Employees spend an average of 40 hours a week in the office. In a lot of cases this number can be much higher, so the importance of employees being comfortable in their work environment has a monumental effect on company culture. One study found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. They also have a 37% higher sales rate and demonstrate three times the creative capacity. This means employee happiness can not only improve their lives, but it can also have a big impact on your bottom line. Improving company culture to ensure productivity and engagement can be as simple as adjusting the office design.
First things first, let’s start with the basics - Minimising background noise. The phone that's constantly ringing or a loud conversation in the background, noise hurts productivity and makes concentration more challenging for 99% of people. Acoustic solutions are an easy fix with installing more soft surfaces or adding acoustic panels, especially around the main source of the noise such as a call center.
Keeping room temperatures between 19 and 24 degrees has been linked to a 20 to 50 percent increase in productivity. Uncomfortable employees spend their time thinking about how much they're sweating instead of on their work. This is an easy fix by updating your air conditioning systems or setting them auto at your desired temperature.
Finally and possibly the most obvious, a general increase in cleanliness may increase up to a 150% boost in productivity. Eliminating clutter throughout the work space will improve organisation while making work more enjoyable for everyone.
The next step in improving your company culture is to look into more specific areas in more detail, analyzing everything from the furniture employees use to the location of the breakout areas. Many modern companies such as Google are opting for open floor plans to create a more collaborative environment for staff; however, just because a design works for one business doesn't mean it will work for all businesses, you need to figure out what is best for you and your team.
Cubicles are dull, outdated and usually quite depressing. Isolating individuals with 3 (usually grey) walls and little to no collaboration with colleges - this is a recipe for unhappy employees so ditch the cubicles, and divide teams into pods instead. Colleagues can simply turn to each other when they need to chat without having to schedule a meeting.
“Ideas don’t happen in the boardroom, they happen in corridors” - Steve Jobs. Facilitating spontaneous meetings is a feature of a productive workplace. Collaboration comes more naturally in a workplace where there are no barriers.
Give different rooms or areas different themes, this will allow employees to enter a different environment when they step away from their desks and in turn results in better capacity for brainstorming and other creative thinking. Plus it’s hella more fun to be in! Check out our Pinterest page for themed room ideas.
Last and certainly not least TALK to your employees, find out what works and doesn’t work for them. Develop the space to best suit your businesses needs and not just according to the latest trend. Who better to advise you on what works and doesn’t work than the people who spend 40 hours of their week in the office space.