If you asked employees how they define a
quality workspace, you would probably find the general consensus to be an open,
stress-free, and productive atmosphere. This is especially true when you take
into consideration the environment in which work takes place is vitally
important when attempting to nurture an optimized and efficient place to do
business. Ensuring that things run smoothly during day-to-day operations can
surprisingly make a big difference in both total output and the company’s
bottom line. However, there are plenty of changes that can be made to correct
insufficiencies or bottlenecks that occur within many corporate offices. Here
are some tips on how an office space can be reimagined for not only a better
work experience but more importantly, a more driven workforce.

Open Floor Plan

When planning the arrangement of an office
space, adapting an open floor plan can allow for
better workflow within and between departments. Avoid using dividing walls,
cubicles, and other design layouts that promote isolation of employees.
Additionally, having managers and certain higher-ranking staff members sit
among entry-level employees can prevent much of the disconnect and hierarchy
issues that are apparent in many businesses. Allow your upper management to be
available and have them work alongside their subordinates to better streamline
communication.

Lighting

Although it may seem insignificant, how well
an office is lit can dramatically impact productivity and morale. Avoid dim
lighting options, as these have been linked to sluggishness and fatigue over
the course of the workday. Artificial lighting, which is often very bright, can
be harmful to the human eye and can lead to
headaches and impaired thinking if someone is exposed to it for long periods of
time. Take natural lighting into consideration when choosing an office space or
looking to renovate. Having excess exposure to sunlight has been linked to
better improve your carbon footprint, while also giving staff a sense of
serenity while in the workplace.

Digital Shortcuts

If possible, give employees additional resources
that will help them do their job faster and more efficiently. Softwares that
have the capabilities to schedule deliveries, auto-fill documents and help with
customer service needs are all great for helping staff prioritize their
workload on a daily and weekly basis. Many companies have even begun to utilize
advanced technologies that will automate repetitive workflows, allowing
workers to focus their attention elsewhere—whether that be on larger-scale
projects or to be more productive in their day-to-day responsibilities.
Although these programs can be expensive, they can boost total output and
project completion rate, saving both time and money.

Furnishings

Many businesses neglect to think about small
things that could make a big difference from an efficiency standpoint. Having
desk space and comfortable chairs for employees can make desk work and staying
organized a breeze. Also, consider implementing standing desks to promote
movement within the office. The more employees are up and moving around, the
more collaborative and communicative teams will be. Some companies have even
added furnishings around the office such as couches and tables to allow for
meet-ups in a communal space. Making an office space feel secure and as
home-like as possible will give employees peace of mind knowing that coming to
work will be more of a joy than a chore.

Employee Incentives

Depending on your office’s location and layout, you can use the space as part of an employee incentive. Many companies will offer their staff priority seating or in some cases, a private office once they have reached a certain level of management. This offers your employees a goal to strive toward and a sense of status within the office. Additionally, by sitting teams close together within the floor plan of the space, collaboration and team-oriented goals become more achievable. Incentivize teams using this strategy (if applicable) to gain a healthy competitive landscape among staff.

Photo credits: eOffice

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