The physical environment is vital in determining an employee’s ability to focus. Forget about the research papers and think over these questions. How does it feel like spending long hours on an uncomfortable chair? What about a stuffy, cluttered workspace where you strain your eyes all day because of poor lighting? Can you do a commendable job? Definitely not.
Most employers don’t consider workspace design a good investment. If you work in the kind of office that does not promote maximum production and purpose, it is time to improve things there. Here are a few hacks to improve your office.
1. Improve the lighting
Have you ever tried reading under dim light? You must have strained to make out the words. Poor lighting effects work focus. Poor lighting has negative effects on both physical and mental health. Continually straining to see brings headache, fatigue, and strains your eyes. If repeated, this circle finally weighs down negatively on your mental health. Lacking focus and purpose can have disastrous results in production.
Incorporate natural lighting into your office. You can shift to a place near the window or have large glass windows or a translucent roof included in your office design if you’re building a new office. Natural light is energizing and free! If that is not feasible for one reason or another, consider installing indirect lighting. It is bright enough without causing eye strain.
2. Raise the ceilings
Raised ceilings bring freedom of thought. Low ceilings give an impression of being enclosed in a cage or container, which is not the best feeling to have at work. If you’re building a new office or are renovating the old one, consider raising the ceiling level to at least 10 feet high. Employees think more freely, which encourages creative thinking, an added benefit to your business.
3. Office furniture
Office furniture is important for the success of workers. Suppose you have settled to work on your desk but found yourself leaning too much to see what is on the desk or computer screen, adjusting the sitting position severely, and moving too much to stay focused. In that case, you need to get yourself a correctly fitted chair and table.
Consider the following:
Maintain a distance of 24-36 inches between your eyes and the computer screen. The computer screen should be below or at the same level as your eyes.
Your seat should give you a good work posture while supporting the spinal column to reduce lower back pain. It should also allow your feet to rest on the floor.
Consider getting a wheeled, swivel, height adjustable ergonomic chair.
4. Paint the walls
It is no secret that there is a direct link between color and emotions, which affects productivity. Avoid the dull white color at all costs.
It would be great if each workspace in the office is painted in a color specifically tailored for activities carried out there. According to research, green increases creativity, while blue increases productivity. The red color is linked to detail orientation, although it lowers analytical thinking. A yellow office will make it appear like a school bus, and no one wants that. As an added bonus, you can update the restroom partitions with a coat of paint in a similar color theme to the one you choose and in sync with your company colors to create harmony in all spaces of the office.
5. Control the noise level
Noise is a turn down when it comes to concentration and focus. It is one of the commonplace complaints in open-plan offices.
High noise levels lower productivity, increase stress and other mental illnesses, lowers staff morale, and bring unwanted distraction. Fit your office with sound filter systems. Sound masking systems are designed to distribute noise that and that covers up speech. If the above options are not feasible, get a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
6. Create opportunities for movement.
Constantly working at your desk causes monotony, while concentrating too hard brings a productivity block. Give yourself a break. Mental breaks will give you time to recharge and focus on the work objectives.
Choose an office design that allows for movement. For example, the sit-stand design will bring variety. You can work while standing and shift to a sitting position when you’re tired. Office equipment such as filing cabinets and copy machines can be placed on the other side of the office so that you have to stand and walk there when the need arises.
Movement is a good way of countering a sedentary lifestyle, which will improve your overall health and counter stress.
7. Change up amenities
You probably have a gym and soundproof music or gaming room incorporated to cool off steam for you and your employees. However, simple amenities can make work easier.
Incorporating rooms where someone will offer childcare services and a private room for nursing mothers is a great way to improve productivity since they will now work with peace of mind that their needs have been taken care of. Some companies are also adding crying spaces for their employees. Yes. You read that right—crying spaces. Crying is a mechanism of dealing with stress and calm the mind. Which organization wouldn’t want that?
8. Air quality matters
Air quality can affect our ability to think clearly and focus. Low-quality air is also a spreading ground for the flu and even the COVID-19 virus. Letting in fresh air into the office space will clear the stuffiness and save on annual sick leave costs. You can arrange for the windows to be kept open most of the time or an air filter for your desk.
Nature is usually the best. Get a house plant. House plants will not only filter the air but will also improve on décor. A healthy work environment will make productivity and focus soar.