How to Make Office Space More Inviting and Productive
Updated: May 22, 2020
No matter what your business is, you can most likely benefit from having an office that is open, inviting, and productive. A neat, well-organized office is more welcoming to strangers and puts workers in a good frame of mind during their day. There are several things to keep in mind as you create this optimal workspace. You want an efficient layout that keeps the office well-organized, good lighting options, some greenery, and adequate storage for all of your staff members.
Putting some thought into making your office more inviting and productive will benefit all members of your team. It also creates a nice environment that will be appreciated by clients or others who are visiting the office. And it does not have to be super-complicated. There are a few simple ways to be on your way to an optimal office space that will make everyone happy and productive.
Create an Efficient Layout
You want to make sure the layout of the office is a good mix of options but is not overly cluttered or crowded. It is important for workers to have some privacy; a study found that 53% of workers reported having their focus disrupted by the activity going on around them. Having some quiet allows them to focus and increases productivity. At the same time, there are always instances where collaboration is needed, especially as working from remote locations becomes more commonplace. So having some nice inviting open space with tables and chairs is needed for teams to meet or even to meet with clients when they come to the office. Workplaces with a balance—allowing for individual focus but providing meeting areas—have been found to produce more innovation and creativity.
You also want to ensure the layout makes sense. It is more than just putting in some desks and cubicles. Having a well-thought-out layout means it is efficient and strategic, streamlined and worker-friendly. It should not be overly crowded and should allow people to walk through with ease. You don’t want your noisy printers and copiers in the middle of the office disturbing everyone and getting in the way. Putting all loud machinery away from the working staff will help ensure they can maintain their focus throughout the day.
Light and Sound
As we touched on earlier, the sound levels in an office can definitely impact workers’ productivity. Every office needs some quiet space that will allow workers space to think and be creative. It is much easier to focus when there are not loud distractions of constant noise. Not only creating space for workers who need the quiet but thinking through other aspects of the office will keep sound levels in check. Put salespeople who will be on the phone more than others in one area of the office, not mingled amongst other workers. Similarly, put noisy equipment such as copiers away from the majority of the staff and out of the way from visitors to the office.
And just as important as sound is light. Natural light is a mood enhancer and offices with more natural light have workers who are more productive. Research indicates that sunlight impacts circadian rhythms and vitamin D production, which are tied to alertness and motivation.
But what do you do if you don’t have many windows? You’re in luck, there are some other good options. Studies have shown that simulating natural sunlight also improves alertness and mood compared to fluorescent lights. LED lights have also been found to be preferable to fluorescents. And finally, you can use lighting to your advantage by creating up lit conditions instead of the normal overhead downlighting. A “lensed-up lit” office cuts down on eye strain and increases productivity.
Bring in Some Greenery
Do you want 15% higher productivity in your office? Bring in some plants. According to a study, plants help create psychological engagement at the workplace that translates into a 15% uptick in productivity. And plants create a healthier environment, due to their air-cleaning abilities. According to research from NASA, indoor plants can remove significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. These VOCs come from paint, cleaning materials, plastics, and furniture, all of which are usually found in offices.
Have Proper Storage
Part of having a welcoming open work environment is making sure your employees are able to store their items. Many times desk space is used to store papers or office supplies and that can lead to a cluttered, closed-in feeling. Having proper storage for whatever a worker needs will help keep the whole office more streamlined and set up a good environment for productivity. Ample storage also ensures workers have what they need within reach. Studies have found workers can put off doing tasks when they need to go to an additional location to finish the task. This allows them to be more efficient and productive.
It also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the office. Having a neat, clean office is more inviting when clients or others visit and has been found to enhance workers’ abilities.
Creating an office space that is open and inviting provides a warm atmosphere, makes visitors feel welcome and allows workers to focus and be more productive. Ensuring the layout makes sense, the office is neat and not cluttered, providing proper lighting, and setting up some greenery will all help. With a few simple steps, you can have a work environment that is ideal for workers and inviting to visitors.