Why the Place of Work Can Increase Or Decrease Employees’ Efficiency
An employee’s place of work encompasses not only the physical aspect of where they render their deliverables but also includes the entire environment that they are subjected to when they fulfill their duties. Various studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the working environment of employees and their productivity. This article lists down some of the reasons why the place of work can increase or decrease the efficiency of employees.
Workplace Factors Affecting Employee Efficiency
There are several factors affecting employee efficiency when it comes to the physical aspect of the workplace. When employees feel restrained because of their workstation space, they will tend to feel uncomfortable, making them unable to work properly. For this reason, the co-working space enthusiasts behind Workit Spaces suggest that if you have the opportunity to work remotely, then choose a place that will be able to foster your productivity, such as a co-working space. More often than not, these co-working spaces are optimally structured with ergonomically designed workstation setups and integrated with a fast and reliable internet connection. This will allow you to work efficiently, paving the way for enhanced productivity.
Workplace Design and Layout
One of the primary factors affecting employee efficiency is the overall design and layout of the office where they need to report. While some offices are designed with cubes and private compartments, others have an open space layout. Both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to fostering employee efficiency.
An office space with compartmentalized cubicles will provide a certain level of privacy that your employees may need to work without any interruptions. On the other hand, an office space with an open layout is said to foster team collaboration and cooperation between employees. In this case, the best office layout that will yield maximum efficiency is one that offers a variety or a mix of the two typical office design layouts.
Another factor affecting the efficiency of employees in the workplace is the workstation setup. When the workstation of an employee is ergonomically designed, such as having an office chair that supports good posture, then there is a smaller chance of him complaining about back pain and other body aches that can cause him to miss work. This is also true when it comes to the setup of his computer, mouse, and keyboard also fosters proper posture. In addition to this, everything should be properly within reach for the employee to work efficiently.
Even in work areas that are not in line with office work, proper posture should be practiced to avoid any unfortunate injuries that only manifest after a long time. For instance, if your employee is expected to carry heavy and bulky items, then he should be trained to do it the proper way. In this case, the lifting should be done using force from the legs, rather than bending to gather force from the torso.
Equipment Specifications and Quality
The specifications and quality of the work equipment that employees use is another significant factor when it comes to their efficiency and productivity. For instance, if the specifications of the computer that an office worker is using are already outdated, then there is a great chance that it is already slow in processing data. In this case, even simple tasks such as saving a document may take an excessively long time to complete. Apart from delaying the work that needs to be done, this can also lead to a frustrated employee.
Apart from the computer typically used in the office, all other devices necessary to complete deliverables should be functioning properly for your employee to be more productive. For instance, if an electrical engineer is expected to make a report about electrical readings in certain premises, then the meter that he is using should function properly. Otherwise, he won’t be able to make an accurate report that can be a basis for the management or the company to make a more informed decision.
Employees will tend to work more efficiently if they have their own space wherein they don’t feel constrained to move. In case your employees need to have a shared work area, make sure that there are still certain boundaries implemented in the space. For example, the work of one employee may be delayed if another employee who shares the space with him often uses the materials he needs to work with.
As much as possible, dedicate a certain work area for each of your employees to work effectively. This is where they should be able to find everything they need to complete the job that needs to be done. The space you dedicate should neither be too small making them feel restricted nor too big, overwhelming them.
A clean workspace proves to foster employee engagement as they are comfortable with their working environment. This also helps reduce the risks and hazards associated with an unclean and disorganized workplace. Apart from being comfortable then, employees are guaranteed their health and safety with a clean workplace. This means that there is a small chance for them to miss work because of health issues related to an unclean environment when they report to work.
One of the things that you can do to ensure a clean workspace is regular decluttering. This means that anything that proves to be unnecessary for work should be eliminated. In parallel to this, periodic cleaning such as sweeping, dusting, and taking out garbage should be done consistently. This will prevent the presence of pests in the workplace that can be a health hazard.
Your office space should not only be clean. It should also be free from mold, asbestos, and other usually unnoticed health hazards. For this reason, it is a good idea to routinely have your workplace inspected by professional cleaners. Keep in mind that your efforts in keeping the workplace that your employees report to will prove to be beneficial in the long run as they are free from health issues that can affect their productivity.
As much as possible, the place of work where your employees will spend most of their time during the day should be properly lit. Dark office space can decrease the productivity of your employees primarily because they will find it hard to see what they need to do. In parallel to this, they will most likely complain of eye issues that may cause them to miss work eventually.
To properly light up your office space, you can leverage large windows to let the natural light in. There is also the option for you to use light window treatments. You can also consider the use of neutral colors as office paint to foster not only a brighter area but a more spacious one as well.
Certain studies show that noise can decrease the productivity of your employees by 67%. This can be attributed to the fact that with noisy surroundings, the ability of your employees to focus will be negatively impacted. For this reason, it is a good idea to design an office space that is free from loud and distracting noises as well as unpleasant sounds.
Some of the things that you can do to make your office space quieter or less susceptible to noise are by using high-performance acoustic tiles in your ceiling. This will most likely absorb sound, leading to a quieter environment. You can also try to integrate high-performance partitions that will allow you to cut down some external noise. Otherwise, you can always overlay the noise in your office with more calming and low-level background sounds such as soft music.
The place of work of your employees should also bear an ideal temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold. In this case, if you live in a tropical country that is often hot and humid, you may want to install an air conditioning unit for you to be able to maintain the temperature at a comfortable level. On the other hand, if you live in an area that experiences the coldest winters, then make sure that you have a heating system that functions properly.
When your employees often feel too hot or too cold, they will most likely be focusing on how hot or cold they are feeling rather than on their work. This is because they need to find ways on how to be more comfortable before they will be able to concentrate on their deliverables. Apart from making changes in the workplace though, it is also a good idea to orient your employees to dress appropriately to ensure that they are comfortable with the temperature inside your office regardless of the outside temperature.
Ventilation and Air Quality
The office space of your employees should also be properly ventilated. In parallel to this, the quality of air circulating should also be high quality. Several studies show that this can yield an increased cognitive function for your employees that can in turn result in better productivity. In a gist, the improved cognitive function simply means that the brain is working more efficiently, which can lead to faster and better decision-making.
Alongside this, a well-ventilated environment is also one that can foster the overall health of your employees. With adequate ventilation, there is a reduced possibility for viruses and bacteria to linger. Without being down with flu due to the cold virus, then an employee can report for work during the days that he is expected to. This means that the tasks you expect to be done on a certain due date will be handled as the employee working on it is always present and working efficiently.
Effects of an Optimally Designed Place of Work
When you have a good idea of the factors that can affect employee productivity when it comes to the physical surroundings of his place of work, you need to exert the effort to ensure that the workplace fosters productivity. When your employees are more productive, there is a greater chance for you to be able to hit your business or company goals. As a result, you can expect better revenue paving the way for the stability and growth of your enterprise.
With an optimally designed place of work, your employees will be inspired to let out their creative juices. In this case, encourage your employees to suggest any modifications in the workplace that they think will get them more inspired. This can be having a mural in one of the walls of the pantry, or even changing the color of one of the walls of their cubicle.
Promotes Continuous Development
An optimally designed place of work can also promote continuous development, particularly when your employees don’t feel like they are restricted or limited. For instance, if they are using computers and gadgets that are not only working properly but prove to have advanced features that will help them work more effectively, then they will be more inspired to do better at their job, even thinking of ways of how they can further improve because they don’t feel frustrated with their tools.
When you have an optimally designed office layout, then there is a great chance that you are also fostering communication and collaboration with your team. More often than not, when people in your office can easily approach each other because of your office layout, then emails will be less. This means that the back and forth messages that sometimes take a long time before a reply is sent are sorted out instantly as one of your employees simply heads over to another colleague for clarification.
There are several reasons why the place of work can increase or decrease the efficiency of employees. Focusing on the physical aspect of the workplace, the design and layout, as well as the setup and equipment that employees use can either make them work faster or otherwise. In addition to this, a spacious, clean, well-lighted, noise-free, and well-ventilated workspace with optimal temperature will make employees more comfortable. As a result, they will be able to focus more on the tasks at hand rather than on the nuances causing them discomfort.