Isolation has emerged as the biggest enemy of innovation and productivity. Not only does isolation kill the motivation of employees to perform better, but it also hampers their will to work and be in sync with the organizational goals.
Gone are the days of working in individual silos (not literally) and cubicles. These days organizations are investing in innovative methods of working, which are aimed towards employee engagement and involvement, making them feel one with the organizational culture.
The change in culture led to a shift towards open offices, which not only helped reduce the cost of furniture but has also enabled people to work and collaborate efficiently. An open plan comes with the freedom to work from wherever they want, without having to bother about physical barriers.
By creating focus areas, recreation areas, and open meeting areas, employees can be empowered to focus on their work, while retaining their productivity. People are divided into introverts and extroverts, and offices need to accommodate both types of people while planning their office space design effectively.
So how can companies invest in their employees, and maximize the existing office space design to boost productivity? Here are a few tips which can help in this regard:
Standing desks Standing desks are rapidly becoming the talk of the town, given the series of benefits they offer to users. Thanks to wireless networks, laptops, and tablets, employees no longer need to be chained to their seats and can work on the go. Since working on a standing desk can burn up to 50 calories/hour, who would not want to burn off those extra calories? Standing desks offer other benefits; bid adieu to cardiovascular problems, and let your creativity flow, as you shuffle around the office, from one place to another.
Game rooms: Organizations are investing in their employee’s health. Recreation is a healthy alternative to a busy work schedule. If you are having a mental block and not being able to think straight, go to one of the game rooms, play your favorite game, rejuvenate, and then try tackling your problem at hand. This way, there will always be a better alternative to look forward to in your workspace.
- Pets in the office: We've all heard about a creche for children, but who knew there are pet creches in offices too? Yes, you read that right; employees are encouraged to get their pets to work so that they don’t have to stay away from their furry pooches for long periods of time. Dogs and cats are great de-stressors; if employees can bring their pets to work, chances are they would be more productive and stress-free at work. As one can imagine, having a pet at work can create a good diversion from the chaotic office hours.
As per a study in the Virginia Commonwealth University, employees who brought their dogs to work had lower levels of cortisol, a commonly found stress hormone in humans. The study also showed a decrease in the stress levels of employees, who brought their pets to the workplace regularly.
- Bring nature into the office space: Nature and sunlight can often prove to be a good productivity booster for people who work long hours. We live in a concrete jungle, wherein there are hardly any outlets providing a green, lush environment. If one can’t go and work out in the open, why not bring nature in? Exotic plants and fragrant greenery is just another excuse to get closer to nature. Most organizations all over the world are leading the green initiative and involving employees in planting more trees in and around the office campus. This way, employers can help enhance employee productivity and make the office space a little more invigorating.
- Health activities: Organizations are gung-ho about doing the right thing for their employees. How about including a well-equipped gym into the office design, so that people can work out after a hectic day at work? This can be coupled up with a healthy cafeteria, which serves the right type of food, to boost healthy living. Organizations like Google, Microsoft and many others are leading this initiative and promoting healthy living within their office premise. This way, employees get ample space to walk around, be themselves and indulge in healthy practices during the whole workout process.
Architects, interior designers, and office planners are stressing on the need to provide employee-friendly workspaces to employees, to help people drive productivity and reduce stress. The idea is to ensure the office is like a home away from home, where productivity and a stress-free environment is also promoted.