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

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.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Company for the Summer Months

With summer right around the corner, now is the time to get your company ready for these warmer months when many people have slower schedules and more daytime hours to kill. When your building is pleasant, your employees are comfortable and your customers are well-served, you can reap dividends on all the time and money you put into this investment. By following these five preparation tips, you can increase your company’s popularity during these months and increase customer traffic, leading to improved sales and results all year long.

Prepare for Changes in Customer Traffic

Consider whether you expect customer traffic to go up or down during the summer months based on your service provided, your location and your typical customer base. Consider vacation times, freedom from school and warmer weather as you plot potential traffic. Next, plan how to keep traffic high with marketing campaigns or how to respond to high traffic with increased employee hours or longer business hours.

Plan for Fun Times

The summer can be a hard time for employees to be cooped up in a building when what they really want to do is enjoy the beautiful weather. Plan for special staff meeting times and parties that allow coworkers to network outside the office. Also, see if there are ways to let the fun times into your office by creating outdoor break spaces or by offering flexible work hours during the summer.

Keep It Cool

Nothing makes for an uncomfortable office quite like hot temperatures do, and discomfort can cost you and your employees productivity. Not to mention it might drive away customers. Before summer weather hits, ensure that your HVAC system or your commercial air conditioning unit is up to the challenge by scheduling maintenance.

Install a Smart Thermostat

To further help with the warm temperatures, install smart thermostats throughout your office space to keep employees comfortable while decreasing cooling costs during the hours when no one is in the building. A smart thermostat can be programmed to cool the building to certain temperatures at particular hours of the day. Not only can it keep employees happy, but also it can decrease your company’s costs.

Include Landscaping

Nothing sets the tone for a first impression of your business more than the look of the outside of the building and its entrance. By focusing on installing beautiful landscaping and by taking the time to maintain it, you will show your customers that you believe even the little things are important. Plus, your employees will feel proud to work there.

Some of these tips have to do with how your building looks and feels while others have to do with keeping up employee morale and good customer traffic. Ensuring that you have a mixture of each of these tasks will keep your company well-balanced and ensure good results on your investment. Be sure to start now to ready your company both inside and out so that when summer arrives, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

How to Keep Employees Productive during Renovations

A renovation can be a great way to improve the productivity and effectiveness of your business. Whether it be renovating facilities that have become outdated, performing necessary repairs, or building out a brand new space, renovations can be an exciting time and can serve as a great rallying point for your employees. The problem comes, though, when trying to figure out how to continue to effectively utilize your employees, even when their typical workspace is disrupted in some way. Fortunately, there are a few areas where you can re-direct their attention and energy to ensure they continue to make a valuable contribution to your company.

Let Them Help

If the renovations are fairly minor and low-risk, you can potentially recruit interested employees to assist in the renovation efforts. Now, to be sure, some renovations, like metal roof repair, knocking down walls, or electrical work, should be left to the professionals. However, more simple tasks, such as painting or organizing, can be left to those employees who are displaced. Just be sure to keep the activities especially low-risk to help prevent any worker’s compensation claims.

Let Them Prospect

If your business depends on customer retention to succeed, it’s likely that most of your business’s efforts are focused on doing just that. Of course, you probably have employees dedicated to prospecting new customers as well, however, the more energy you’re able to devote to prospecting, the better. Allow employees who can’t be at their desk to engage with local businesses to network and prospect, even if that’s not what they normally do. By taking this time to allow them to re-focus by doing a different task, they’ll be even more effective and productive at their typical task when they’re able to return to it.

Let Them Dream

Any interruption in normal business activities is typically an opportunity for your employees to talk amongst themselves. Why not take advantage of this talking to gain new ideas for your business, moving forward? Gather affected employees together and guide them in discussion of what ideas they have, what changes they would like to see, and any other contributions they can make to the future of the business. By letting them know their voices are heard, you’ll increase retention and potentially gain some great ideas in the process.

Let Them Serve

If your normal business location is going to be totally out of commission for a while, it can be a great opportunity to do some community service while you wait to be able to return. Get your employees out in the community picking up trash, repairing homes, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or whatever else you’re passionate about. These times of service help your community, improve your public image, and help give your employees greater appreciation for the company they work for.

Keep It Smooth

Whatever you do during a renovation, ensure that you have it planned out well in advance to ensure your employees’ engagement doesn’t suffer. Let your employees know that things are likely to be different but that doesn’t mean your expectations are lower or that they’re free to do as they please. If you still plan on paying them, they still owe you work of some kind in exchange for that pay. If you can make that work stimulating and beneficial, then all parties are sure to benefit.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

3 Million Americans Quit Their Job Every Month: Top Tips for Employee Retention

Employees deserve to feel satisfied about their work, but it appears that a record-setting number aren’t. According to a survey of employment trends, approximately 3 million Americans quit their jobs each month. For many companies, this is a huge loss–both in talent and in money. After all, it can be expensive to replace your employees. In order to prevent your employees from walking out your door for good, you need to strategize carefully to encourage employees to stay. Yet, it may not be as hard as it may seem. Here are some pointers to help you retain your workforce.

Invest in Your Office Environment

Look over your budget and see if there is room for you to invest in sprucing up the office. It’s been proven that employee performance is significantly impacted by what their workplace looks like. You can start out small: consider redecorating to create an open floor plan, which in turn fosters greater collaboration. A support network like that makes everyone look forward to going to work.

Foster Positive Workplace Culture

The mental atmosphere in the office is just as important as the physical one. Organize regular team building events that go beyond building marshmallow towers or egg racing. Get creative with activities such as a volunteer outing or cooking classes. This helps employees feel a greater personal connection to each other and the organization, and will make them want to stay as a result.

Survey Your Employees

Your own initiative goes a long way, but you should also take employee input into consideration. Send out regular surveys to monitor office morale—but not too often, otherwise employees may feel annoyed. Checking in to see how everyone’s feeling shows you care. It lets them know that your staff are valued and are a critical part of the organization so they’re less inclined to take off. Surveys don’t have to be direct, either: you’ll also learn a lot from just taking part in the classic water cooler conversation.

Encourage Professional Development

Employee retention also has a lot to do with creating opportunities for growth. Give them something to work towards as much as you give them to work on. Hiring an executive coach can help with this. Bring one in for a workshop or similar event. Your employees will then recognize their own potential within your organization and be motivated to work harder as a result. It’s also been said that a rising tide lifts all boats, so if even one employee gets inspired, that extends to everyone else, too.

When you’re a business owner, you’re especially concerned about keeping employees on board. Making sure that your organization’s goals align well with their personal interests will keep them from jumping ship.