Did you know that the way our workspaces are designed affect our productivity and happiness at work? As managers of office space in Victoria, BC, we would like to share these few tips on how to design your office space to boost your team’s happiness and productivity during office hours.
The basics: heat and lighting
Did you know that temperature is the most common complaint among employees? A space that’s too warm or too cold can have adverse effects on your company’s ability to get work done.
Although it might be difficult to completely control temperature in an office space, it’s important to keep track of complaints and make sure that the space is comfortable for everyone. Note offices that are significantly warmer or colder, “temperature zones” in the office or air conditioning that’s too cold.
Lighting is easier to change. Plan your office space around natural lighting—the best lighting for happiness and productivity. Ideally, every employee should have access to some natural light. If this is not possible, make sure that there is a common space with lots of natural light. We’re lucky here: the beautiful landscape you can see from office spaces in Victoria, BC will make you want to have as many windows as possible!
Use specialized lighting when necessary—people who work with computers all day need different lighting than people who spend their time on the phone or meeting clients face to face.
Think flexible: the new norm of office space
The days of the cubicle field surrounded by executive offices are over. In the age of information work, people need spaces where they can collaborate as well as spots where they can focus on a specific task. Studies show that an office with collaborative spaces, a variety of offices for “hoteling” and flexible meeting rooms is more productive.
“Hoteling”, also known as “hot desking”, describes the use of closed offices on a temporary basis, when workers need a quiet space to focus. The idea is that when workers need to collaborate, they meet in an open space, and they can all move to closed offices when they need to focus alone. No particular space is tied to any particular person, encouraging collaboration and breaking down hierarchy. Space should be tied to function, not position. This type of space management is also practical for companies with people who drop in the office from time to time: sales staff, part-timers and virtual employees.
Be smart: sustainability, ergonomics and technology
Productive offices are also increasingly smart offices. New green materials reduce toxic gases from paint and carpets that used to be present in offices. Recycling and composting programs and a focus on renewable and local products is not only a smart way to encourage your local economy, but can also help you develop an office culture to be proud of.
When it comes to office furniture, research shows that it’s worth investing in ergonomic products. It will increase comfort, reduce the risk of workplace injuries and make your employees happier.
If you decided to go with the flexible office plan, you will definitely need a wi-fi network so your employees can move about comfortably. Provide your employees with laptops, laptop stands and extra screens when necessary. Your technology should also let those who work from home access all they need to get the job done.
Productive employees are happy employees—make sure to give them the tools they need and the right space to do their work and be at their best!
Photo by Joel Flintham