There seems to have always been a certain belief around the workplace: an office is sterile, unfriendly place where productivity and creativity are stifled. But today, more and more companies are striving to improve their space and create a more welcoming and stimulating area for their employees to work in. If you have found yourself struggling lately to be productive or find the right kind of motivation, try these ways to improve your office and thereby your productivity.
Natural light is very powerful, it not only boosts creativity, but it also increases energy according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Based on their research, employees who are exposed to natural light stay on task for 15 percent longer than sun-deprived counterparts. Moreover, research by Northwestern University in Chicago found that people who aren’t exposed to direct sunlight can lose around 46 minutes of sleep at night. If you can’t situate your desk right next to a window, be sure to at least talk a walk during the day. Not only with the sunlight help, but the exercise will too. If you’re an employer, be sure to have lots of windows in the office to bring in sunlight.
Research done by the University of Munich, Germany found that certain colors can influence certain moods. Blue stimulates clear thought and is good for detail-orientated tasks and green spurs creativity and a sense of calming balance. On the other hand, red can affect the body to the extent of elevating one’s heart rate and even inflicting a mood of avoidance. Repaint your office’s walls with a good shade of a color that will help aid your employees with their work. If you can’t repaint your walls due to your landlord rules or you don’t want to commit look into using wall stickers instead. Neutral, muted colors will help relax and soothe whereas brighter, more saturated ones will stimulate. Make sure the colors you pick are in congruence with your office culture.
Create a Relaxation Space
Whether it’s a quiet room or a relaxing break room, you need to provide a separate space where your employees can go to relax. For instance at my work we created a quiet room with amazing etched glass dark windows so other people couldn’t see in. We filled the thing with plants and it quickly became the favorite area of the office to relax in. Being able to unwind while at work in an area where you won’t be disturbed by colleagues can produce a tremendous effect on your employee’s’ morale.
Make Time for Fun
Next to a relaxation space, make time for “play” at the office. You don’t need to force everyone, but have options where employees can have a little fun time. Put a pool table or ping pong table in the break room. If you have a nice lawn next to your office, house a couple lawn games that they can take outside any time they can. Giving yourself and your workers a little break from the desk on improve productivity and even provides consistent increases in morale.
We don’t mean an overwhelming overpowering smell that will make everyone gag or choke. Scent is one of our strongest senses and not many people use it to boost productivity. Research done by Takasago Corporation found that typists made fewer errors when they were exposed to various scents. The smell of lemon produced 54 percent fewer mistakes whereas jasmine was at 33 percent and lavender was at 20 percent. Install a plugin or wickless candle, or even an essential oils diffuser to give your workspace and your brain a little boost.
Turn Up the Tunes
Your heart rate tends to mimic the beat of a song. To help keep workers alert and even relaxed try turning up the background music. It doesn’t need to be Eminem, but the music on your playlists should have a good upbeat tempo. Classical music can actually increase your IQ, but make sure to take a poll around the office and find something middle ground that will help all of your employees work better. You’ll need to find something that isn’t distracting, but you can easily change things around as time goes on.