Business owners routinely try to think of ways to boost worker productivity.
You've probably tried to come up with ways to increase the amount of work your employees do.
Incentives and other high-flying, expensive attempts might work to some degree, but you might be missing out on a simpler solution: redecorating.
There's a reason that the row of cubicles has become the image of employee dissatisfaction and all that is wrong with today's workplace.
Sitting in a cubicle all day, hunched over a keyboard and squinting at a small computer screen isn't conducive to real productivity. If you want your workers to get more done, here are some suggestions for improving your office environment:
Let in the Light
One of the simplest things you can do to boost office worker productivity is to let in more natural light. According to an abstract published by researchers at Northwestern University, workers who received more white light exposure than their counterparts during work hours slept more -- and better -- at night than their counterparts. Well-rested workers are more productive and make better decisions at work. Another study indicates that employees in an office with a window stayed on task 15 percent more of the time than their colleagues without windows.
If you want to improve worker productivity, allowing more natural light into the office as a whole, or looking for other ways to create a well-lit environment can help.
Adjust the Colors
The colors you choose in your work environment can also have an impact on your workers, according to research reported by Inc. magazine. Some of the best colors to use in an office environment include:
- White, which opens up an area and works well with natural light. White can promote creativity.
- Green is another color that promote creativity.
- Blue works well in environments where detail is important. Blue is considered calming.
- Yellow offers optimism, so a splash of this color can help in your office. However, the Inc. article warns, it can also lead to eye fatigue. Use yellow sparingly to add a dash of refreshment to the office, but don't overdo it.
- Orange is a color that is designed to energize. This energy can help boost performance and productivity and improve endurance.
Carefully consider your color scheme with thought toward what is likely to refresh your team and help members stay focused.
Add Standing Desks to Your Business Environment
You might be surprised to discover that redecorating with standing desks as opposed to lower desks that require sitting can help improve productivity. However, there is ample evidence that standing desks are ideal for the work environment. Major tech companies like Facebook and Google offer their employees standing desks.
Reports find that not only do standing desks help employees focus better on the task at hand (increasing productivity), but that standing desks can be better for health. Healthier employees are, in general, more productive, and they are less likely to be absent from work. Consistency in the workplace can be helped by healthy employees. When you combine standing desks with good lighting, overall health and wellness can mean better results regarding productivity.
Even if you don't turn your office into one full of standing desks, you can still improve worker productivity with the furniture you choose. Comfortable, ergonomic chairs can help workers avoid distractions associated with uncomfortable working conditions. Consider offering different options to workers so they can work the way that feels best to them.
Related Article: Friday Comic: Time-Wasting Behavioral Trends in the Office
Add Another Computer Screen
You might be surprised to discover that adding a second monitor to your workers' stations can improve productivity. According to a VIBE study, adding another computer screen helped workers boost their productivity by 9 percent. For more mundane tasks, like cutting and pasting, a second screen improved productivity by as much as 50 percent. It's easier for workers to complete their tasks with a second monitor, and that means they can finish quicker and move on to the next task.
Keep Frequently Used Items Handy
One of the biggest hassles to many workers is having to look for what they need, or the inconvenience associated with using equipment that isn't located nearby. Give some thought to the flow of your office. Where is the printer located? Are there filing tools nearby to help employees stay organized?
Whether your workers are looking for a specific paper, or whether someone needs to make a photocopy, you want things to be simple. Pay attention to the way the office is laid out, and to what employees are most likely to need. Keep frequently used supplies on hand and easy to access.
Keep the environment neat and tidy. Not only does this make it easier for your employees to find what they want, but it will also help them feel more comfortable. It is true that clutter can distract employees. If you can provide the tools your workers need to cut the clutter, productivity will improve because there will be fewer distractions.
Add a Plant
Believe it or not, adding a few plants can help improve worker productivity. According to research published by the American Psychological Association, adding household plants to the office environment can boost productivity. Greenery -- and nature in general -- can help workers mentally refresh themselves and improve their productivity.
Nature images can also help boost worker efficiency. Humans have an innate connection with nature, and being able to interact with it, or even look at pictures related to nature, can reduce stress and anxiety and help workers better focus on their work.
While you don't want to clutter up the office space, adding strategically placed plants can enhance the environment and improve your worker morale.
Related Article: Can an Office Makeover Affect Employee Productivity?
Circulate the Air
While it's not exactly redecorating, you can get better results when you ventilate your workspace. Better ventilation can mean improved productivity, according to a study from the Center for the Built Environment. Better air circulation is good for the body, and it also provides a jolt of refreshment to workers. Once again, these realities help workers focus better and perform their tasks in a more efficient matter.