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Improving productivity in the workplace

23 Oct 2020

future of working covid-19 productivity office life office design health & wellbeing

Many aspects, including noise, temperature, comfort and lighting, can impact productivity, both positively and negatively. In this article we look at ways of increasing productivity by making changes to our surroundings.

Productive employees = profitable business. It’s plain to see the success of a business revolves around its workers, but the more we learn about human psychology and factors that affect our productivity, the more our professional work attitude (and the environment we work inside) seems to be becoming outdated.

‘Productivity’, by definition, is measured in terms of output per unit of input, but how do employers ensure their workers are being efficient?

In a recent survey conducted by POS, 41% of respondents said they were more productive when working from home, and 45% said this was due to being free from distractions. Distractions may sound small, but according to the ‘2018 Workplace Distraction Report’ nearly 70% of employees found themselves feeling distracted when working, and on average lost 31 hours monthly due to refocusing and recovering from minor disruptions in the workplace.

At such a cost - and the statistics are predicted only to worsen as we digitally progress into communication overload - it may be time to facilitate change. Your work environment may have subtle distractions that affect your workers; the most common hindrances according to Forbes are:

  • Lighting
  • Ambient noise
  • Music / no music
  • Temperature
  • Colour
  • Plant life

In POS’ report, we discovered that 41% of workers would benefit from less noise, 32% would prefer green spaces and 12% reported communal workspaces would improve office life. With such large figures and over half of respondents admitting their workplace was ‘uninspiring’ – it might be time to redesign your situation.

Ambient noise, chit chat and general audial disturbance are the leading factors of irritation and distraction in office, but you don’t have to work from home to resolve this. Many modern offices are adopting pods as the future of flexible working, which is why at POS we offer a variety of acoustic solutions.

Meeting pods, regeneration pods, semi-private pods and many other variations are the contemporary way to have the privacy and peace to be productive, but also offer an alternative for spontaneous interactions. Pods have multi-use function, they’re less expensive, less space consuming and more flexible – they provide a relaxed and non-isolating solution to modern working (not to mention they look good too).

54% of workers who responded to the POS survey said their office was uninspiring, so how can an office refit boost team morale? What does an optimal space that inspires and drives productivity look like?

Surprisingly, colour psychology plays a larger part in office life than we may think. High and low wavelength colours have the ability to not only control our mood, but through higher and lowered blood pressure it can spark our productivity and creativity too. Being considerate of colours when designing is detrimental to your office aura, we recommend utilising all of our expertise from 3D design to bespoke decorations in order to optimise your space.

Mother Nature’s palette of blues and greens are proven to stimulate the most productivity and reduce stress. Yellow is best recommended to those in creative industries as it’s known as the colour of optimism and sparks creativity. Red invokes passion, it is commonly used in fast-pace environments and those who are physical in their jobs – regardless of what your goal is, the key takeaway is that colours are proven to impact our work ethic.

Not only does the colour of our office affect us, but studies have shown houseplants result in happier offices; 32% of survey respondents said they would benefit from green spaces. Plant power not only motivates workers, they’re proven to reduce absence and sickness rates (every director’s dream!) as well as encourage healthy workspaces with higher quality air.

Click here to take a look at our case studies and browse the bespoke green walls we’ve fitted, they’re a popular office feature that make you feel good and work smarter.