The Impact of the Office Layout on Productivity

Noise can be a serious distraction and have a negative effect on your productivity and desire to work, and one of the reasons why most offices are loud is the lack of privacy. However, the fact is that most people function better when they can focus on their own work. It may sound strange, but the office layout should be executed in a certain way in order to boost the creativity and the positive workflow between employees. Here are a few easy tricks that could help you take your office to a new level when it comes to efficiency and work ethic.

The open-space concept

This is the most popular setup at the moment, both at big corporations and small startups. It became popular in the IT industry and, soon enough, everyone else joined the movement. The main reason why this type of office functions well is that everyone is close to each other and it’s much easier to work that way. It welcomes collaboration and allows you to work individually and as a part of a team.

The employees will communicate better without physical barriers between them, so the open layout has a positive effect on the socialization between them as well. One of its negative sides, though, is that those who like privacy and work better when they’re alone might struggle with too many people crammed together.

The cubicles

This type of workspace is probably the least favorite option, but not everyone thinks it’s so bad. Sure, cubicles can feel tiny and claustrophobic, but they also provide the right amount of privacy and modify the space between employees, giving everyone a chance to work in a quiet and peaceful environment. Apart from that, there’s no chance important documents are going to get lost in a cubicle since it’s so small!

However, dividing your employees this way creates a certain barrier between them and it leads to bad relations and a lack of communication. It can also cause bad collaboration and some business projects could suffer as a result. Be careful with the number of things you include in this small space because it can get crowded in a second with all the documents spread around the table.

How to optimize the space

Whether you work in an open-space office or a cubicle, your desk needs to be impeccable and organized to perfection. The first thing you need is a system for filing documents and enough storage for such a system to work, so you’ll always know where everything is.

To be able to organize your desk, use a variety of affordable office supplies and find the best option for keeping track of your tasks. Create a planner and stick to your duties, and that will help you finish your job on time, but don’t forget to leave an extra day, just in case you run into a problem. Finally, add some personal items to create a more pleasant workspace area and these will also inspire you to be more productive.

A lounge area

Every office needs a space where employees can relax and take a break from their hard work. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and even a simple seating area with a coffee machine and some bean bags will be just fine. Even though it seems that having a space like this is a distraction, the truth is quite the contrary – some companies even like to add games to their lounge, giving everyone a chance to release the negative energy while playing games rather than feeling stressed out.

There’s also a possibility of creating a themed lounge by combining everything the employees enjoy: a small gym, an arcade heaven and a chill zone with some peaceful music. Nowadays, there’s a rising trend that includes meditation break rooms which are a great way to take a step back and breathe when things get too hectic.

The office layout surely plays a significant role in the company results and how the employees feel when coming to work. You can’t choose the type of office you’ll work in, but you can definitely make the most of the one that’s assigned to you – at least until you reach that corner office you’re striving for!

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

The Importance of Creating Healthy and Positive Work Environment for More Productive Employees

Productivity at work is affected by many factors. One of the main factors has everything to do with the way employees perceive their work environment. Therefore, it’s essential that you make sure that the space people work at as well as the way they communicate with each other is positive and encouraging. This is nothing new in the world of productivity, and there are plenty of tips that you can utilize for your own office space.

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The office should be clutter-free

In general, you should encourage your employees to keep their own desk clutter-free by making sure that the whole office space is clean and organized. This doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any sign of personality anywhere – quite the contrary. But, it’s essential that there are not too many distractions at work. Moreover, an organized office means that your employees can freely move around without feeling trapped and pressured. Just like clutter and mess, a poorly utilized layout can cause mental pressure and decrease productivity levels. With that being said, make sure that everyone can get up from their desk, move around and properly communicate with each other.

Lighting and air quality

It’s essential that the lighting in the office is pleasant for the eyes. Obviously, natural light is the best option, so do your best to utilize it to the fullest. However, artificial lighting is also crucial for the productivity at work. In that respect, opt for full-spectrum lighting that actually feels pleasant on the eyes. Just like lighting, the air quality plays an important role in office productivity. For starters, a proper ventilation system is a must. One of the best tricks, however, is to enrich your space with plants. Plants are known to boost productivity and reduce stress, but they also clean the air effectively. You may want to look into the possibility of installing a green wall, as this is definitely the best way to bring nature into the office, as well as engage your employees more.

Make sure that everyone is comfortable

If your employees have to sit at a desk for the most part of the work day, it’s paramount that you ensure their comfort – and health. Basically, do your best to find ergonomic furniture that will adjust properly to the individual using the furniture. Chairs with proper support for the back and arms, as well as sturdy desks of proper heights will minimize the neck and back pain, allowing your employees to be more productive. Moreover, don’t hesitate to add some other comfy features to the office, such as a yoga ball and other comfy furniture for the break area. This will also encourage your staff to get together and spend time with each other during the break more.

Let the design of your office boost employee bonds

When you make sure that your office is designed with productivity in mind, you’ll literally create a chance for your employees to bond and connect more. This will also improve their team work and overall professional content, which obviously leads to a productivity boost and better performance. Aside from the previously mentioned tips, you may think about promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle at work as well, organizing interesting team building events, providing proper credit, rewards and bonuses, allowing pets in the office, and many other things that seem like a good fit for your office space, your team and the productivity goals you wish to achieve as a modern business.

Work and life balance is a must

Don’t spoil your beautifully designed office by overloading your employees with work. Productive design won’t work if people feel constantly stressed and overworked. What you can do, however, is promote work and personal life balance. This can be done in many ways. One possibility is to allow your employees to get to work a bit later on Monday and leave a bit earlier on Friday. On the other hand, you may allow employees to work from home for one day in the week, if that suits them. Most importantly, divide the work properly, so that you actually strengthen the teams and get more work done instead of pushing people to the point of burning out.

Employees represent your brand, and when they are happy, you can bet that your brand is going to get heard of one way or another. For starters, happy employees will constantly perform well and connect with the company’s business success goals. What’s more, positive word-of-mouth is also going to do your brand a lot of good. Therefore, don’t hesitate to make the most out of your office space and provide your staff with productivity boosters that will make them truly happy to work for you and move your business forward.


Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Office Remodel: How to Keep Your Employees Accommodated during Major Renovations

While your office is being renovated there are a number of challenges that can pop up unexpectedly. Aside from the typical contractor and construction issues, it is likely that your employees will have some of their own issues from the noise, dust, parking issues, and other problems that come with a construction project on this scale. Luckily, there are a few different strategies one can use in order to minimize this issue. In the following guide, we will examine some ways to keep your employees accommodated during major renovations.

Determine Parking

Often times one of the biggest inconveniences for employees during an office remodel is the parking situation. Many office buildings are located in busy areas of town and already have issues with parking. Taking away even a small percentage of dedicated spots can cause havoc with on-time arrivals, towed cars, and many other snafus that are bound to come up. This may also help with your business insurance- employee cars that have to be parked off property tend to raise insurance rates.

Set up a parking plan before your remodel begins so that your employees will have a clear understanding of where to park. If you are in a busy urban area, try and speak with nearby businesses to reach some kind of arrangement where your employees can park there temporarily. An ounce of prevention in this situation is worth even more than a pound of cure.

Bathroom Replacements

If your remodel is in your bathroom facilities or will be blocking access it is incredibly important that you set up alternative restroom facilities for your employees. Not only is it the right thing to do- it is the law. There are two ways that you can arrange for your employees to have access to restrooms during work hours.

The first is to hire a portable toilet company like Direct Hire. An organization like this can provide for all of your bathroom needs and washing. These services will travel to your location- no construction on your end involved at all. You also have the option of making a deal with a local business and using their facilities if need be.

An office renovation does not have to be a horrible experience for everyone involved. Similar to other problems in life, it can be avoided or lessened with some planning. Use the information and tips we went over in this article in order to keep your employees accommodated during an office renovation.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Flex time: The work perk employees can’t get enough of

There are all sorts of things you want more of at work. You might want more pay (of course!) and maybe more experience. Maybe you even want more chances to manage others and move your way up in the company. But we’re diverse in what we want—most of the time. The one thing that many of us are not diverse in in wanting? Flex time. Turns out the majority of us just want it, period. We want to be able to set hours that aren’t standard 9 to 5. We want to be able to work at home, maybe. And we want the freedom to have work-life balance if it’s important to us.

 While the desire for flex time is more important to more employees, then the reasons are diverse. Some people don’t enjoy the politics that seem to come with an office culture. Some simply don’t like their commute. What else? This graphic gives some thoughts.

 

Bringing Nature to Your Office Will Benefit Your Business in These 4 Ways

Bringing the outside inside through the use of plants has many benefits for the workplace. Yet, according to Truspace, 47 percent of workplaces are designed so that natural light does not enter and 58 percent do not have living plants. Here are some reasons to introduce plants to your work environment.

Increase Productivity

Workers who are surrounded by plants are more productive. Part of the reason is that being surrounded by nature, even a small item like a hanging terrarium makes people feel more positive. Additionally, numerous studies show that nature makes people more productive and creative. Introducing plants may increase the level of oxygen in the room allowing people to be more attentive.

Reduce Stress & Sickness

According to researchers at the University of Washington, introducing plants in the workplace helps to reduce stress levels. After testing participants’ blood pressure levels, the researchers found that those working in rooms with plants had lower blood pressure readings after just a few days. Plants may also help reduce the number of headaches, sore throats and coughs. Since plants help clean the air, introducing them may help reduce the number of days that workers call in sick as well,

Fulfills the Need to Return to Nature

Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson first described the human need to return to nature in his book Biophilia. Plants can help create a geometric cohesiveness to space. They can also help people feel calmer and more in tune with the natural world around them. Plants can help people feel more caring about projects and others around them. They can also help people fulfill their inborn need to connect with a natural environment.

Create a Quieter Environment

Many people find it difficult to work when the noise level is too high. Correct placement of plants in the workplace can help defect sound away from worker’s areas. Stems, branches and other surfaces also can help absorb sound. Plants can also refract sounds away from work areas. Since more work can generally get done in quieter work areas, companies may find that plants pay for themselves quickly.

There are many different reasons to introduce plants to your work area. Use these reasons and your own creativity to convince your company that it is a great idea today. You may want to create a plan showing how plants can be used in your particular workplace. Then, simply ask for them to approve the plan.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Five Things You Didn’t Realise You Needed in Your Office!

Your office is so much more than four walls. It’s the space where your workforce spends most of their days, and so it makes sense that it should be a nice environment. Not only will this be more pleasant to work from, but improved mood is likely to boost productivity, meaning better work produced and more profits for you! If you look after your employees, they will look after your customers, clients and business- and providing them with a decent space to work from is one of the ways you can do this. We all know that we need good technology, ergonomically designed furniture and proper storage in the office- but there are a few other details that you might have overlooked. These things can improve worker happiness and productivity and make your office run that bit better. Here are ideas for five changes you could make!

Lots of Daylight

Daylight is a natural mood booster, and when your workers are happier they will do better work. You might think as long as your office is well lit, it doesn’t matter how much daylight comes in but it’s not the case. Make the very most of the natural light you have coming in. This could mean moving to an office with large windows, or if you own the building you could have the windows made larger. It could mean switching up the blinds or window treatments you have up to allow more light to come in, or changing the layout so that desks are positioned next to windows. It’s simple but so easy to overlook, if you want happier and more motivated workers a quick switch up in the office could really help you to achieve this.

A Light, Neutral Colour Scheme

As well as getting in as much natural light as possible, the way you decorate your office can have a big impact too. Choosing a light, neutral colour like a white, magnolia or very light grey can help make the office look more spacious and bounce the light around as much as possible. If your current space is looking a little worse for wear, a lick of paint can make all the difference. It will help to make the office look clean, modern, bright and airy. Even if you’re renting your office, you will usually be allowed to make cosmetic changes. Keep it simple yet beautiful and really make the most of any light coming into the room. According to colour psychology, blue makes people most productive and has a calming effect on humans, For this reason, adding some blue to your office could be beneficial if you wanted to bring in a bit of colour.

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Plants

Psychologists have shown that plants actually increase productivity in the workplace. In general, plants and flowers also help to boost our mood and reduce stress. This is thought to work on the principle of color psychology (green being a calming colour) and evolutionary. Our ancestors would have worked hard to produce crops and flowers and plants were seen as a ‘reward’ of this hard work. This is great as it means a few simple plants added to the office can make a big difference. Encourage workers to bring in a plant they love to put on their desk- and dot around a few bigger potted plants. As well as boosting mood, they’re a professional and unfussy way to decorate. The leaves add colour and texture to a neutral space without making it look cluttered.

Exercise Equipment

Unfortunately, office jobs tend to be pretty sedentary. This is bad news for employees, sedentary work can increase the chances of obesity (and its related ailments such as high blood pressure, heart issues and diabetes). It can reduce mobility and fitness levels and overall have a negative impact on health. As employers, once of the ways we can help to combat this is by providing office exercise equipment. Something like an active stool or exercise ball instead of a normal chair is good for posture, balance and core muscles. An under desk treadmill, stepper or exercise bike can be good for leg muscles and provide light cardio exercise. You could also switch to standing desks for some job roles. To take this a step further, you could add a stability ‘fitness wobble cushion’ which requires you to stand and keep your balance as you work- great for legs and core. Either way, getting employees moving in some way is good for their health, can reduce stress and even reduce sick days in the future. You’ll improve focus and productivity and decrease restless energy. Even the best employees can struggle being cooped up all day, these things can help to alleviate that feeling. If you have a social area, how about adding a pool table or a mini office golf putting set?

 A Social Area

Do you have a social area in your office, for break and lunchtimes- or a place to sit before work? If not, it’s well worth setting one up. First of all, workers won’t have to leave the premises when they go on breaks, and this can mean you’re not losing minutes here and there from them returning back a little late. It can also help with socialisation and bonds between employees. Businesses need workers who don’t just work well themselves, but who can also communicate and work well with others. Giving your employees a space where they can chat and get to know each other can be very beneficial. Collectively, companies spend a fortune each year on things like team building activities and events that bring employees together to improve communication. So this isn’t something to be overlooked. A few comfy chairs, a coffee machine and a vending machine would suffice. Ideally a kitchenette area with a place to heat food would be better.

Had you considered any of these things for your office? Do you have any ideas on how you can make your office more pleasant for workers, therefore boosting mood and productivity?

Adding Value to Your Organization – 5 Reasons Why Servcorps Executive Suites are Beneficial to Your Business

The thought of an executive suite just drips elegance. It makes a client think of luxurious décor as well as power and influence. As a large or small business owner, this is what you are looking for. Make it hard for the client to say ‘no’ to your sales pitch. With the right location, a spectacular office space, and ringing telephones, your business will get the win as they have the appearance of a well-oiled machine.

Take a look at http://www.servcorp.com/en/executive-suites/ to investigate and sign up for a virtual office space including an executive suite for your business.

Keep reading to be informed of the top five reasons why Servcorps executive suites and virtual offices are beneficial to your business.

Prestigious Address

One of the most important things you can do for yourself as a business owner, is to find a way to break into the business district in your city. The rent can be expensive in this area because this is where businesses want to be.

With Servcorps virtual office plans, you can be in the heart of the city in an executive suite with a prestigious address for your marketing material as well as your client meetings. Not only will your office be adequately supplied and functional, but you will also receive a beautiful view of the horizon whether you are in Chicago, New York, Boston, or Los Angeles.

Luxurious Décor

Your executive suite will be just that, sweet! It will have the finest details and exceptional quality. The fabric will be high-end leather with marble tiles. You will notice granite counters or other high-end material in your office as well.

In addition, the agency will be fully stocked with office supplies and equipment as well as beautiful artwork and a huge bay window to take in the view. This will have your prospective clients signing on the dotted line in no time!

A Fully Trained Team

An executive suite with Servcorp gets you many benefits, but one of the most crucial to your business is the support and assistance you will receive from your team. Servcorp has two dedicated team members to support your business. They are there to answer questions and assist you with anything that is not familiar, or you have concerns with. You also have an IT team at your disposal to help with any problems or ideas you have about your business.

Lastly, you will gain a dedicated receptionist to answer your local telephone number, take messages, and greet guests, as well as mail couriers to pick up and drop off packages and other business deliveries to you daily.

Global IT Network 

One of the best services you receive with a virtual office and an executive suite, is the no hassle technology that comes with your monthly contract. You will have delivered the fastest internet speed with one GB fibre internet connection. In addition, you will gain video conferencing, secure fax machines, printers, and copiers. You will get free calls across locations as well as call routing technology.

In-house IT support keeps your business running smoothly without any glitches and voice infrastructure gives you global number portability, a local phone number when travelling, and VoIP capabilities with a Cisco end-to-end voice network.

Amenities

In addition to the significant benefits and advantages you receive with virtual office solutions and executive suites, you also receive many amenities. Some of these additional perks include free coffee and tea all day while working. You have free and secure high-speed Wi-Fi for all your needs. You are a community member of Servcorps 40,000-business global community to bounce ideas or other business questions off of, and free access to coworking spaces. These are just a few of the multiple benefits your business receives when using executive suites.

Why an Executive Suite Can Be a Benefit to Your Small Business 

Why do companies like virtual office solutions? There are many reasons, but the primary reason is that they work. How many other traditional office spaces can give you the peace of mind, lack of overhead costs, beautiful view, high-end décor, industry-leading IT support, or a fully functional and trained team that a virtual office can? With a one-month minimum term and a one-month security deposit, you can have the business space of your dreams for an inexpensive cost.

When the expenses are compared to a traditional office space versus a virtual office space, the executive suite wins every time because it is the way of the future. Costs are kept down by not taking out a business loan for overhead and other expenses. Can your current rental office space do that? If not, investigate Servcorps virtual office solutions today!