It’s easy to assume that the right combination of hardware, software personnel and maybe a solid broadband connection will be enough to fire up any modern workforce. It would be, too, were one element of the above not particularly prone to operating erratically. No, not the techy elements involved, but the people who work with them.
The human condition
We humans are susceptible to far more environmental factors than any of the tech we rely on, so we need to be managed in more ways than strategy, salary and targets. Even the most challenging, exciting and ultimately rewarding jobs can become a chore when we’re not feeling right – so, the more we are surrounded by positivity, the more productive we’re likely to be.
A recent article published by Minutehack breaks down the external influences on employee productivity into two distinct areas: the quality of the environment and the overall layout of the office. The first category includes things like ventilation, heating, cleanliness and the amount of natural light in the space, while the second focuses on the perception of space, including storage, working areas and both meeting and breakout areas.
Thinking about the office like this, broken down into different areas that can affect an individual, gives you a clearer idea of the many mitigating factors in employee performance and productivity – and how to begin addressing them.
The design-minded solution
A recent study by teams at Harvard and Syracuse Universities focused strongly on the quality of the indoor environment, particularly on the quality of air in the workspace. Employees were tested in standard office environments as well as ‘greener’ conditions where there were more ventilation and lower levels of carbon dioxide. The results were profound – the staff who worked in a cleaner environment performed a massive 61% better than the rest, highlighting the importance of environmental quality on staff productivity.
Furthermore, a similar study, mentioned in the same article by The Conversation, found that employees who worked in ‘greener’ buildings also suffered far fewer headaches and respiratory complaints than normal – while still performing almost 30% better on cognitive tasks. This is one of the many reasons why office managers and business owners are beginning to think far more consciously about overall office design – both in terms of layout and quality of environment simultaneously.
Professional office design specialists, such as Maris in London, now assist companies with creating the ultimate combination of layout and environment. Benefiting everything from employee productivity and wellbeing to overall company culture and ethos, a specially-designed office can make all the difference to employees at every level of the business. While every other essential element of an office needs to be in place, the place itself must never be forgotten when planning an office revamp or redesign.
Furthermore, a well-designed office can attract new staff who are keen themselves to work in a positive, bright and vibrant environment. Be sure to take note of both the layout and environmental quality of your office the next time you decide on a revamp – even if it takes some time, and cost, it could be well worth it in the long run.