Studies have shown that, indeed, a good environment boosts work efficiency among employees, managers and executives. Said close relationship can be explained by emphasizing that physical health and mental wellness among workers can be promoted by providing them with conducive work environment well-designed, well-lit, and well-cooled, among other aspects.
Yet another thing that must be emphasized in the statement that a good environment boosts work efficiency is the share of personnel costs in the overall operations costs for most, if not all, offices. Salaries, bonuses and other benefits typically account for 80 to 90 percent of operation costs, a far larger percentage in comparison with overhead and miscellaneous costs at 20 to 10 percent.
The bottom line: Designing office space should combine the best of form and function so that no single aspect takes precedence over the other, thus, sacrificing work efficiency among employees, managers and executives. When form takes precedence over function, the workers will work in a beautiful yet uncomfortable environment. When function takes precedence over form, everybody will be comfortable but the too utilitarian environment will not encourage creativity, innovation and socialization, all of which are important in high work efficiency.
With that being said, here are a few important ideas in designing office space for high work efficiency among your employees, managers and executives. These tips also apply toward the personalization of furnished corporate housing Houston office managers must take upon themselves for their clients. Keep in mind that the furnished corporate housing business owners can lease or purchase should ideally be personalized to suit the organizations corporate culture, goals and brand, among other things.
Start with Comfort
Office design should start with the important aspects function, namely, indoor air quality, artificial and natural lighting, and acoustics as well as thermal comfort, good views, and amenities. All of these contribute to a good working environment and we know by now that a good environment boosts work efficiency.
- Air quality
Poor indoor air quality can lower work performance by up to 10 percent while short-term sick leaves are lower by 35 percent in offices with good indoor quality. Ensuring good air quality by adopting appropriate measures, such as ensuring that vents are free of obstruction, disposing of all waste properly, and installing high-quality air-conditioning filters, is a must.
- Thermal comfort
Scientists assert that the best indoor temperature for offices is between 71°F (22°C) and 77°F (25°C).
- Lighting quality
Both natural and artificial lighting should be used to great effect. Productivity experts recommend that offices should have general and task lighting set-ups so that employees can work better and faster. Access to windows and natural light will also increase productivity as well as decrease electricity costs.
Furthermore, the office should be designed to keep ambient noise to a minimum. Depending on the desired environment, piped-in music can be installed or soundproof walls can be also be part of the office plan. Just remember that workers will work well at different levels of ambient sound so it pays to strike a compromise.
With the air quality, thermal comfort, and lighting quality at their best levels, the function component has been taken care of. The form component now comes next.
Install Ergonomic Furniture
Modern office furniture is not your grandparents furniture in terms of its clever combination of function, form and comfort. You will find statement pieces of office furniture from workstations complete with chairs to lobby sets that are as beautiful in design as these are durable, practical and versatile in construction.
Of course, comfort comes first in relation to employee productivity so ergonomic furniture is a must. Ergonomic means that the users can adopt the proper posture when working, thus, lessening the risks for injuries and illnesses related to their everyday tasks.
Fortunately, ergonomic furniture are not just practical in their dimensions but beautiful in their design, too. You should have little issue in terms of your employees enjoying their work and enjoying the furniture on which they do it.
Adopt A Zoned Layout
While an open layout may have its benefits, you should also consider designing your office in terms of zones. Think of a well-planned city with distinct commercial, residential and industrial zones and you get the idea for your office.
For example, the offices should have distinct zones for:
- Informal socialization (i.e., employees lounge)
- Group meetings (i.e., conference room)
- Individual work (i.e., workstations)
But dont be afraid to experiment with the office layout either especially in terms of the workstations. You can forget the rule of thumb regarding one person, one desk especially when you have a mobile workforce; two mobile workers can share the same workstation, thus, cutting on costs while also encouraging productivity.
Just be sure to provide a space where workers can engage in concentrated work (i.e., hunker down to work on tasks for a few hours at a time without distractions and disturbances). You will find that your employees will appreciate the peace and quiet that comes with the space especially on highly-sensitive or time-bound projects.
Allow for Personalization
While a certain level of professional look must be maintained in the office, workers should also have the opportunity to personalize their workstations. By allowing employees to do so mainly by bringing in personal items, the organization benefits in two ways, namely, brightening up the office and building personal relationships among them.
The latter has several benefits in turn, such as allowing employees to act in a more natural manner and to relate to others in a more personal way. These are great for creativity and innovation, thus, for office productivity. Just be sure to set limits about the type, quality and quantity of personal items that can be brought to the office; pets, for example, ay not be allowed but photos. postcards and mementos can be displayed.
Keep in mind, too, that it is also important to stamp the office with your corporate brand. Start with painting the walls in the corporate color, or placing a large version of the logo on one wall, or displaying the products and services around the office. These reminders, so to speak, will encourage workers to remember what they are working for the welfare of the organization and, in the process, their own welfare as employees with jobs that pay well.