During the workweek, office workers typically spend a third of their time in an office environment. So it stands to reason that the environment can significantly impact their moods and motivation levels. Research seems to support this: Numerous studies have found that workplace productivity can be affected in substantial ways by the environment in which employees work. It’s in employers’ best interests to make sure their office environments are configured and optimized in such a way that their employees feel comfortable and productive.
Recently, tech giants such as Google and Facebook have made headlines with splashy office campuses designed specifically around this principle. Employees who work at these complexes have access to massage therapy, nap rooms, coffee shops and other luxurious perks meant to help them decompress and stay focused during the workday. Although these techniques may contribute greatly to a happy workforce and improve employee productivity, they’re also well outside the means of most employers. However, just because not every employer can afford to build a rock-climbing wall for their employees to use during break time doesn’t mean there aren’t tools available to them for creating a productive office.
In fact, there are numerous ways businesses can boost office productivity that won’t involve huge investments in showy perks or bleeding-edge technology. These office improvements may involve a minor change to the layout of an office or a new wrinkle in the employee handbook. Even though these changes may seem relatively minor, they can end up being major contributors to creating a productive workplace.
For example, studies have found that increasing the amount of natural lighting employees are exposed to during the workday can significantly improve their mood, helping them feel more comfortable and productive. Adding something as simple as window film to the office can make it possible for blinds to stay open longer throughout the day without affecting the temperature inside the office or introducing harsh glare during the middle of the day. Introducing healthier snacks in the break room also can be a great way to keep employees focused on their work by satisfying their hunger.
The accompanying checklist includes these and many other suggestions for workplace improvements that can boost employee productivity. Office workers have to spend a third of their day in the same environment, and it’s important that employers provide them with an environment in which they’re comfortable enough to stay focused on delivering their best performance.