Office Atmosphere: Four Factors that Influence Productivity

The office is more just than four walls, a couple of doors and a few windows. In an ideal situation, your office is the place that provides the ideal conditions for productive work of your staff,

But as we all know, that’s not always the case.

As a matter of fact, in most cases, the conditions in the office don’t make employees feel more motivated or engaged for work. Just take a look at some recent employee engagement statistics:

And all of this is not really that surprising. Employee engagement, retention and productivity numbers have been unimpressive for the last couple of years. But what does all of this mean for your office?

The better question is – is your office a productive place? If not, you’re in the right place, because we’re going to take a look at some surprising factors that can affect your workers without you even realizing it.

Four Surprising Factors That Influence Productivity in the Office

1.    More Downtime Leads to Less Burnout

No matter how hard your team works, things just don’t get in time. Furthermore, every single one of your employees probably has that one task that somehow always get pushed off to the next day.

If this is a regular occurrence in your company, it’s a sign that your employees aren’t taking enough brakes throughout the day. Most of us of prize this idea of being busy and see taking small brakes as a problem. But as recent studies have shown, short, regular brakes are great for productivity.

A 2011 University of Illinois study showed that people who take short brakes every 60 minutes or so perform better than those who just keep at it without taking a minute to rest and gather their thoughts.

After an hour, your brain numbs out just a bit, because of the constant stimulation, which is why become unable to treat the task at hand as important. However, a five minute break will allow you to come back to the task with renewed sense of purpose and refilled energy.

Therefore, you need to motivate your employees to take a step back, have a breather for a few minutes every hour. This will allow them to perform better and will lead to less burnout over the long term.

2.    The Way You Leverage Technology

In most cases, modern technology is seen as a distraction in the office, which is why managers across the country are trying to eliminate employee access to Twitter, Facebook and other social network platforms.

However, a recent Pew Research Center report that took a look at the use of social media in the workplace revealed something that m might spark your interest. The survey revealed that 24% of employees use social media to foster professional relationships and 20% use it to solve problems.

But that’s not all, as Forbes reports, researchers from the University of California revealed that “grazing” social media sites can also work as a mood booster for your employees.

This means you should consider allowing your workers check their social accounts during those short brakes we mentioned above, in order to enhance their mood quickly and refresh their minds before they return to their daily tasks.

3.    Office Organization and Esthetic Affect Productivity

Interior design might not be high on your list of priorities, but new research has shown a direct correlation between office design and employee performance.

According to research from Brandman University, almost 90% of unhappy employees with their jobs blame their office environment for their dissatisfaction. The study also revealed that improving office design could boost productivity up to 22%.

What’s more, if your office is disorganized, you may have another problem on your hands. As Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design points out, studies have shown that an average workers wastes around 4.3 hours every week searching for paper documents.

And while every person on your team has a different tolerance for clutter, in general, the more physical buildup in a space, the more overloaded people’s senses become.

So you should either invest in some CMR software and reduce your dependence on paper files or acquire a device like Dymo label maker, which will allow your workers to clearly label their file folders and reduce the clutter.

4.    Good Management Leads to Good Performance

Lastly, we’re going to talk about your relationship with company’s staff, because office atmosphere doesn’t just involve physical objects. Now, you have to be aware that you as a manager have a big influence on your workers. A bigger influence than you’ve ever imagined.

Naturally, good management is strongly linked to good employee performance. A recent Stanford University study revealed that managers who improve their management practices can increase the output of their employees up to 25%.

Moreover, a study from the analytics company, Evolv recently discovered that a relationship between individual workers and the senior supervisor has a great effect on productivity and engagement. Basically, if a supervisor is performing well, so is the employee and vice-versa.

Final Thoughts

On average, a workers spends more than 40 hours in the office every week. So naturally, your office and its environment have a big impact on your employees – both physically and mentally.

An unhealthy and uncomfortable work environment for workers can cause a number of different problems and can lead to a huge boost in employee dissatisfaction and in turn, productivity. The margin between being distracted and productive is rather small and all it takes is a couple of small issues to prevent your employees from maximizing their output.

While something like the amount of brakes and tidiness of your workers may seem insignificant, as you’ve seen, these things have a direct impact on productivity so don’t take them lightly.

You also have to ensure that every member of your organization feels involved in the direction of your company, in order to inspire them to be more productive and achieve their goals. You need a culture of innovation in your office, so try to create an environment where people are motivated to succeed.