Numerous studies have shown that environment has a direct impact on productivity. Your workplace should encourage collaboration, creative thinking, problem solving and so on. To do that, your employees need to feel comfortable.
What is the comfort level in your office? Evaluate these areas:
- Temperature: For most people, 70 degrees is ideal. Is your workspace too hot or cold?
- Air quality: Does your office smell fresh or stale? Do people have access to open windows or, at the least, fans or air vents? Bringing in plants can also improve the air quality.
- Light source: Most people prefer natural light—or even soft light from a lamp—over harsh fluorescents, which can cause headaches and eye strain.
- Clutter: Is the space open and clean? Or are floors and surfaces covered with paper and other items? Clutter-free spaces tend to lead to higher productivity.
- Layout: Does your office encourage employees to interact? Or is it set up so that employees stick to themselves? Once you have evaluated the space, determine what changes you can make—or run up the ladder to your boss. Even small changes can drastically increase employees’ comfort levels.
— Adapted from “Workplace Strategies that Enhance Performance, Health and Wellness,” Leigh Stringer, www.hok.com.