When TEDx Bangalore recently released its top ten of the coolest offices in Bangalore many may have been forgiven for feeling a little dissatisfied with their work space.
Far from just being awesome places to work, these stunning spaces boasted light, airy environments with beanbags, breakout areas and some of the coolest décor.
Not everyone has the budget for such interior design extravagance but keeping your workforce happy is key to a loyal and productive workplace and there are some easy changes that can be made to significantly boost productivity levels.
Get the Ambiance Right
Natural light is of course key to productivity levels, studies have shown that in offices with lots of sunlight, productivity levels can lift by up to 40%.
As well as being one of the most contentious issues in workplaces all over the world (it’s something employees can seemingly never agree on) workspace temperature is another consideration.
As a rule of thumb, cooler equals a more productive workplace, but be wary of making it too cold; recent studies suggest that air conditioning should be set to 22 degrees Celsius for optimum output levels.
Finally, if possible letting fresh air in to circulate will also improve worker concentration and as it provides more oxygen to the brain. And introducing plants is another step that will improve ambiance and air quality.
Perfect Privacy Levels
Open plan office layouts are thought to increase collaborative working and staff morale, but there is a train of thought that open plan layouts are killing productivity.
In fact, between 20 and 40 per cent of open plan office workers were found to be dissatisfied with privacy levels.
Offering optional ways to privatise workspaces, yet within a collaborative working environment is the way forward. Along with quiet spaces or zones where employees can escape for some quiet or time out if needed.
As the manager of a company you may want to put a dampener on conversations at the water-cooler, but dehydration is the enemy of productivity, so encourage employees to drink often throughout the day.
The sound of water also has a calming effect and can aid concentration, so the introduction of water features or indoor fountains can help create a zen-like atmosphere.
Lose the Paper Weight
Ever look around at the stacks of paper in a workspace and feel weighed down by a sense of guilt at your inability to clear them.
Paperless workplaces are not only good for the environment but good for mental health too, as clutter can stifle creativity, taking up valuable headspace as well as physical space.
Introduce robust filing systems and where possible make these paper-free to eliminate clutter from the office.
Investing some time and resource into improving your office can significantly boost staff morale and productivity. Changes needn’t be huge or expensive, just well thought out and focused on benefiting the people who make your business.