How can office spaces increase productivity
We’re at a moment in time when we’re not even sure about the future of office spaces, their purpose, and the way landlords and agents will fulfil tenants’ new, unprecedented needs.
With regards to returning to work, we’ve already written about the benefits and disadvantages of work from home and mentioned that some employees have already started to come back to the office. The rhythm is slow, but this movement is happening and there are some very good reasons people choose to come back to a more social environment. One of these reasons is that they get to be more productive.
It is known that a well designed office space that integrates all the resources one would need in order to work safely will increase productivity and help better achieve goals. Here are some of the most important aspects that transform a space into a productivity booster.
Natural light & a pleasant ambient
Various studies show that exposure to natural light increases productivity. A 2018 study realised by Cornell University revealed that people working in offices with daylight reported an 84% drop in symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. Moreover, light can increase vitamin D levels, calm people, and reduce fatigue.
Big windows, large circulation areas, relaxing music and fresh air being brought through modern ventilation systems (a World Green Building Council research showed that there was an 11% increase in productivity due to increased fresh air and reduction in pollutants), plants (that are known to help reduce stress, nourish creativity and boost productivity) can easily improve people’s state of mind and put them into the perfect mood for working.
Ergonomic chairs and tables that allow people to work standing up, for example, have a significant impact on the posture of those whose tasks are mainly performed with a laptop. Having a body posture that makes you feel good and comfortable definitely helps you become more productive, make fewer errors, and be more energetic.
According to a study conducted by the Washington State Department of Labour & Industries on 4000 people who switched to ergonomic office furniture, absenteeism was reduced, error rates were reduced and productivity increased by 15%.
It’s also reasonable to say that not all of us have ergonomic furniture at home, which can lead to back & feet aches or stress – a reason that also favors people coming back to the office, even though in a new format.
Studies have shown that video calls can be real energy drainers. People need face to face communication, as online calls cannot perfectly reproduce non-verbal communication or create that personal bond.
According to Social Isolation and Health, “being socially connected in meaningful ways is actually key to human health and survival”. The same brief states that since the pandemic started, loneliness has increased by 20% to 30%, which is concerning.
Having dedicated socializing areas that allow people to interact while following physical distancing and safety measures can contribute to the diminishing of this alienation risk.
Many important real estate agents and big companies have developed all kinds of guides that help landlords and tenants respect these regulations while having people return to the office and safely interact.
Having private spaces where you can focus, hold interviews, or join calls can significantly increase your productivity. Many office spaces have understood this and provide various solutions such as Skype Booths or Meeting Rooms, an amenity most of us definitely don’t have at home.
Having these booths also helps other members of the staff, employees, or people working remotely from your office to better concentrate, as they do not get distracted by others’ phone calls, i.e.
There are many advantages that technology brings in an office space: it can facilitate communication and interaction, simplify daily tasks, allow better management of the spaces (and even de-densifying the space, as Paul Clark said in this interview), improve remote working flows and more recently, help people follow health, and safety regulations.
Amongst the tech tools that increase productivity, we can list any time tracking apps, project management tools, video call platforms, chatbots, space booking apps, or platforms that facilitate access to knowledge.
Voice or motion activated devices can also play an important role as they do not only help people use the space more efficiently, but also avoid touching high frequency points.
But there is more, landlords and agents themselves can increase their productivity, through innovative technologies that help them better market and sell their spaces. This is what our platform does, enabling landlords and agents to showcase office spaces in a unique way while saving vital resources as well as providing 3D tours, Virtual Tours, or even AR presentations.
There are many office spaces that take mental and physical wellbeing into consideration and integrate all kinds of amenities that help employees relax and, therefore, become more productive. We’re seeing offices with nap areas, board game areas, climbing walls, or even gyms. But relaxation or fitness areas are not the only ones to be taken into account when referring to wellbeing.
According to the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the ideal workspace should adhere to their own WELL Building Standard, which refers to 7 key elements: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind (mental wellness).
And employees appreciate this. According to the Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Report, 93% of workers in the tech industry said they would stay longer at a company who would offer healthier workspace benefits.
Coming back to the office might happen extremely slow if even at all for some companies. But there are some indisputable advantages offices hold that favor productivity. We might learn how to adapt these features to a new way of work, how to bring them home maybe, or how to transform office spaces into areas with a new scope that still contributes to helping people be productive, socialize and grow.