A few months ago we began the process of building new offices at mywedding.com, and I got interested in how the physical office environment can affect employee productivity.
- Views Of The Outside Are Important
Corner offices have long been coveted for their prestige, but they should be envied for their benefits to productivity, too. A nice view of the outside is correlated to faster and better performance by a margin of up to 16%. Many modern office parks orient nearly all interior office spaces to landscaped areas, or natural vistas like ponds, creeks, or hills.
- Open Floorplans Decrease Productivity
A few years ago it became fashionable, especially for startups, to have open floor plans. Some of the benefits touted by companies using this design model include cost cutting, increasing employee contact, and better accountability. However, there is mounting evidence that the noise generated by these arrangements distracts up to a third of the workforce and has other negative associations — like increasing the amount of sick leave employees take.
- Temperature Counts
While not a construction factor, the temperature of the physical office environment can impact the effectiveness of your workforce. In a 2009 poll from CareerBuilder, one-third of the employees surveyed complained about the temperature of their office environment. It turns out that the ideal office temperature is 69-71 degrees, year round. Colder, and people feel alert but uncomfortable; warmer and they feel sweaty and uncomfortable. In the era of the 3-piece business suit, a chilly office environment made sense; today, excess cold is both counterproductive and costly to the environment and the budget.
- Other Factors That Can Make A Difference
The infographic goes on to explore a number of other factors that can impact employee productivity, including technology (laptops and extra monitors help), timing (scheduling meetings an employee’s peak times is key) and the general corporate culture.
While nothing here is groundbreaking or even that surprising, most offices do not currently meet these guidelines. For example, 70% of offices currently have some form of open office plan. If you are planning a new space or trying to reorganize your office, or perhaps just looking for ways to give your employees a little extra productivity boost this year, it is worth exploring some of these recommendations.
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