Most businesses want the same thing. Ask most CEOs and business owners, and they’ll tell you that they want increased revenue and profits. One of the best ways to increase profitability is by improving productivity. While there are several effective means for increasing productivity in the office, productivity maximization really begins in the design of an office building.
If an office is designed with productivity in mind, then you can expect an increase in employee output. But how do you design an office to maximize productivity?
There are several ways to emphasize productivity with design. Here are four design ideas to get you started.
Idea #1: Incorporate Quiet Areas
Wide-open offices have been a trend in office spaces for the last several years. Collaboration became a buzzword, and people everywhere were raving about breaking down the walls and having a free flow of conversation and ideas in the workplace. While those concepts have merits, this emphasis on constant collaboration virtually eliminated designated quiet spaces.
Quiet spaces are critical for the completion of some jobs. They’re also crucial for private meetings. However, there’s a way to benefit from both the creativity that comes from open designs and the productivity that comes from quiet spaces. It’s not uncommon to see the inclusion of temporary or non-limiting walls, like a conference room glass wall, for instance. Glass walls allow for quiet while still feeling open.
So, this first idea is all about creating quiet areas for employees to do their job and have meetings but do it in a way that still allows for the free flow of ideas. This ensures that you maximize productivity on all fronts in your office’s design.
Idea #2: Emphasize Clean and Sustainable Workspaces
Clutter is a known productivity killer. Your office must be designed in a way that eliminates clutter and emphasizes cleanliness. For example, storage space and organization tools should be abundant in the layout of your office.
In addition to cleanliness, there’s been a significant upswing in sustainable and natural material use in the workplace. This could be because of nature’s positive effect on productivity, or it could be because employees take pride in working for a company that makes sustainable and eco-conscious decisions.
Either way, it’s a smart move to incorporate sustainable materials into your office’s design. Consider using things like reclaimed wood, recycled metals, or natural stones, like quartz in your office’s design. As a bonus, sustainable products can be more cost-effective than other alternatives. As a warning, they can also be more expensive.
Just be sure to price things out. Get natural stone or quartz pricing and compare. Check out studies over sustainability, natural elements, and their effects on worker productivity, and decide if these investments will result in a decent ROI for you before going all in.
Idea #3: Focus on Office Acoustics
While we’ve already talked a bit about noise’s effect on productivity, acoustics play a significant role in employee output. If employees can’t easily communicate, hear, or if they’re distracted by noisy office acoustics, it’ll be difficult for them to be productive.
Too often, very little thought is put into an office’s acoustics until it’s too late. CEOs mistakenly build office buildings with insanely high ceilings, concrete floors, and little in the way of insulation. This layout creates a giant echo chamber that can effectively drive employees crazy rather than helping them be productive.
There are several ideas for focusing on office acoustics. You can use insulation, louvers, panels, sound masking, bulky furniture, or even more complex office screen and wall systems to help control acoustics.
Idea #4: Consider Comfort and Flexibility in The Design
While comfort and flexibility might seem like enemies of productivity and focus, as it turns out, they aren’t at all. Employees who are comfortable and who are allowed to work in flexible spaces outperform employees who work in stuffy, uncomfortable cubicles.
Giving employees the freedom to work in a way that they’re most comfortable allows them to focus less energy on ignoring their discomfort and more on the task at hand. To translate this idea to design, many business owners are creating office spaces with larger work areas, bigger desks, more comfortable chairs, and they’re adding in several “flex areas.”
In other words, they’re creating alternative areas for the employees to complete their jobs, so they aren’t chained to their desks.
Maximize Productivity in Your Office Building
These four ideas are just a few ways that you can maximize productivity through design. If you create quiet areas, emphasize cleanliness, prioritize sustainability, and consider employee comfort, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more productive workforce in no time.
Jordan Swift is a contributor to the Innovative Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Jordan is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value, improve sustainability, and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.
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