According to Jeremy Rifkin, who (among many things) is the principal architect of Smart Europe and an adviser to leadership of the People’s Republic of China, productivity has now been declining for 15 or 20 years all over the world.
You may find that your employees call in sick, come in late, doze off at their desks or lack motivation.
Watching your staff trudge emotionlessly through the day like machines can weigh heavily on your heart and make you wonder if you’ve possibly hired the wrong set of people despite the fact that somewhere in the back of your mind, you know the truth. These are good workers stumbling through a productivity block.
What could be holding them back?
Zoom out a little and you may just find that one of the main contributors to your employees’ lack of productivity could well be your office environment.
Redefining space for a brave new world
A 2016 study by Penn Schoen Berland which interviewed 3,800 global employees (Both older employees and millennials) about technological change in the workplace found that 58% of global millennial workers prefer VR and AR over free snacks and ping pong tables. It also found that 44% of millennials believe their workplaces aren’t smart enough.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to get the most souped-up, hyper modified office in the world. Giving your office space a makeover could possibly just involve some simple, back to basics redecorating based on fundamental concepts of how human comfort relates to performance.
If the walls are discolouring and your housekeeping agency only drops by once a month, you’d do well to move cleanliness up the priority level. If you hear your staff sniffling and see them walking around with puffy eyes, this could mean that dust is collecting on the magazine rack by the waiting area. Do not, I repeat, do not think of cleanliness as an expense and nothing else. A clean and healthy workplace relates directly to your bottom line, increases output quality and reduces the number of employees calling in sick.
In general, offices are indoor spaces so try ditching those fluorescent lights for natural light from windows instead. Sleep levels (employees dozing off) and even happiness levels have a clear relation to lighting.
Light controls our circadian rhythm also known as the internal body clock. According to a study by Cornell University’s Professor Alan Hedge, access to natural light increases alertness.
Guillaume Vidal, CEO of Green Creative says that “The degree to which you can fabricate natural light in an office is invaluable. It can transform the workplace from a cold, unnatural place, to a warm, inviting space for creativity and collaboration.”
If the standard issue cubicles or cramming employees next to each other with no intervening walls (also known as the open office concept) are not working, you may do well to experiment with different types of spaces in one setting.
Warren Bricknell, managing director at Dale Office Interiors and co-owner of Scaletronic says that “Having quiet areas, collaboration areas and sometimes even game areas can really help employees to perform at their best. It’s about having choice to work in a way that best suits the task on hand.”
Adding personality to the workspace
Jenna Berman, marketing and communications specialist at Nations Photo Lab says that “It’s proven that working in a space surrounded by artwork leads to an increase in creativity,”
Putting up paintings, artwork and movie or motivational quotes, having a de-stressing corner with a wall-mounted punching pad and MMA gloves as well as allowing staff/team members to add personality to their workspaces through their own decoration can inspire and motivate.
TraitQuest aims to bridge the gap between employee and employer relationship – by managing performance, engaging employees and retaining talents. Our continuous efforts leverage on data-driven decision making, derived traits profiling, workplace gamification via a well-rounded multi-level engagement platform, will ensure the organizations we work with are always at their top level of productivity! To sum up our value proposition – we provide enterprise cloud-based solutions for workflow management and collaboration to drive employees’ motivation and engagement, cultivate a healthy corporate culture thereby retaining your valued employees.
Find out more at traitquest.com