not, what can be done to solve it. Speaking to someone who works in this field on a regular basis or even a designer can help you answer some questions.

Consider biophilic design ideas

Biophilia is defined as our desire to connect with the great outdoors. So how does this relate to your office?

Interface published an "Introduction to Biophilic Design" which states that in the UK, work-related stress costs organisations an estimated £29 billion a year and accounts for:

  • 35% of ill health
  • 43% of absenteeism

Looking at these numbers, it's no surprise that many business owners are open to exploring ways to reduce the cost of ill health and lack of well-being in the workplace. Imagine what your productivity (and bottom-line) would look like if you cut that in half?

How to fix it

Biophilic design is much more than just heading to your local nursery to purchase a few office plants though. It includes things like maximising the natural light, using colour, incorporating natural materials such as wood, metal & stone into your office space for example.

Using natural colours and materials in your office will make your employees feel more relaxed and energised, in fact, some companies have even noted that it lowers the amount of sick leave staff take.

Make sure that you actually do stop off at your local nursery though as greenery in the office provides an oxygen flow increase which helps your staff to concentrate better. It also improves creativity and their general wellbeing.

Be sure to invest in green spaces that people can move to. If you’re looking for an office space, look for one closer to a natural area or space. Try to also use natural colours and materials in your office space.

Think about how much natural light you have available and ways on how you can get more in if possible. If you’re looking for a way to get outside a little more, then walking meetings are starting to grow in popularity.

Have some scents!

Did you know that certain smells are linked to productivity? A Japanese company found that lavender and jasmine soothed data entry operator stress, while a lemon scent increased productivity by up to 54%.

Scents affect our mood and mindset while we work, so be sure to add some key fragrances to your office space. Here are some to try:

  • Cinnamon: Helps to improve concentration
  • Pine: Improves alertness
  • Lavender: Helps people to remain relaxed
  • Peppermint: Improves moods
  • Citrus: Wakes people up & helps them to feel refreshed

However, be sure to consult with everyone before choosing a scent, make sure that everyone is on the same page with which scent to use. If you cannot get to an agreement, there are alternatives, such as:

  • Find plants with calming scents such as lavender, which won’t be as overpowering as an office scent
  • Open your windows! Let natural, outdoor scents come in if they are pleasant enough

Remember, if your employees are productive, the quality of their work and the time they take to complete it will dramatically improve. This will then lead to greater customer service and most importantly, business growth.

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