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Optimizing the Office for Productivity - Better by Design

To increase productivity, we need design inspirations that are equal parts psychology and physical comfort. Use these tips and tricks to subtly optimize productivity in the workplace.

Open office layout with workstations and a collaborative setting

As office managers, we have a responsibility to both our company and our employees. For our company, we have to ensure that each work day is productive by fostering an atmosphere of diligence and pride. For our employees, we have to be firm in our expectations while remaining sensitive to the fact that our workforce is made up of human beings.

A cynic might say that, when caught between the competing desires of a corporation and its employees, satisfying everyone is practically impossible. The company wants more productivity while the employees would prefer to do a little less. But even when taken charitably, this cynical view is at best old hat and at worst short sighted.

The modern office values the quality of work more than the quantity. Today’s skilled labor force is seen as a precious resource rather than a many-faced workhorse. Even so, the question remains: how can office managers satisfy both those above and below them in the org chart?

Simultaneously encouraging contentment and productivity begins with design. By investing equal parts psychology and physical comfort into our offices, we give our employees the freedom they need to do the quality work that makes CEOs jump for joy. Here are just a couple quick tips and tricks.

Reconsider Office Layout

For all practical purposes, the cubicle is dead—and for good reason. In a typical day that might see any one of your employees video conferencing with investors in Hong Kong, collaborating on a spreadsheet in the cloud, or speaking with their corporate counterpart in Berlin, for what role or reason could a cubicle exist?

Today’s digital native workforce needs space to roam around. They prefer to gather at long tables like this OFS Brands multipurpose, interactive table or in dedicated brainstorming spaces like this Herman Miller Prospect workspace.

Modern workers also enjoy flexibility. They can work from couches, beanbags, and in some cases, trampolines. While trampolines may be a bit “out there” for some, other office innovations such as the Framery One custom-built privacy pod make good sense, especially for a workforce in constant need of a quiet space. And far from the claustrophobic and uninspiring cubicles of old, modern desks are modular, stylish, and spacious.

Rethinking employee productivity begins by rethinking the spaces they’re being asked to use!

Dream in Color

Like urban myths, we’re all broadly familiar with color/emotion associations. You may have heard how some fast food restaurants paint their booths yellow to encourage turnover (since yellow conveys anxiety) or how some new parents prefer a light green or blue for a nursery to instill a sense of calm.

Studies show that color really does play an active psychological role in shaping our emotions. Colors in the workplace operate similarly—they can energize, inhibit, inspire, or underwhelm our workforce.

But colorful office additions don’t have to boil down to bad canvas art or statement pieces that stick out like a sore thumb. 3Form wall features double as non-direct light sources, creating both ambiance and attitude where there was little to none before. Fins, panels, wall-to-ceiling lightboxes, and 3D features contain LED bulbs and come with color-changing controllers. All features are available in over 250 colors, so that you can tailor your new office to your company’s brand with ease.

Best of all, 3Form products are stylish, eye-catching, and colorful—everything your office needs for that coveted boost in productivity.

Offer Amenities (And Keep Them Fresh)

While crusty old coffee makers will always have admirers among a workforce, the offer of a cursory cup of Joe isn’t exactly breaking any molds or creating excitement.

In both big and small ways, the amenities we offer to our employees in the office may contribute to their optimism about going to work for the day. If employees know they can have what they need to be comfortable and happy at the office, they’re more likely to maintain a sense of enthusiasm about being there.

Not every office is cut out for the latte machines and ping pong tables of tech startup legend, but sometimes a simple throw will do when draped over a deep and comfy sofa. Other top amenities include more ambitious features such as exercise equipment, arcade cabinets, haircut services, or board games. Simpler amenities might entail plant life, abundant natural light, a fire/water feature, and yes, the beloved bean bag chair.

Failing even a modest blanket or accessible food options, investing in a modern (and less calcium-caked) coffee maker is a great start!

Better Office, Better Work

As an office manager, your options can frequently feel like either/or—either you do what’s best for business or you do what’s best for employees. The reality is somewhat more forgiving, though. By taking bold and innovative steps to improve your office space for the betterment of both productivity and employee morale, you may just pull off what many cynics disregard as being impossible: satisfying everyone.

Office Environments offers the cutting edge solutions 21st century offices need to succeed. As the spirit of American labor changes to meet the future, our offices will have to keep pace. To modernize your office in keeping with your digital native workforce, consider these more reasonable tips and tricks before resorting to foosball tables or kickboxing classes like some of these companies.

Office Environments makes productivity feel organic!

To keep your modern workforce happy, healthy, and hard working, consider how you can manage your office spaces to better meet their needs and desires. Office Environments has the modern solutions you need to tackle modern problems.

Want more ideas?

Contact us today!