Guest Post by Amelia Knott
Our environment has a large impact on how productive we’re able to be. Consider trying to study in a nightclub, or party in a library. You won’t be able to do what you need to do if your environment is actively working against you.
Creating a Productive Work Environment
If your employees aren’t getting as much done as you’d like them to, the environment may be playing a large factor in their ability to rise to the challenge.
Make Sure You Have Enough Space
If everything is too close together and people are crowding each other out, nobody is going to have enough space to work. Compact, cluttered spaces are overwhelming and distracting. When choosing an office, you should always select one that offers significantly more room than you need. You want to be able to spread things out and accommodate new employees as you acquire them.
Make the Environment Welcoming
Cold, sterile environments are best reserved for hospitals. Your office doesn’t need to look like a five-star hotel, but it should be dressed up well enough for people to feel welcome when they walk in. Utilize as much natural light as possible, and consider getting some indoor plants to soak up some of that sun. Paint the walls, and hang up some wall art. Your employees will be more productive in an environment that allows them to feel comfortable, rather than cogs in a machine.
Encourage a Balance of Privacy and Community
Teams win, and if you want your employees to come together as a team, you’ll need to encourage them to do that. Some tasks require individual concentration, such as phone calls, and your employees will need the privacy and peace to complete those tasks alone. The ideal office floor plan offers quieter spaces for working alone, and larger spaces for team collaboration. Consider a semi-open floor plan to encourage everyone to communicate.
Keep Things Organized
It’s hard to find the right piece of paperwork on a messy desk. Provide your employees with the right organizational solutions to keep their workspaces neat and tidy. Community areas, such as those that house equipment everyone needs to use, should be organized just as efficiently. The same goes for your supply closets. Every minute someone spends looking for something they need to complete a task is a minute they could have spent actually working to accomplish that task.
Provide Things Your Employees Need
Everyone gets hungry, thirsty, and tired throughout their workday. If lunch feels too far off, employees may become grumpy and find it harder to concentrate. Make sure you keep healthy snacks around the office. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts will help boost energy levels, where high-calorie junk food such as chips may actually weight your employees down. Make sure you always have water and coffee available. If your employees have healthy choices at their disposal, they’ll be able to spend their breaks actually resting rather than leaving the office to get what they need. Those small fifteen minute recesses are crucial for allowing your employees to recharge their batteries.
Always take the time to talk to your employees about their workplace. Be open to feedback and criticism about your current system. If they feel that changes would help them be more productive, you may want to implement those changes. They know their jobs better than anyone, and they may just be too shy to speak up about what would help them be more productive.