Kevin Gardner, Negosentro | It is no secret that creating a great work environment will help you get the best from your employees. Of course, creating a great work environment involves far more than just creating a great physical space for them to work in. Having said that, however, the physical space that people have to work in does in fact have a significant impact on productivity. Regardless of whether your office is arranged in a maze of cubicles or utilizes an open floor plan, here are 5 great organization tips for creating a more enjoyable workplace.
- Utilize available light
It should be no surprise that natural light ranks high on the list of what employees want in a workspace. Even builders are getting in on the act, by creating almost solid glass buildings that maximize natural light potential. While you may not have quite as many windows to work with, try and arrange your space in such a way as to give everyone as much access to natural light as possible.
- Keep it neat and aesthetically pleasing
There is probably no more important application for the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place” than in the office. An enormous amount of productivity is often wasted just looking for things like paper or toner for the copier or trash bags for a trash can. Offices can also have a way of becoming junkyards for leftover detritus if not carefully managed. Keep your workspace neat, tidy and organized by getting broken equipment and trash hauled away as quickly as possible. For items you don’t use often but might still need – like supplies for trade shows – have heavy duty wall shelves installed in a closet or unused space to reduce unsightly piles of clutter.
- Create a schedule for dealing with communal areas
While your cleaning service will keep kitchens, break rooms and conference rooms clean, they aren’t responsible for keeping them organized. Leftover decorations from office parties and almost-empty boxes with a few coffee cups or sugar packets have a way of stacking up over time. Assign various teams to do a once-a-month cleaning, tidying or organizing of shelves, cupboards and refrigerators to keep communal areas neat and tidy.
- Use plants or foliage to break up space
Open office floor plans are all the rage and they certainly have their benefits. They also have their drawbacks, however, and one of these is sound. Loud noises carry a great distance in open offices and even quieter sounds when made by dozens of people can get overwhelming. You can protect the aesthetic of open offices while creating great sound barriers by using greenery or plants to break up larger spaces. Plants not only make your workplace healthier by absorbing toxins, they can also help reduce indoor noise levels.
- Untether your employees
People that design open office floor plans understand that employees sometimes need a quite place where they can have a private conversation, meet with one or two people without distracting others or to work in peace without distraction. Many offices provide “break out” rooms or quiet places just for doing such things. What they often don’t think of, however, is just how feasible these spaces are to use. If an employee needs to do the majority of their work on a desktop, for instance, they can’t exactly pick it up and move to a quiet place. If they don’t have a company cell phone, they also can’t move a phone conversation someplace more private if more private rooms don’t have a phone extension. In order for private rooms to have any use to employees, they need to also have the means to use them.
When it comes to productivity, environment matters. Happy employees are productive employees. While clearly there is nothing you can do to keep all of your employees happy all the time, you can certainly provide them with a neat, tidy, well-organized environment to work in. Preferably one that is not just pleasant to work in, but pleasant to look at as well.