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Are you fed up of trying to increase productivity in your business? Have your tried all the usual methods and failed? The correlation between employee satisfaction and business productivity is well established. It may have been the business giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook, that first embraced the concept but other businesses have followed suit. Now all you have to do is make sure that you have a full house of satisfied employees!
Sterile office environments with zero personality are no longer acceptable. Small business owners now realize that they can improve their office design on a budget and that this will improve productivity at the same time. An office is no longer somewhere to just turn up and do the minimum. Collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas are highly valued and the modern business relies on close networking and team working. The design of the office directly impacts these factors and they, in turn, can improve productivity.
Office design can improve employee satisfaction
Office design has moved on in the last three decades. Gone are the threadbare chairs and smoke-filled offices of the 1980s. Modern workers demand better and are used to airy, well-lit, open plan working environments. If an employee feels satisfied with their environment they are happier when they come to work and are more focused. They are also willing to put in that extra effort to make sure that an order is fulfilled or a report is finished.
It is recognized that sitting at a desk all day is not that good for you and ergonomic furniture is now required in all modern offices. Ergonomic desks and chairs work in harmony with the body. They prevent undue strain being placed on the joints, muscles, and ligaments and this stops aches and pains from arising. This improves productivity as workers are more comfortable and fewer sick days are lost.
Open plan offices are highly valued as they encourage collaboration but there should be private rooms as well. Employees need these more private spaces to conduct sensitive meetings and make phone calls that require privacy.
If you invest in new IT equipment, you are sending a message to your employees. You are telling them that you value their contribution and that you feel that they are worth the best quality equipment. Buy brands that you can trust. If you insist on the best prices when you buy Dell monitors this can all be done without spending a fortune. When you get products and accessories that are reliable and make your office more efficient you are getting great value for money.
Office design alone is not enough
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that office design alone is enough! Employees often feel that the office environment does not facilitate optimum working practices even if it has just had a makeover and you have invested in the best ergonomic furniture and IT equipment on the market.
It is now time to switch your focus. Stop thinking about your workspace in terms of tasks and start thinking about behavior. It is employee behavior that ultimately improves productivity.
Recent studies conducted among business leaders has shown that what employees really want is flexible options. They want to be able to work remotely and collaborate virtually from anywhere in the world. This enables employees to achieve that work-life balance that was so missing in the competitive years of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Employees care who they work for and have a moral conscience. The values and culture of your business and very important and rank high in terms of employee satisfaction. If you want to be successful in recruiting the best at what they do, you need to make them proud to work for you.
It can take time and effort to establish what your employee’s needs are but you will be rewarded by a committed workforce who are both productive and happy.
Go with your own instinct and not what is in fashion
What works for one business does not work for another and it is important that you establish what is best for your particular business. Business management magazines and articles are full of the latest trends but many will not last. Why not ask your employees what they want? Either carry out a series of interviews or send out an employee questionnaire enquiring what they would like to see in the office environment. Then act on what they have suggested. They are the ones doing the job and so they know what is needed. They will appreciate that you have consulted them and your reward will be increased productivity.