1001 SE Water Ave. #261, Portland, OR 97214

Set Up For Success: How To Maximize Office Productivity

blocks-image-82 (Demo)

The workspace is constantly evolving. In the last 20(ish) years, we’ve witnessed the cubicle era of the early 2000s, a ping pong table epidemic of the following decade, and the recent popularity surge of remote work. Among these inconsistencies, the only constant idea of what a workplace should be is ‘productive.’

While office trends come and go, they need to continually support the work and functionalities of the people working there. For example, does your company value teamwork? What about natural light or having an environment that reflects their brand image? Ultimately, your workspace needs to reflect and support your organization’s goals and values.

It’s safe to say that the days of cubicle farms and completely open room work environments are all but gone (finally!). Office designs need to adapt and evolve to meet both modern-day standards and your company’s needs. You may be asking yourself, “but how do I do this?” Luckily for you, we’ve outlined three essential steps to ensure your workspace does not destroy employee productivity.

The workspace is constantly evolving. In the last 20(ish) years, we’ve witnessed the cubicle era of the early 2000s, a ping pong table epidemic of the following decade, and the recent popularity surge of remote work. Among these inconsistencies, the only constant idea of what a workplace should be is ‘productive.’

While office trends come and go, they need to continually support the work and functionalities of the people working there. For example, does your company value teamwork? What about natural light or having an environment that reflects their brand image? Ultimately, your workspace needs to reflect and support your organization’s goals and values.

It’s safe to say that the days of cubicle farms and completely open room work environments are all but gone (finally!). Office designs need to adapt and evolve to meet both modern-day standards and your company’s needs. You may be asking yourself, “but how do I do this?” Luckily for you, we’ve outlined three essential steps to ensure your workspace does not destroy employee productivity.

Create a “perfect” balance.

If COVID-19 and returning to in-person work have taught us anything, it’s that most people really like the ability to work from home. Moreover, thanks to many studies, such as this one by Accenture, data suggests that enabling hybrid work opportunities significantly improves productivity and overall performance.

Although some tasks cannot be performed in the same fashion remotely as in person, most work can be done from the comfort of your living room, a coffee shop, or even on a train!

We do not suggest that you toss a bean bag in each office corner to achieve that “homey” feel and call it good. Instead, focus on creating a more collaborative and encouraging work environment that enables different styles of work. For example, try incorporating private and public work areas, providing technologies that allow for hybrid opportunities, or adding a kitchen designed to bring people together!

Creating a balanced work environment means creating a flexible workspace. In addition, work environments must foster a space that enables connectivity and collaboration without destroying a person’s sense of privacy.

A great way to optimize your organization for success in any work environment is by adapting technologies that help make the physical distance between employees and clients seamless.

Technology

Ah, technology, with its inherent complexities and struggles. We agree that there are many aspects of technology that can become (extremely) frustrating at times. Still, well-integrated technologies distinguish some of the most productive organizations from the rest.

Whether adapting to hybrid-remote opportunities or attempting to streamline existing data sharing and communication processes, selecting the right technologies and ensuring proper integration is integral to any modern business’s success.

Two of the most beneficial and universal technologies are those that surround information storage, sharing, and communication. Cloud-based servers (such as OneDrive) are a great investment that allow equal access of company data and information to all teams, from anywhere. Similarly, video communication platforms (such as Zoom) create the ability to seamlessly connect with satellite employees and offices via virtual conferencing.

Environment and impressions

What type of business comes to mind when you imagine stepping off an elevator into a reception area with wood paneling, marble floors, and pictures of the company founders on the wall? Probably a law office of some kind.

Meanwhile, what about when you walk into a dreary space with 90’s positivity posters on the wall, a semi-sad-looking fish tank (or two), and uncomfortable waiting room chairs? Yep. Literally any doctor’s office.

Too many companies completely ignore the importance of creating an environment that aesthetically fosters productivity and morale. You wouldn’t want to invite clients and prospective customers to your office if it hosts rows of cubicles, flat fluorescent lights, and monotone grey colors, right? “Death by mundane environment” can be a real thing when it comes to workplace design.

Rather than make people want to run in the opposite direction of your workspace, create a space that makes people want to stay. You can do this by utilizing natural light, encouraging collaboration yet allowing privacy, incorporating company colors to the décor, or adding a few favorable amenities (kitchen, phone/ conference booths, etc.).

One of the easiest ways to encourage a productive office environment is by creating a biophilic workspace. Don’t know how to do that? We have an entire article on the topic.

What next?

There are, seriously, hundreds of ways to elevate your workspace environment while improving its overall impressions on clients and employees—we breakdown four more easy ways to do this here.

Navigating the waters of improving productivity is much easier to ideate than implement. Luckily, this is an area of expertise for DESIGN+BUILD, and our team is happy to connect with you and discuss how we can help!