Career Woman

Creating a productive office environment

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The office! Somewhere that a lot of the really good stuff happens in a business. The creative juices are flowing. Big conversations. Pitches are prepared, and those substantial contracts are getting signed. So creating a productive office environment is essential for both you and your staff. As a business owner, your staff will look to you to set the tone and cultivate the culture within the office.

Your environment has such a significant impact on your ability to do your job. The design and layout of your office can have a direct effect on you and your staff. Psychologically there are a few tricks that you can use to really get the most from your team and the environment.

In fact, the impact of the office environment has been studied, and it has been found that a well-designed office space can increase your productivity by about 20%. Yet, there are still many employers that aren’t taking the office space seriously. Practically speaking if your staff are 20% more productive due to a great office environment, you will see that impact in your bottom line. Making it a sound business investment too.

Here are some adjustments that you can make to the office to hack the productivity of your team.

Lighting

We all know that lighting can have an impact on things like concentration, eye strain and headaches. But the right light can also help avoid fatigue and keep staff perky for longer. You might be better having a commercial lighting survey done so that you know all of your options. In general here are some tweaks you can make.

For a home office, you should let in as much natural light as possible. Or, if you need to have lights and lamps on, get bulbs that are designed to mimic natural light.

When in the office, make the most of all of your available windows. Have them dressed lightly, so that they diffuse the light that comes in. This means no single desk should have too much sun beating down on them. Instead, the room will have a soft but bright glow.

Clutter

A physical mess can contribute to a mental mess. Even if we think we work fine in those conditions, a part of our mind is always occupied with the mess. Many people don’t love the idea of cleaning, but the truth is, cleaning is an aid in your productivity.

Create a culture of cleaning the area before you use it. Or as soon as the work is done.

For the company office, it is often better to hire a cleaner. They are professionals and will have the office looking neat and clean all the time. If you don’t have the budget for a cleaner then creating a culture of cleaning within the team, by setting that example will have your office clean and ready all the time.

For a home office, you need to have cleaning and tidying in your regular routine. Keeping neat and tidy will make it easier to find what you need, and won’t distract you when you need to get some focused work done. Keep your work files neat at all times, even when you don’t have time to clean.

Desk and chair

The desk and chair that you use will have a significant impact on how much work you can do and how comfortable you are when you are doing it. The same will go for your team. Every person has a different height, and body type, so ergonomic desks and chairs are a must. They can adjust to a wide range of different needs and keep your back, legs, shoulds, neck and arms appropriately supported. Here are a few checks you can do to help you and your staff sit in the best position.

  • Feet should be able to rest flat on the floor, or on a footrest
  • Eyes should be between 24-36 inches away from the computer screen, and the top of your monitor should be just below or at your eye-level
  • To support your lower back and spine, a slight recline in the chair is best.

Using a riser to rest your laptop or screen on will help adjust this height where necessary. You can also use pillows to increase the height of your sitting position. Ideally investing in an adjustable desk and chair will minimize any discomfort that you feel.

Fragrance

The smell of the office has a more significant impact than you might think! Certain scents will impact your mood and mindset. So choosing the scents that will add a positive, productive mindset to the office is a great idea.

These will work for a home office, small office or a large one.

  • Cinnamon is said to help improve focus. However, it can be quite strong so invest in quality here.
  • Lavender can help people relax, which may enable them to do their best work
  • Peppermint is a mood enhancer, which is ideal for keeping people perky and happy
  • Pine scents increase alertness and are also reminiscent of walking in the woods
  • Lemon or oranges help wake people up a little bit

Reed scent diffusers are great for smaller spaces, and candles too. However, for larger office areas, essential oil bags, or some plug-in air fresheners can work wonders.

Refreshments

If you are working an 8-12 hour day because you have a lot to get done, it becomes significantly more difficult if you aren’t getting enough water and nutritious food. Letting yourself get too hungry or thirsty will have an impact on how much you can do. Your brain will begin to focus on food and water rather than the task at hand.

For an office, try to encourage people to take a regular lunch break. And have plenty of cups or offer reusable water bottles, so everyone is hydrated and happy. Small packets of seeds and dried fruit can do wonders too. Avoid nuts, unless you are sure everyone in your office and clients don’t have a nut allergy.

For a home office, you might need to be stricter with yourself. It is tempting just to keep working. But it is more beneficial for you to take regular breaks to get water. Rather than keep water by your desk, set timers that mean you need to get up and walk to get water. This serves you in two ways.

Getting up and moving keeps you active and stops you becoming too sedentary, and walking away from work can give your brain time to make certain connections.

Nature

While not the final piece of the puzzle, bringing in some nature is a big deal. If you don’t have access to a nice view from a window, then it is important you bring nature into the office. You can make these changes in a small office or a large one.

Bring in a range of green plants. They are great for you psychologically and can help clean the air. The better air quality will improve your overall productivity, and for your team too.

Opening the window to let in a breeze will let fresh air fill the office space too.

Photos and even paintings of natural scenes can help too.

Happy people are more productive. The quality of their work is higher too. So aside from the financial benefits of a happy team of staff, your office will be somewhere that they want to go. A group of people that enjoy coming to work are going to put all of those good feelings right back into the work they produce – and everyone will profit.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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