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5 Ways to Unlock Performance Through Your Office Design

Office Design & Company Performance


Are you looking to boost your team's productivity and overall company performance? While  this has many components, one often overlooked aspect is your office design. As the place where your staff spend over 2,000 hours each year, your office has a big impact on their productivity. This then feeds through into overall staff performance.

 

Unfortunately, an office redesign won't magically improve the performance of your company. While we'd love that to be true, it's simply not the case. What an effective office redesign can do, however, is to unlock staff performance. By removing obstacles and providing inspiration, your office can enable better performance.

 

Today, we'll go through the 5 best ways to ensure your office allows your people and company to perform to the best of their ability. By the end, you'll know how to create a workspace that enables your people and company to thrive.

 

Environment Variety

The most important way you can unlock improved staff performance in your office is by including variety. This goes beyond desks and meeting rooms. It includes focussed working spaces, collaborative environments, and breakout areas.

 

This is important because different tasks and different people require different environments. Providing your staff with this variety allows them to move between spaces based on their current task. This will boost their productivity and creativity.

 

Exactly what environments you should have in your office will depend on your exact needs. To establish these, you could work with a workspace consultant to analyse how your staff work. Generally, your office should include individual offices, open-plan areas, collaborative zones, and breakout spaces. To learn more, read How Much Office Space Do I Need?

 

Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is the practice of incorporating natural materials and elements into offices. This goes beyond office plants to include all natural elements such as wood and stone. Natural light and fresh air are also included.

 

Biophilic design can have a huge impact on the wellbeing and productivity of your people. Workers in biophilic offices report 6% higher productivity and 15% better wellbeing. Natural light boosts mood and energy levels. Natural colours and textures can reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing.

 

To optimise biophilic design in your office, start by moving the most used areas of your office to the outside, where there is plenty of natural light. Use light-coloured finishes to reflect and maximise the natural light throughout the space.  Office plants and living walls can be installed throughout your office. Using other natural materials like wooden panelling will also improve biophilia. Even using imitations of natural materials, such as wooden-effect vinyl, will have a similar impact.

 

Acoustic Management

Acoustics are the most overlooked aspect of office design. However, they have a huge impact on the mood and performance of your people. Managing sound levels in your office will help your people minimise distractions and enhance their concentration.

 

Noise and distractions in the office can be hugely damaging to productivity. The average worker wastes 60 hours every month due to workplace distractions - over a third of their total work time. 75% said excessive noise in the office prevents them from doing a good job. Effective acoustic design reduces distractions and improves concentration. This enables your people to be far more productive.

 

The first part of acoustic management in your office design starts with the layout. You need  separate areas for each type of activity, to prevent overlap. Using sound-absorbent materials such as carpets and soft furnishings reduces background noise. You could even install a sound masking system to neutralise background noise in your office. To learn more, read How to Reduce Noise Pollution in  Your Office.

 

Ergonomic Furniture


Ergonomic furniture is designed to support the physical health of your staff. Effective ergonomic design in your office will reduce health issues such as RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

This is crucial to unlocking effective staff performance. Ergonomic furniture will prove a good investment due to reduced staff absenteeism and improved health. Effective ergonomic design will also reduce staff fatigue, further unlocking their performance.

 

To improve ergonomic design in your office, ensure all your task chairs are fully adjustable (and that staff know how to adjust them). The same applies to all meeting chairs and soft seating - they need to be either adjustable, or designed to cater to different staff sizes. You could install sit-stand desks to allow for more movement throughout the day. Whatever furniture you have, it needs to suit all your staff.

 

Breakout Spaces

Breakout spaces are areas dedicated to staff relaxation and wellbeing. Most commonly, this comprises kitchens and teapoints, with a soft seating eating area. Other examples include meditation rooms and even on-site gyms. Regardless of what form they take, they are designed to help staff disconnect from work and recharge.

 

Providing your staff with breakout space is crucial. It will help prevent burnout, improve mental health, and maintain high energy levels. By enabling staff to achieve this without leaving the office, you make it more convenient. It also enables you to have more input into their wellbeing.

 

To apply this in your office, you can create comfortable lounge areas with soft seating and food preparation facilities. You could also include recreational activities. If you have enough space, you could add a dedicated meditation room or gym facility. This will unlock staff performance by improving their mental health and energy levels.

 

Unlocking Performance in Your Office Design

Employee performance is a crucial component of overall company success. By providing an environment that enables and inspires your staff, you can unlock their potential. This will lead to improved overall company performance. It's crucial to recognise that an office redesign won't automatically improve productivity. It's an enabler, a way to help them focus, communicate, and produce great work consistently. By doing this, your office can provide a great return on your real estate investment.

 

To take the next step, download Office Design and Productivity - The Ultimate Guide. You'll get the full breakdown of the why, the how, and the what of staff productivity and office design. Download your copy here.

 

To learn more about creating an effective office space, read How to Create a High-Performance Workspace. We'll walk you through the 7 key pillars of creating a high-performance workspace. By the end, you'll understand how to create a workspace that maximises the performance of your people and company.

 

To understand better the impact your office design has, read How Your Office is Harming (or Helping) Company Growth. We'll go through 5 signs your office is holding you back, and then 5 signs it may be helping you forward. As a result of reading this article, you'll know whether your office is hindering or facilitating your company's growth efforts. You'll also know where to start fixing or optimising your workspace(s).

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