When working in an office environment you may find that your surroundings can play more of a part in your work flow than you realise. The style of an office has been shown to directly affect the people that work inside of it, and thus more and more companies are looking to not only improve the offices appearance, but also to give their staff more of a chance to get focused and improve the way they do things. So, that said, let’s take a look at some of the key points when it comes to the effects of office design.
It is important to ensure that your staff are comfortable at their workstations. Your workers may not be so contented if their environment feels uncomfortable. Even the smallest changes can make the largest differences. In the UK the annual loss to businesses through sickness is around £15 billion. The NHS reported that bad backs accounted for over 7.6 million lost working days between 2010-2011. It is therefore incredibly important that you ensure you have carried out a health and safety assessment on each employee’s workstation. This should include assessing the following factors:
- seating posture
- computer screen position
- chair height
- keyboard position
- mouse position
- desk equipment layout
It’s all about the feng shui when it comes to finding a place to put things. You don’t want people to be falling over clutter or squeezing through tight spaces. A full office is a stressful office, so you need to make sure that you have everything you need to work but enough room to walk around freely. You will also need to bear in mind the convenience of others. For instance, if a member of staff needs a stapler, but all the stationary is on the other side of the office, they will be wasting a lot of time just going back and forth.
Distractions can come in many different forms and levels. Ask.com carried out a survey on US workers who reported that loud colleagues and disruptive chatty colleagues were the top two distractions. When deciding on your office layout you should bear in mind these two things. Will an open plan office work for your staff or would your employees be less distracted if they worked in cubicles or partitioned areas?
Office design is an ever changing world, and more and more people are looking deeper into the impact of workspaces on their companies work flow. Each office environment is different and therefore the right office layout will not necessarily be the same for everyone. For more information and resources on office design and office productivity simply look online or have a discussion with your team.