07 Mar How Transforming your Office Space Can Boost Productivity
The lengths some companies go to in order to boost productivity are, by turn, often hilarious, bizarre, desperate and even disastrous. Of course, sometimes it works and companies are capable of gaining marginal percentage point increases. Yet very often this comes at a cost, either financially or to the morale and well-being of staff. It often involves cut backs, which may have potential short terms benefits but in the long run can often be very damaging.
Yet there is an easier way of boosting productivity – one that can yield incredible upturns in productivity and yet involves no cut backs, no bizarre strategies and no crippling investment.
Studies by the University of Warwick Business Schools, one of the most respected business schools in the world, have found that happy employees are around 12% more productive on average according to a base rate of productivity. That’s not all. Unhappy employees are around 10% less productive than the placebo group. You don’t need an MBA from Warwick to realise that this 22% swing is a huge boost to any company. The key factor is trying to work out how to make your employees happier.
Very often it is simple, human factors that make employees happy. Trust, confidence, value and worth are all far bigger factors in employment happiness than big pay cheques and extended holidays. Another important factor is the nature of the office environment. Cramped, stuffy and badly lit offices, where lunch breaks are taken at desks or skipped altogether creates unfit and unhappy employees. Dull, boring and uninspiring workplaces also lead to poor job satisfaction levels and higher turnovers of staff.
This is a lesson that many of the world’s hippest and most successful companies have learned. Huge global players like Google, Facebook and even the once stuffy AOL have realised that a fun, colourful and pleasant working environment leads to happier staff. This in turn leads to better productivity. Offices with gyms, recreation space, and even slides have become the norm among the world’s most successful and dynamic companies.
These spaces are usually well organised and divided into zones of work. Hot desking and designated workspaces are common, natural light and fresh air are also a recurring theme. And they all have spaces set aside for downtime, breaks and recreation. In fact, Google has a rule that no employee should ever be more than 100 metres away from an eating place. There’s no stuffing down a sandwich at your desk at Google HQ.
Break out spaces, work zones and natural light are such obvious and simple solutions to the problem, yet it is astounding how many office spaces seem to neglect them. The self-defeating solution that more people in a smaller space makes for better business is thankfully dying a slow death. Serviced office space companies like Easy Offices know this far better than most, and aim to provide office spaces that are transformed by the modern approach to business. Which is why they are proving to be increasingly important within the industry.
So, is it time you did away with the grey, the strip lights and the overstuffed office fridge? Think more about your working environment and watch all the productivity points go up as a result.