Changing the Work Environment to Improve Productivity


Your physical environment affects your mood, no matter how much you try to ignore it. Spending your work days in a dark, cold room is depressing for everyone. A poor physical environment in the workplace does more than depress your workers: their productivity is also affected. Comfortable, happy employees not only appreciate their workplace, but they also get more done. Improving the workplace environment costs money upfront but delivers excellent long-term returns. You’ll build a stronger and more profitable team when you pay attention to these issues.

Lighting

Fluorescent lighting is a poor substitute for natural light. In addition to the poor lighting, many offices and factories have few windows that allow in sunlight. Dim, dark interiors have a negative effect on workers, leading to low levels of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood. Lack of sunlight can also cause low levels of vitamin D, which is needed to maintain bone health and to fight off various diseases, including certain cancers and digestive conditions. 

You will get healthier, happier workers if you let the sunshine in. Something as simple as sunlight can boost your employees moods, sleep (ironically), blood pressure, and promotes weight loss. The benefits of a little sunshine can definitely improve your workplace as well as your employee’s productivity. Think of your employees like plants that need sunlight and water to produce growth! 

Workers also prize sunlight in their environment. In fact, a recent poll shows that they prefer access to sunlight over a workplace cafeteria and onsite childcare. And giving them light benefits you. The availability of natural light can raise productivity by approximately two percent.

Temperature

In a large work environment, finding a temperature that everyone agrees on is impossible. However, when employees are sweating or freezing, they simply are not being as productive as they could be. As important as it is to save money on energy bills, it’s just as important to maintain the temperature of your office to increase productivity. 

Although experts disagree on what the best temperature for workers is, it should be noted that the low to mid 70s seems to keep employees happy. OSHA recommends that the temperature remains somewhere between 68 and 76 degrees. One tip to follow can be communicating between your employees and asking how cold or hot they’d like the office to be. This way, you’ll be able to gauge what temperature to leave the office at thus creating a productive work environment.  

Color

Too many property owners choose bland neutrals for every wall in their building, often out of convenience sake. These bland colors can induce depressive emotions which in turn de-motivates employees.Humans naturally yearn for color, and adding various shades to your physical plant can help your employees remain more alert and productive. Colors offer subliminal symbolism that boosts the environment as well as moods of recipients. 

Yellow and orange exudes energy therefore, considering it in moderation within your office can improve productivity. Greens and blues add visual interest but are also soothing and relaxing, perfect for when employees feel the stress of meeting deadlines. Too much beige and off-white can be oppressive, so using these colors in splashes may be nice.

Noise

Some people function well in a noisy environment, but many others do not. And the open floor plan of many businesses means the noise can simply get out of hand, increasing stress and lowering productivity. While you cannot create a silent workplace, you can take steps to lower the volume. You might invest in noise-canceling headphones or create areas in the office where workers can go to work in quiet. Just be aware that too much noise means your workers cannot reach their peak of productivity.

Creating a worker-friendly environment means creating a pleasing physical space as well as a positive work culture. Your workers are affected by their surroundings. If your business is dim, cold and beige, their work will suffer. Even a small increase in worker productivity can have a significant impact on your company’s profits. So take the time to evaluate your physical space and make it pleasant to ultimately help your employees feel more productive.