It’s no secret that being productive at work and ensuring the productivity of your employees is much easier when the workplace is organised. A survey conducted by Adecco in 2012 adds on to this, saying that a little over half of the employees judge their coworkers based on their office organisational habits. Which gives even more importance to being involved in the organisation of your business — or even just your personal workstation. However, aside from keeping everything in its rightful place, there are actually other ways that you can change the layout of your office to ensure that productivity is at an all-time high.
Throw Away the Coffee Machine—Introducing the Treadmill Desk
After a week of the boss hounding you, you’ve probably had enough. It might be a Thursday, so not only do you have nearly a whole week behind you, but you still have to push yourself an extra day. You readjust in your seat every few minutes, pop your fingers, and shake your head to keep your eyes from closing without your permission. Eventually, you stand up just to go for a little stroll. But then you see something amazing. A coworker of yours who is just a few workstations over, is jogging along while typing up a spreadsheet. He looks skinnier, healthier, but most importantly, he appears vivacious.
Treadmill desks and standing desks have been gaining popularity in workplaces globally in the past few years, and it’s not hard to figure out why. They allow people who are usually too busy (or those who just don’t go) togo the gym to kill two birds with one stone — not to mention it’s hard to fall asleep when you’re going on a moderate jog up a ten-percent incline. Feeling that mid-week slump sneaking up on you? Press the up arrow a few times and leave it in the dust.
Give Your Employees a Taste of the Outdoors
We don’t mean that you should take your staff out on a wilderness getaway adventure—although that certainly wouldn’t hurt—rather, bring a taste of the outside in! There’s no denying that people get tired of sitting inside all day, listening to the hum of the air conditioning, shielding their eyes from the harsh glow of the fluorescent lighting. (Maybe try some non-overhead lighting, if possible.) A little bit of flora can go a long way in sprucing up a workspace, making it feel more comfortable, not to mention welcoming for potential customers and clients!
If you’re not sure what kind of plants would work well in your office, create an office-wide initiative where people can go pick out plants that they ideally would like to keep at their workstations with a modest, company-provided budget. Better yet, maybe consider hiring a professional, like Saracen Interiors who can help the design process along, and even source furniture. This stands true for all of the tips on this list. There’s a risk that despite your good intentions, that little cactus you placed behind the sink in the break room just isn’t going to have a vast effect on design or morale. Ideally, you’d want a decent amount of plants. Low-maintenance plants such as pothos vines, air plants, or little mossy terrariums are a great option for busy workspaces. (Don’t even think about a plastic ficus.)
Think of your workspace. Take away all the people, all the furniture, and all of the plants that you selectively picked out for your employees. What colour do you see? If it’s white, tan, grey, or any other neutral colour, there’s usually room for improvement.
Colours are massively influential on our motivation levels, how creative we’re feeling, and how we process information. Now, don’t immediately break out the bright pink paint and go to town—you’ll want to consider your options a bit more thoroughly than that.
Take your conference room, for instance. Are your regular staff meetings taking longer than you’d like? Consider a warm colour, like red to create a sense of urgency to hustle things along. Are your creative teams having trouble coming up with fresh content? Numerous studies have shown that a cooler colour like blue or green will enhance outside-the-box thinking, which can aid your teams to come up with more ways to attract your customer base.
Choose what colour you want each area of your office to draw inspiration from to match the personalities of those working in that area. This subliminal effect that colour has on our minds can be found in marketing as well. Large businesses will choose their primary colour based off of the emotion they want their customers to feel while shopping in their store. What is staggering is that it’s affected you at one point or another, whether you realise it or not.
And you can use this to your advantage in other ways, too. If you want to ensure that your clients can handle a large creative project, design the room around an inspirational and motivating colour.
When it’s time to pack up your briefcase and head home for the day, the room doesn’t have to look like a crayon box splattered over the room, but at least make sure it’s not reminiscent of a drowsy day.
In the End, How Would You Want It?
It helps to take a step back and look at your employee’s’ situation from their perspective. Would you be able to feel productive or want to work in the space you have provided for them? If you hesitated even remotely before you answered that, you should probably alter or change something. You owe your success to your employees, so it’s only fair that you treat them with a nice place to work.
Get new desks, paint the walls, bring in some plants, maybe even get a big, friendly dog as an office mascot. But in the end, the easiest way to make your employees productive and ensure that they continue to work hard? Make them happy. Ask them what they want, and you may very well be surprised. Who knows, maybe all they want is a treadmill desk.