Team building exercises are all well and good. Charging down a river or swinging through treetop canopies is sure to get you and your staff revved up. It may even pump up staff productivity, at least for a while. But before you haul out those indemnity forms, here are some simple design changes you can make around the office that will consistently add to you and your staff’s productivity on a daily basis.
Apply the Simple Science of Ergonomics
Aches and pains have a way of stealing your focus from your work. A stiff neck, sore back or fuzzy eyes can be the result of poor posture and your chair, screen or desk at the wrong height or distance. Take a few minutes to adjust and adjust some more until you get it just right. Your body should be at neat angles. Eyes level and facing straight ahead, thighs parallel to the floor, upper arms perpendicular to the floor, and wrists just about straight. Or you could opt for height adjustable desking where you can alternate between sitting and standing.
Call it Quits on the Clutter
The more organised you are, the less clutter you’ll have. Aim for a paperless space and instead use your virtual desktop or folders to organise your professional and personal life. Develop a folder system that works for you and stick to it. Start by mapping it out, create just a few primary folders and then divide those into sub-folders and the sub-folders into more sub-folders. Get familiar with and use Dropbox and other cloud-based storage apps – these are amazing tools for backing up your documents and accessing work between different devices and computers.
We spend a large part of our lives at the office, which is why they’re becoming a fusion of home and office – with kitchens, entertainment areas and more. Today’s smart office is designed to make people feel more creative and feel good about being at work. Ideally, offices are a combination of entertainment, home comforts, technology and interactive areas.
Create Agile Workspaces
Besides workstations and meeting rooms, offices also have a third space, or what’s referred to as the Agile Office. These are the places between our workstations and what we refer to as formal meeting rooms. Making efficient use of these spaces – creating collaborative work areas, using soft-seating, or creating coffee-break setups – invites collaboration and the exchange of ideas, and makes the working day more relaxed and increases staff productivity.
Feed the Senses
How we feed the senses can also have a profound effect on staff productivity. We can add visual stimulation by using colour and plants. Good-smelling plants can also stimulate our olfactory senses. Smell is the most powerful of the senses and can influence brain activity, so applying some aromatherapy around the office could be a wonderful pick-me-up. Music is another sensory pleasure and many businesses report that playing music at work improves employee morale.