One of the first truths of the business world that you need to accept is the fact that people spend too much time at the office. In fact, when you look at the numbers, you’ll realize that a standard 9 to 5 work time, combined with commute and preparation for work in the morning, means that the majority of people spend more time at the office than in their own home. In fact, this is where they spend the majority of their waking hours. For this reason alone, it’s incredibly important for the way in which people feel about themselves that they feel good at their office.
Now, from the standpoint of an entrepreneur, there are more advantages of a more productive office than just being altruistic. First of all, this is one of the simplest ways for you to achieve a productivity boost, which is not a small feat, providing that this may drastically increase the profit of your business. The way it does so is by allowing your smaller team (simpler logistics, fewer paychecks) to outperform larger staffs of other companies. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several trending office productivity ideas for 2019 that you need to check out.
1. Distraction free space
When it comes to the issue of distractions, the first priority that you’ll face is the necessity of providing everyone with their own personal space in the office. While some may suggest that 5 cubic meters are enough, the truth is that it’s 11 cubic meters on average, that’s considered an industry standard. In order to achieve this, you might want to consider using shared office spaces or even telecommuting. Remember, just because 30 people can fit your current office, it doesn’t mean that they should.
Your next priority needs to be making your office noise free, due to the fact that noise is one of the worst productivity killers out there. You can start doing this by sound-proofing the place, providing your staff with silent peripherals, while the above-listed abundance of personal space helps, as well. Most importantly, however, you need to keep in mind the fact that company policy and a company culture can do much more about it.
The last thing you need to understand in order to make a less visually distracting office is the fact that you need to start decluttering. There are some who perform best in the mess of their own doing but the truth is that the majority of people don’t perform well in a messy environment, to begin with. Therefore, what you need to do is create a clean, neat and well-organized environment that will make it much easier for them to focus. Hiring a reliable cleaning agency to outsource to is the simplest way for you to make this happen.
2. Enhanced breaks
Another crucial thing when it comes to your team’s ability to outperform your expectations is the importance of them taking regular breaks. In the previous sentence, we put an emphasis on the term regular, yet, quality is just as important as quantity, which is why you need to start investing in your breakroom. This area needs to have enough room, it needs to be properly furnished but most importantly, it needs to be separated from the work area, so that people who are taking a break aren’t disturbing those who are still working.
Another important area of the office that you should pay attention to is the kitchen, for several different reasons. First of all, a balanced diet full of healthy fats is vital to one’s brain power, which is something to bear in mind if you plan to start your own cafeteria. This is a particularly good idea, due to the fact that the majority of your employees probably won’t eat healthy on their own. If not, the very least you can do for the production in your office and satisfaction of your employees is to invest in a quality bean coffee machine. Coffee is known to raise productivity, improve motivation and bolsters one’s awareness.
Recent studies have shown that spending just by power-napping for 20 minutes, you can make a massive difference in your alertness and performance level. This is what makes more and more entrepreneurs to seriously consider creating a nap area in their office. Making such a specialized area can further increase the efficiency of this concept and provide you with substantial office productivity improvement. The way in which you can do so is by isolating one room, soundproofing it, dimming the lights and supplying it with enough beds or mattresses.
3. Stimulating work environment
Your brain doesn’t just need oxygen in order to work. In fact, the availability of this element in abundance drastically affects your brain power, keeps you awake, helps with the learning process and much more. The lack of oxygen will make you feel sleepy, sluggish and, overall, not motivated for work. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve the amount of oxygen within the office and here are some suggestions.
In order to breathe, people use oxygen to create carbon dioxide, which means that the more people there are in the office, the more quickly the oxygen levels in the room are getting depleted. Fortunately, plants can reverse this process by using carbon dioxide and creating oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. This means that just by adding some indoor plants to your office, you’ll make a vast improvement in this field. Other than helping you breathe; this can pose as a significant improvement to the visuals of your office.
While plants are quite effective, using them to improve the quality of air in the office is an indirect approach to this situation. A more direct approach would be to invest in an air purifier and develop a habit of letting air in on a regular basis or getting yourself a reliable air purifier. The latter is no substitute to the influx of fresh air but you would be surprised as to how many sick days it can eliminate in the pollination season. Any investment in the health of your employees is always considered a money well-spent.
The last thing you need to understand when it comes to the working conditions in the office is the fact that the office temperature affects it more than you imagine. Now, this is quite a controversial topic due to the fact that it is unlikely that you’ll reach a consensus in the office. After all, the temperature is something that’s affected by one’s personal feeling and the individual differences here are sometimes impossible to breach. This is why you might want to take some studies as a determining factor. According to some, the highest productivity is at 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius), while there are others who claim that 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) is ideal. Staying within this range is a sure hit.
4. Exercise in the workplace
The importance of an exercise in your office space should never be underestimated and there are several things you can do in order to introduce this beneficial trend to your workplace. The concept of deskercise (exercise at your desk) is getting accepted all over the world as the right way to go and there are so many things for one to do using just their chair and their desk. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that a lot of people may feel uncomfortable when it comes to doing this, in fear of being judged by their coworkers. That it, however, unless you make everyone do it. This way, you create a clear and undeniable win-win scenario for everyone.
Those with an extra room on their premises may even consider making an office gym, thus further institutionalizing this concept. The thing that discourages the majority of people when it comes to this is the idea that this will be too expensive, yet, this is not necessarily true. First of all, you can make a gym on a budget by simply investing in some mats and hiring a person to do some yoga or light cardio with your employees. For those who want something a tad more dynamic, you can just get a skipping rope for everyone (about $2 per skipping rope) and rely on calisthenics for your workouts.
5. The meetings paradox
The last problem that we have to tackle is the paradox of meetings. You see, there’s a study claiming that an average office worker spends about 31 hours in unnecessary meetings every month. The majority of these meetings are 20 to 30 minutes long, which means that, on average, there are several of these meetings every single day. There’s also an estimate that U.S. businesses alone lose about 37 billion per year due to this particular problem. When you start looking at this as the time that they could spend working, the productivity loss caused by this phenomenon becomes even more obvious and even more devastating. This is why you need to find a solution to this problem and you need to find it quickly.
The first alternative that you can use is to ask yourself whether it’s possible to make this announcement via an email instead. In a scenario where the topic at hand isn’t a pressing matter, you can just send an email and if your employees have anything to ask, they can just write you back. Second, you can always hold dynamic 5-minute meetings instead. This is not only a time-saving practice but also an incredibly efficient brainstorming method that you should consider. In other words, what you need to do is start prioritizing and decide which meetings require a traditional format and which of them can be handled differently.
By doing all of this, you will not just create a more productive work environment but also make your office into a more pleasant place to be at. This alone will improve overall mood and morale of your staff, thus benefiting their mental health and reducing stress levels within your organization. Once the word gets out (and it most definitely will), your talent attraction efforts will become a lot more effective, while your talent retention attempts will become a lot easier than they were in the past. Combined with enhanced productivity and what you have here is an incredible set of circumstances that go in your favor.