When establishing an office and creating a workspace for employees, there are many aspects that are taken into consideration: hierarchy of office space, team clustering, cube or open seating, locations of facilities, lighting and the list goes on and on. But while most offices are designed to be functional, aesthetically pleasing, and space optimizing, there’s one important aspect that is equally as important: workplace productivity.
What is workplace productivity?
During work hours, from the minute we walk into the office and the minute we walk out, we are expected to more or less be productive the whole time. The hours set by companies and employers are with the condition that we are working, completing all assigned tasks, and ideally in an efficient way. But there are several factors that can actually affect and even hinder our abilities to be and stay productive in our work environment. In this case, workplace productivity represents the amount of work that is accomplished in the office environment, and it’s important for companies to consider for their space.
Why workplace productivity needs to be considered
When situating an office space, new trends make the “open office” the choice du jour, but as we’ve previously talked about, this setup can actually prevent employees from being productive. While open floor offices can boost morale, encourage open communication and emphasize flat organizational structure, workers can feel stressed or frustrated if they consider themselves to be unproductive.
Workplace productivity is actually necessary for employee satisfaction. If employees don’t feel that they can comfortably get their work done, or they feel too distracted and that there are too many interruptions, they become increasingly less happy about the quality of their work. Inversely, employees who are happy show an increase in productivity. In fact, satisfied employees showed a 12% increase in productivity. So here we have a hen-and-the-egg scenario regarding employee happiness and productivity, but the lesson we can learn is that workplace productivity matters.
How to consider workplace productivity
Workplace productivity can come down to several different factors. As previously mentioned, the environment in which we work is extremely important. That’s why when designing a workspace, strategies for optimizing productivity should be prioritized. If you want to go for the open floor plan concept, opt to include small private rooms for phone calls, or brief one-on-one meetings and conversations to decrease distractions to other employees.
Think about the flow of the space: make the high traffic walkways farther away from desk clusters, and have the staff kitchen in an area of the office where lunch break conversations won’t disturb those who are powering through the noon hour. When you plan out your office with what people need to do their best work in mind, you’ll be able to achieve better harmony in your space and maximize function, aesthetic and productivity.
Other factors in workplace productivity
Ensure that employees have access to the tools available to make their work more productive. Access to automation, task management and social media blocking software can help with productivity. If your company worries about cost for tools, encourage management to look at the actual cost in salary of your employees being unproductive.
Lastly, try using different working methods for productivity. The pomodoro technique or some variations strive to reduce distractions, and keep the brain active and fresh for being productive. Try block scheduling for specific tasks and meetings, such as scheduling writing blocks, email blocks, and meeting blocks of time. When you put tasks together, you avoid wasting time by transitioning between different types of work.
Workplace productivity is a crucial part of company culture, employee satisfaction and office space optimization. That’s why it’s important to take into consideration when thinking about how to create working environments and what your employees need to be making the most of their time in the office.