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Jon Kennard


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Five tips to optimise your office environment


We can always improve our working surroundings. Peter Stark of Eden Springs gives us a few fresh ideas.

Every experienced manager knows that a company’s culture and office environment can have a major impact on team productivity. Your employees are on the front-line of your business and should embody your organisation’s ethos - and keeping them firing on all cylinders is essential for success, allowing you to focus on training and developing your team to reach their goals.

Here are five managerial tips to ensure your approach to management and optimising your office environment provides the perfect incubator for a productive workplace.

Prime for productivity

Ensuring your office is primed for productivity is all about removing any barriers to efficiency and tweaking the environment to get the most out of your team. By taking an objective eye to your office, a number of quick and easy tweaks can result in a sizeable improvement to your working environment.

For example: a scientific study by Elsevier B.V. highlights the importance of natural light in the work environment. Our bodies are programmed to follow the sun, and poor quality artificial lighting can have a negative impact on our natural circadian rhythm - a disruption which has been shown to seriously impact our health and mental performance. If you have the luxury of natural lighting in your office, ensure you’re make the most of it by positioning desks near windows and ditching the blinds. Alternatively, invest in some lamps and high quality light bulbs, which mimic the brightness and colour temperature of natural daylight (5500-6500 Kelvin).

Keep a cool head

Studies have found that the temperature of a room can also have a major impact on productivity. UK employment law stipulates that businesses should provide a clean, temperature controlled and comfortable environment for their employees. However, as a manager, there’s a good reason to go beyond ‘just meeting regulations’ - as prioritising the comfort of your staff can pay dividends. This is particularly important during the warmer summer months, where evidence has shown productivity declines dramatically as body temperatures rise. 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your office environment, there are a number of simple steps you can take to ensure your staff remain comfortable and productive. These include opening windows to ventilate the office, providing desk fans and an office water cooler - as well as relaxing dress codes during particularly warm months.

Positivity is infectious

Negativity breeds negativity, but fortunately, this is also true for positivity. Leaving poor attitudes unchecked can lead to a toxic work environment, especially when teamwork is involved. Demonstrating a positive attitude can be infectious - and it comes as no great surprise that the happiest teams are usually found in the most successful businesses.

Simple policies and approaches can have a major impact on team morale. Nurturing an office culture of mutual respect ensures everyone in the team feels valued, while positive reinforcement (as opposed to finger-pointing and unnecessary disciplinary action) could provide the motivational boost your team needs to shine.

Open communication channels

Effective teamwork is all about collaboration and communication is its key facilitator. There are any number of steps you can take to improve communication in your business - whether it’s addressing the office layout to get people talking or implementing quick fire morning meetings to ensure everyone’s kept in the loop.

When it comes to mapping out your office space, an open plan approach can make or break a business. If teamwork plays a strong role in your organisation, grouping workspaces to reflect regular collaborations can ensure your team are communicating effectively (face-to-face) throughout the day. However, it’s also important to provide private work areas in any business - allowing individual team members to focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions when working solo.

Embody your brand

When employees are proud to be part of something, they’re more likely to keep the best interests of the business in mind. As with positivity, leading by example can inspire your employees to remain motivated - and ensuring your behaviour reflects the brand image you want your customers to perceive is essential.

However, embodying your brand through your behaviour is only part of the process. If your brand is cutting edge and modern, but your office is tired and old fashioned, it creates a disconnect. Invest in office furnishings and bold, strongly branded display materials such as posters and banner stands to create a ‘branded’ environment - helping your team identify with the business they’re part of.

Viewing your team, business culture and office environment with an objective eye allows you to clearly see where improvements can be made - and by taking a few simple steps to optimise your office environment, you can make a dramatic improvement to productivity.

Peter Stark is marketing manager for Eden Springs - a leading supplier of eco-friendly coffee machines and water coolers to businesses throughout the UK

One Response

  1. The employees make a huge
    The employees make a huge part of the business and apart from just marketing your business to the public, you need your employees to be part of the strategy as well. When they work cohesively with one another, it portrays a very positive image of your company. This is in its own way a marketing scheme for your company too. You can encourage this lifestyle amongst your employees and have them work in a conducive environment where a bond is easily created amongst everyone.

Author Profile Picture
Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

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