Productivity killers in your office space and how to fix them

Employee productivity is the engine that drives a business, but employers often neglect the one factor, completely under their control, that can boost or cut productivity: the office space. 

Your working environment must serve the function of the business. Think about the last time you were interrupted at work, it was very likely from being too cold or too hot due to ongoing aircon wars with other employees. Or, maybe due to distracting clutter in the office; it could even have been from annoying acoustics like a whirring fan above your workspace. 

Essentially, productivity is halted every time your attention is drawn from your work. We humans need inspiration and focus to prosper at work and our working environment must contribute toward this. 

Comfort level 

Maintaining an optimal comfort level in your employees’ work environment is crucial. Think about the following productivity killers when looking at your office layout:  acoustics, room temperature, clutter in the office, disorganisation, and optimal use of space. Other factors that can have a significant impact on productivity include space planning or navigation, and supplying the necessary equipment. 

The technology must enable employees, not distract them from their work. Think about factors like proper laptops, working plugs and TV screens. 

An environment that doesn’t consider the wellbeing of employees will lead to decreased productivity. On the other hand, healthy plants and new, fresh decor that pays attention to employee comfort can boost productivity.  

Create an area where employees can focus 

Human beings need to be inspired by their working space. Clear any clutter that may obstruct navigation in the office, including obstacles like a pillar next to a desk, or a pile of books or files close to their workspace. The more visually appealing the space, the better it is for productivity. But it’s not just about pleasing aesthetics, remove any objects that may make a noise or grab someone’s attention. 

Suitable environment for the individual and business 

Twenty-five years ago when the open-office plan revolution swept through the industry office workers freaked out saying it would be impossible to work in such an environment, but we have adapted to it. 

But employers need to consider individual needs and personalities when looking at an office layout. Some employees simply won’t accept a job in a certain environment if it doesn’t suit their working style or function. It is essential that every employer asks their employees how they prefer to work and try and accommodate them. 

Cut the noise 

If employees prefer peace and quiet and you place them in a noisy office, their productivity will suffer. For instance, don’t put creatives who need to concentrate right next to the telesales team. It simply won’t work. Be aware of sensory difficulties (sensitivity to light, noise, and temperature) that employees may have. 

It comes down to listening to, and respecting your employees. Ensure that the environment is free from clutter, and treat the office to a fresh coat of paint if you haven’t done so in a while. Even the small things, like coffee, or the availability of food and parking nearby the office can spur employees to work without distractions. 

Hire professional space planners to redesign your space in a more logical way conducive to a better working environment. But first, check out our space calculator to determine how much space you need. 

Try our Space Calculator

Jill Munger

Author Jill Munger

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