Your employees and their work performance contributes immensely to the success or struggles your business faces. A workplace that is highly functional and fully optimised is something that all businesses want to achieve. So, it’s important to identify how we can get the most out of each employee and increase their workplace productivity to benefit our business.
There are numerous factors that can impact both workplace performance and the health and wellbeing of employees. Identifying these factors is the first step to understanding workplace performance and designing an office fit out with these factors taken into consideration.
Your employees are always going to work at their most optimal level if they are comfortable within their environment. This means above everything else, you need to consider the environmental conditions of the workspace and design your office fit out to maximise these elements.
When we talk about environmental conditions, we are referring to:
All of these are important elements for boosting employee performance. And if you don’t get these conditions right, it can end up costing you by lower productivity and even the loss of valuable employees.
Light – Poor lighting can contribute to a lot of problems, including eye strain, headaches, irritability and more significant conditions such as depression… All problems that are not conducive to optimal workplace performance. On the flip side, too much light and glare can also cause many of these issues as well.
Understanding the orientation of your building and how the sun impacts the interior space, particularly in conjunction with your office layout can help you plan out and implement adequate lighting (or sun blockers) within your office design.
Air Quality – Studies have shown that the air we breathe and the scents we experience in an environment can significantly impact our mood, our mindset and our productivity levels. With advances in building techniques and our quest for structures to become more energy-efficient, our office environments are becoming more airtight and this is impacting the internal air quality. Not to mention tighter workplace density and the trend for shrinking workstations is restricting the air around employees.
A Harvard study undertaken in 2015 found that poor air quality within an office environment reduced cognitive abilities and contributed to conditions such as allergic reactions and irritations, physical fatigue and headaches. The study also identified that workers who worked within well-ventilated and ‘green’ environments were twice as productive than workers who did not have access to well ventilated spaces with better air quality.
When designing your new office fit out, consider how the air will flow within the space and how your design can incorporate features to help filter the air to maintain optimal air quality. A simple addition of office plants, plant walls or green fixtures can help filter out toxins in the air and improve overall quality.
Temperature – Anyone who’s had a big lunch and gone back to a warm office will know just how hard it is to stay awake, let along stay functional. Too cold, and concentration will also suffer. While there have been multiple studies, finding the right temperature balance for your workspace often comes down to individual requirements.
It’s not common for one workplace to have a set temperature in all locations, and so factors that relate to temperature need to be considered carefully. Where are the workstations located in relation to air conditioning and ventilation? Is there a draft that could impact the temperature? How much heat does your office equipment produce? These are just some of the questions you should be asking when designing your office fit out.
Noise Levels – Office noise and acoustic comfort within an office environment also plays a major part in workplace performance. With the rise of open-plan offices, there has also been a rise in excessive noise and distracted workers.
Background noise, in particular, can be a major contributor to workplace stress resulting from diminished concentration. Not only is every noise… a telephone ringing, heels on hard floors, talking, typing and general office activity, amplified due to the lack of noise-absorbing elements such as walls and partitions, but an open office environment only encourages habits of distraction.
And just like poor lighting, air quality and temperature, excessive noise within the workplace can result in illness, stress, fatigue, decreased productivity and an all-round decline in job satisfaction and workplace morale.
The elements that are incorporated into the construction and fit out of office spaces, need to be carefully considered to minimise noise levels within the space and improve working conditions for all employees.
Workplace performance can not only be contributed to the environmental factors within our workspace. Our office organisation, functionality and workplace culture also play an important role in the performance of our employees.
We all operate at our best when we are working within optimal conditions. And in order to have optimal conditions we need to also consider the functionality of the space along with the culture within the business.
Functionality and organisation can come down to simply identifying where best to locate work stations, adding extra storage for products and materials and making workplace equipment easily accessible to workers who use them. Good workplace design will always come back to how people operate within the space and how the design works to enhance and help our everyday activities.
Workplace culture, on the other hand, requires a little more thought and attention than how we design our office space. Finding the right blend of personalities, placing team members together in a considered way and creating a workplace that is both positive and inspiring also contributes to increasing employee productivity and enhancing workplace performance.
However, paying extra attention to the details of the workspace design and adding touches that will help with the overall feel of the space can go a long way to promoting a positive work environment. The colours you select, the materials you use, the brand image you want to convey, the extra space you create for your staff so they can better enjoy their downtime and breaks, all can contribute to a positive and enjoyable work environment.
Finding the right balance in your office fit out for optimal workplace performance comes down to knowing what to consider and what impacts you need to take into account. No one wants to move into a brand new office space only to realise they didn’t factor in an important element or there are issues that could potentially have a negative impact on workplace performance.
The key to getting your office fit out design just right is to get professional design advice and get it early in the process. Employing a full-service commercial fit out company such as Decocorp, can ensure your office fit out design is going to fit your business perfectly and not only help enhance your workplace performance but also allow your business to grow seamlessly.
Contact us today and find out how we can optimise your workspace to increase productivity and employee performance.