The key to any successful business having productive employees. Of course, there are many ways to increase employee engagement and encourage a healthy workplace environment. There are also science-backed ways that any employer can create a workplace atmosphere that helps employees perform better.
Did you know that simple changes in the office can have a positive impact on productivity? Simple changes such as increasing natural light, organising workspaces more effectively, and encouraging appropriate breaks can benefit your employees.
In this article, you will learn about some simple ways that large and small businesses can help their employees to be more productive at their job.
Increasing natural light is one of the easiest ways to create a workplace environment that is pleasant to work in.
Scientific studies highlight the effect of natural sunlight on the health of employees. For example, a 2014 study found that workers who perform tasks in windowless environments performed poorer that those who enjoyed natural light. The study found that employees who enjoyed exposure to natural light also exercised more and slept better.
If your office building is such that it is difficult to get natural outdoor light, investing in light boxes or therapy lamps can mimic the effect of natural light.
You don’t have to hire an expensive interior designer to redecorate your office. However, adding a splash of colour can do wonders for your employees’ productivity.
Actually, working in white or grey environments are the worst colours if you want to spur your employees on.
The journal Frontiers in Psychology reported that the colour of offices can greatly impact on performance. Workers in rooms painted purple or yellow found them distracting. Most workers preferred to work in offices that had blue, green, or beige colours. Interestingly, there seemed to be some evidence that workers in white offices made more mistakes than in ones pained in other colours.
Many employers would frown at the thought of encouraging workers to go for an afternoon snooze. However, drinking a cup of coffee and then enjoying a 15-minute nap can greatly increase productivity.
A study found that taking an early-afternoon nap immediately after having a cup of coffee prevented late-afternoon sleepiness. Researchers found that the caffeine from the coffee ‘kicked’ in after 20 minutes and the nap helped increase alertness.
If possible, try investing in a nap room or office chairs that allow employees to lay back flat to enjoy an early afternoon nap.
Taking breaks is necessary, not just from a work laws and ethics point of view, but to help boost productivity. You can make your employees’ breaks more productive and boost performance if they take time out with their fellow employees.
For example, bosses in one call centre encouraged staff to take breaks together. After a 3-month period, researchers discovered that those who enjoyed communal breaks experienced a 20% increase in productivity and a 19% drop in stress levels.
Researchers theorised that taking breaks together allowed workers to exchange tips, share experiences, and let off steam. All of these conditions help to boost productivity in the workplace.
Employers can also increase productivity in the workplace naturally by having more nature in the office. In fact, many scientists agree that nature is an essential component for happy, healthy environments.
Is there scientific backing behind the advice to put plants in the office to boost productivity? The respected medical journal PLoS One reported that exposure to plants in the office has a positive impact on mental health. Scientific evidence shows that increasing the number of plants can lower stress, improve mood, and even detoxify the air.
Other studies have found that having fish tanks in the office or even having artificial plants can have a positive effect on the mood of employees.
In conclusion, there are some easy ways that you can increase productivity at work by changing the office environment. It may mean investing in a power nap chair, redecorating the office, or even having a few more plant. In the end, your employees will feel happier and work more productively.