There have been many studies that have investigated what makes an office a happy and productive one and it’s no secret that office design has a direct impact on employee productivity and satisfaction. Making changes to the design of your office and giving employees what they need to feel comfortable and happy can improve your business performance and ultimately, your bottom line. So, what do people want from their office?
The main factor identified by employees in various studies has been described as ‘comfort’. Research has shown that efficiency and productivity increase when employees feel comfortable. Lessen the risk of health problems and fatigue by looking at the ergonomics of tables, desks and chairs which can have a significant impact on your business performance and employee satisfaction. Adjustable desks are one answer to increasing staff comfort, by offering them the opportunity to sit and stand when it suits their needs.
Another important aspect of employee satisfaction recognised in the ‘What Do Workers Want’ report done by the British Council of Offices is lighting levels. Natural light can make people feel more awake and alert, as well as reduce headaches and stress because it has a beneficial effect on hormones. Staff can be sat behind a desk peering at a screen for around 90% of their day, so upping the quantity of natural lighting in the office can boost moods and, in turn, increase productivity.
Having an attractive and stimulating environment can also encourage employees to feel more satisfied and creative. Increasingly, businesses are designing offices that combine more relaxed and creative designs. Research determines that more informal and inspirational arrangements can improve communication and employee satisfaction and, in turn, business productivity.
Problems with noise are another high-ranking factor related to how satisfied staff feel. Those surveyed often desire quiet and private places to focus, as well as communal areas. Designing a layout that considers employee needs can encourage employee satisfaction. Collaborative work spaces can also be desired in certain situations to encourage communication within the team and offer a further example of when an adjustable workstation can make all the difference in an open-plan office.
Are there any other factors?
Other office issues marked as important for employees include overall office cleanliness, reliable toilet access and WiFi. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving offices or renovating, consider the desires of your staff to foster a productive and healthier work environment that successfully drives productivity, staff retention and reduces lost revenue from sick leave.