Whether your business is more of the traditional brick-and-mortar office where you hire permanent employees, or you are engaged in a freelancing business for which you have a virtual workspace/hot desk environment, much of what you use for office equipment and furniture play a huge role in employee productivity.
Image source: North Devon Council on Flickr
For a lot of people, the office inevitably becomes their second home, having to spend a good eight hours or more in the office on weekdays because their job calls for it. Some weekends could be spent at work, too. Most of the time, people go to work because they have responsibilities to fulfill and not because they enjoy spending time at the office. And this can have dire consequences on the future of the business. But all is not lost. You can create a workplace where people can thrive and excel—a place that they will actually look forward to coming to every day.
Look around the office and observe your employees. What is their body language saying? Do they seem tired, stressed out and distracted, or do they seem like they're actually having fun? When your employees are enjoying what they do, you can expect them to render more hours of peak performance.
Below are a few simple tips on how to improve employee productivity in the workplace.
1. Minimize distractions. Office distractions can take on many forms. These range from the usual barrage of emails and phone calls to the flurry of activities going on around the office. For an employee to focus on their job at hand, they need a little bit of privacy. While office cubicles do provide privacy, these may also make the employee feel cramped and isolated at the same time. There are office furniture systems that can give employees a good level of privacy while also making them feel connected to everyone else in the workplace.
Image by: Malcolm Tredinnick on Flickr
You can also install motorized blinds to control the views outside. Open these at an angle that gives just the right amount of view outside the window while letting in a healthy amount of sunlight. Did you know that sunlight can improve a person's mood? A good amount of sun exposure increases the body's serotonin levels, which is a mood-balancing hormone, so a ittle bit of sunlight should be good for everyone at work.
2. Provide a safe and comfortable environment. This goes hand-in-hand with providing the right furniture system at work. First of all, office furniture should be sturdy enough to support the user's weight and size. It should also be designed in a way that will provide comfort to the user even after hours of continuous use. Ergonomically designed seats are readily available these days, and these should be mandatory in all offices.
Safety and comfort should be an employer's first priority. Where these are lacking, employees could easily leave the company when another job opportunity comes along. Comfort is not restricted to physical aspects alone. It also includes mental and emotional health. Suffice it to say that when an employee doesn't feel mentally and emotionally comfortable in the workplace, his or her creativity will be suppressed.
Image by: K2 Space on Flickr
3. Show your appreciation. It doesn't matter if it is a simple pat on the back for a job well done. An employee who feels appreciated for the hard work they've done will be motivated to perform even better.
These are but simple ways to encourage creativity and productivity in the workplace, but they will definitely go a long way.