3 Office Setup Tips for Maximising Office Productivity

Office setup is essential when it comes to employees working to their peak potential. Without productivity, chaos ensues and a team that isn’t working in sync is a team that’s costing your company money, rather than crushing it and ringing in endless profits. While it’s very hard to make a bad employee turn good, it’s actually really easy to make changes to the office setup itself in order to get employees working both harder and smarter.

Best, when you create a more desirable work environment, you’ll attract and retain more skilled and productive employees. Clients will feel more inspired by your company’s sensibilities and potential. Everyone will be happier while working in the improved space. By now we all understand the importance of ergonomics at our desk and how important monitor placement is, but what about the rest of the office?

Large office setup

To learn more about organising the layout of the office better, use the following 3 office setup tips to move your company into a new era of productivity and prosperity:

1. Furnish the office using “feng shui for wealth” principles

Feng shui is all about harmony. It embraces a minimalist approach to organisation, while heightening everyone’s senses with meticulously placed furniture, artwork, oxygen-giving plants, water displays, crystals and more. Many of the very best and biggest in business and finance have used feng shui for wealth for many years and attributed it to their success.

Read this informative article for more details, but the most important things to consider when transforming the office into a space that flows and inspires productivity and creativity is to reduce clutter at all costs. Feng shui fairly covers most of the bases when it comes to improving wellness and productivity, including maximising space to move around, increasing air quality, and improving the diffusion of light.

When adopting this new strategy, it’s important for managers to insist that everyone get on board with this method of decorating and organization, and encourage their coworkers to do the same. It’s so easy to let the messier members of the team to back-step and start leaving empty coffee cups strewn about, tossing their sweaters and jackets wherever they wish, and other habits that can make the decor in the office to backslide.

2. The lighting needs to be perfect in order to maximize productivity

Feng shui will go a long way toward making the space more efficient, but lighting is scientifically proven to either help or hinder productivity. Light is life here on Earth and without it, few creatures would be able to live. When it comes to productivity, lighting improves productivity by improving everyone’s health, mimicking natural outside lighting — Ie., the type of light humans have traditionally been exposed to when we worked outside for most of our existence.

Energy-efficient office lighting
photo credit: David Wall / Flickr

Artificial light increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol by disrupting our circadian rhythm. This leads not just to reduced productivity, since heightened levels keep us in constant fight or flight mode (a state proven to lead to more irrational decisions), it increases the likelihood of sickness, depression, anxiety, and absenteeism from work.

If the goal is maximum productivity for the company long term, consider that large windows and skylights are the best source of natural light, in combination with natural, adjustable interior lighting that mimics the same light spectrum put off by the sun.

Lights can be turned off completely during the day in an office with plenty of windows, and timed to turn on when the sun starts to dip down on the horizon outside later in the day. The point here is that it may be most beneficial to consider a move if your office doesn’t allow natural lighting in, while also ensuring lighting fixtures have natural-light-emitting bulbs in them, along with a dimmer function that allows employees to dial in the lighting perfectly to reduce glare while they work.

3. Air conditioning essential in warm environments

The layout and lighting of the office is paramount to uninterrupted productivity, but temperature is equally important – especially in warm environments. No wonder in warm regions an aircon service is well-sought-after. Nobody wants to work indoor and drenched in sweat; that’s a pretty bad situation, as you might imagine.

People can be so fickle when it comes to temperature preferences — much like Goldilocks when she trespassed into the three bears’ house to find three bowls of porridge — only one bowl was “just right” for her tastes.

Things can become more complicated when it comes to getting the temperature just right for everyone in the office. A morning coffee or hot lunch can make a man’s body temperatures soar, which does nothing for productivity. Conversely, many women in the office may prefer to wear skirts and professional dresses over pants, meaning they’d have to keep blankets and sweaters nearby just to keep comfortable at even normal room temperature.

The best advice is to poll everyone in the office and come to an agreeable temperature that makes sure the men aren’t too hot, and that women and aging employees aren’t too cold (Note: this comment isn’t intended to be sexist, keep reading). Studies suggest productivity between both sexes is best between 74 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Why? Because men generally prefer temperatures around a cool 71.6 degrees, whereas women like temps in the toasty 77 degree range.


Spacious office space

Don’t count the cost: Why initial setup expenses aren’t as much of an issue as you think

Do you know how much money you’re leaving on the table with a poor office layout, inefficient and stress-inducing lighting, and office temperatures that leave workers either too hot or too cold? Truth is, it’s impossible to tell just how much a lack of productivity is costing your unique business.

The only way to really quantify the costs is to make the improvements suggested above and watch your company profits soar. Large corporations making improvements just to the access to natural sunlight and upgrades to the lighting systems in their office alone have realised costs savings of up to $50,000 a year! An inefficient or poorly controlled HVAC system increases overhead expenses, as well as reduces productivity in the form of poor work flow and elevated absenteeism.

How much more productive could your company be with an extra employee or two being hired on full or part-time when you save money and increase profits at the same time? Don’t count the cost upfront and you’ll appreciate increased productivity and cost savings down the road.