Every business would like their office to be as productive as possible, and some surprisingly straightforward design choices can help.
#1 Choose ergonomic chairs
Uncomfortable chairs are one of the main barriers to productivity. More than that, they can actually have long-term health implications. Bad backs, headaches, and muscle tension are all linked to a poor sitting position. This can be remedied by replacing old office chairs with newer, ergonomic models or getting even more creative and opting for a solution like bean bags.
Bean bag chairs are becoming increasingly popular in office spaces, both as a place to relax and as a substitute for the traditional office chair. They’re supportive and comfortable, and their soft interiors work like memory foam to take the shape of the person sitting in them. That doesn’t come at the expense of good posture, though, and bean bags are widely recommended for anyone suffering from a bad back.
#2 Set up a communal space
Most offices have some kind of communal space around the office printer or the quintessential water cooler area. Giving employees space to chat and socialize might not seem like the most effective way to boost productivity, but the opposite is often true. Concentration dips over time. Giving employees an area to destress on their breaks helps them return to work feeling renewed.
Making this a designated area helps to keep the workplace ordered. In addition, with specific areas for work and others for socializing, employees are less likely to become distracted at their desks.
#3 Remove all clutter
The old adage that a cluttered desk means a busy mind doesn’t correspond to office work. An office space that’s being used to store year’s of accumulated boxes and folders looks unprofessional and encourages a lax attitude. Messy workplaces are also linked to increased feelings of stress and anxiety, not to mention the fact that they make it much harder for employees to lay hands on the information they need at any given time.
Messy offices are also harder to navigate, and once clutter starts to mount up, it tends to continue in that direction as care for the workplace decreases. However, clearing away excess boxes and files is the first step towards a more productive, happier office, and it might not take as long you think!
#4 Use nature to your advantage
Nature has long been known to have a beneficial effect on mental health, and even houseplants cleanse the air. They filter impurities and pump out oxygen instead. Increased oxygen levels, of course, mean boosted concentration and, by extension, higher levels of productivity. More generally, the sight of plants simply gives offices a fresher, more natural feel, which has a range of psychological benefits.
Plants are one of the cheapest and easiest changes you can make. Trailing plants like ivy look wonderful along windowsills, hanging baskets can be suspended from ceilings, and big floor plants like Yucca and Kentia Palm make excellent office centerpieces. Where possible, you can also consider an office garden. Even if space is at a premium, having an outdoor area to relax will improve employees’ mental health.