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6 Design Elements For a Productive Office

Modern workers and their employers are increasingly focused on getting the most out of their working day.

Everyday there’s a new article touting the latest “productivity hack,” or a Q&A with a top CEO about how he or she stays productive.

But there are limits to what an app-guided “focus” meditation can do in a space that is, itself, chaotic. Enter the role of smart office design, where employee data is used to create an environment that optimizes productivity.

These are the six most important elements in an office that boost worker productivity:

1) Amenities that make life easier

A rooftop pool is, without a doubt, a fun luxury, but amenities as simple as vending machines with healthy snacks can improve employee experience “You want to make it more convenient to be at work and reduce the need to leave the office during the day,” says Michael Jordan, Productivity Strategies Manager at JLL.

Companies with older workers, for example, might find that onsite medical services reduce the amount of time workers have to spend out of the office navigating appointments. Meanwhile younger demographics might better appreciate onsite childcare.

2) The right mix of work spaces

In open office floor plans, activity-based work areas can help employees feel more comfortable, empowered and inspired to show up. For example, casual lounges, where unlikely collaborators can collide, lead to more innovation. Concentration areas can be just as vital, not only for heads-down work, but also for finding relaxing space to unwind.

3) Natural light and clean air

The architecture of an office building directly impacts cognitive functioning. Multiple studies show the benefits that come with big windows that let in natural light. With them, employee productivity, engagement and satisfaction all add up. Building infrastructure, such as the HVAC system, plays a clear role too. Poor air quality can spread the flu and colds, and a sick workforce is never a productive one.

4) Quiet zones

Noisy office mates are more than an annoyance. Research from the World Green Building Council indicates background noise can lead to as much as a 66 percent drop in productivity. Options abound for improving acoustics, from installing sound-absorbing ceiling tiles to filling a room with soft white noise.

5) Easy-to-use workplace technology

Technology can make office life infinitely easier when it automates routine tasks, like booking a conference room.

But execution is key. When technology isn’t intuitive, employees can waste valuable time figuring out if they have the right adapter to share a presentation. Ensure your technological advances prioritize function over form.

6) A smart way to collect data

Measuring the output of knowledge workers can be an elusive quest.”For organizations hoping to tackle productivity problems with a workplace refresh, Jordan points to five metrics to examine: absenteeism, attrition, cognitive functioning, labor output and recruiting.

By measuring each productivity intervention against those criteria, organizations can gain data-driven insights on how their workplace is enabling or hindering productivity. Then employers can be sure their changes in office design are making a positive difference.

Like this blog? Read on to learn more about setting up your office space for a better employee experience.

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