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Is your office killing productivity?

A well-designed office space can do wonders for worker morale and productivity. The environment you create should be functional, practical and inspiring. However, in many cases, workers are crammed into a space that is too small for their headcount, and the design does not allow for maximum productivity. Whilst many companies don’t always have the budget for a state-of-the-art office, it’s vital not to overlook the importance of a well-planned office environment.

We’ve identified 5 areas where your office space could be killing worker productivity. If you identify with any of these, you may need to carry out a Workplace Appraisal and review your relocation options:

1. Fit for purpose
Your office needs to be designed for the purpose it’s intended; taking into consideration which workers need to be located close to each other – and conversely which teams need to be distanced due to the types of work they are involved with. Far too many offices are set up without any consideration as to how work is actually performed in the space. You should also consider how many workers are in the office at any one time. If you have sales people who are out on the road a lot, you may want to consider hot-desking to reduce the number of permanent desks and maximise your space.

2. Lighting
More companies are realising the importance of lighting. Not just from a cost perspective, but in order to improve productivity. Studies have shown that employees benefit from working with as much natural light as possible. Obviously, you will need artificial lighting to complement any natural light, but this can be significantly reduced if you give careful thought to where you position workstations. If you are viewing potential properties, make sure you that one of the items on your office space checklist is an office with plenty of natural light.

3. Sound
Sound control causes many problems for office tenants, particularly in open plan layouts where sound is more likely to carry further. It can be an annoyance for workers who need to work quietly and find it hard to concentrate when they can hear people talking around them. Companies can keep ambient noise to a minimum by investing in sound-absorbing office furniture or wall panels, and opting for carpet over wooden floors.

4. Temperature
The optimum temperature in offices should be between 21 and 23 degrees celsius. Any warmer or cooler could hinder staff productivity. If you don't have comfort cooling installed to keep the office at an optimum temperature, make sure there are air conditioning units so staff can adjust temperature accordingly.

5. Ergonomic considerations
Staff spend the majority of their week sitting at their desks staring at their computer screen. They deserve to carry out their tasks comfortably so that their chairs and workstations do not cause health issues. Investing a little time and money into making sure that desks and computer screens are at appropriate heights, is well worth the investment when you consider how much happier and comfortable your staff will be.

For more information on how best to design an office for maximum productivity, download the Tenant's Guide to Office Design.


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