How the right workspace can improve productivity

28th February 2018

Published in

At Landmark, we are passionate about providing workspaces that help our clients’ businesses thrive and grow.

Creating workspaces that support productivity and staff well-being is a key part of this.

Numerous studies show that staff who enjoy and like their office environment are more likely to be productive, happy and have a greater sense of wellbeing.

Gensler’s UK Workplace Survey (2016) shows a huge correlation between workplace design and performance, employee engagement and innovation. Meanwhile, a global report by US-based furniture company, Steelcase, links high employee engagement with satisfaction in the workplace.

On top of this, an increasingly mobile workforce means that businesses are having to re-think the value of their workplace as a tool to attract and retain the best talent.

The case for “zoning”

In the SME sector, there has been a marked trend towards co-working in shared spaces.

But is this the most productive work environment?

Our own research would suggest that this is not always the case.

We surveyed established SMEs in the UK and found that they would rather have a mix of spaces, to allow people to choose the type of environment that best suits each of their work tasks. The optimal arrangement is in fact to have a range of spaces in which to work more effectively, particularly focusing on spaces where people could shut out noise and distractions.

In response, we have introduced the concept of “zones” across our workspace network. Each zone is designed to feel slightly separate, with partitioning you can see through and a personality defined by individual features, design and atmosphere. We’ve split these zones into four distinct types: social, collaboration, private and meeting space.

Ultimately, we believe that each space should match the user’s goals and ultimately help them to be more productive.

Of course, zoning is just one element of a potentially productive workspace.

Other areas that we’ve focused on is the support system that underpins an effective business operation. Getting the “basics” right – for instance, prestigious locations, high speed, high-spec technology, smart and responsive reception staff and 24-hour access and security all underpin how productive a business is in the long-run.

Other elements that can have a marked effect on productivity include:

Natural Light

Lighting can have a significant impact on your mood and concentration. A study from Northwestern University in Chicago discovered a link between natural light in the workplace and improved sleep and vitality among employees. All our offices have plenty of natural light, views and flexible electric light options, such as task lighting, so that people can control their access to light.

Plants/green outlook

Thoughtful planting or even outside “garden” space can add significantly to employee well-being. Indeed an Exeter University study found that indoor plants improve concentration, productivity and boost staff well-being by 47% at work.

Temperature

The ideal office temperature is a long-running debate. Numerous studies have found that the ideal temperature for productivity in most people is between 70 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (21-.25 degrees) centigrade.

Ergonomics

Employers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Simple things like having the right height desks and chairs to reduce neck and back strain, a major cause of long-term absence in the UK, can make a significant difference to a businesses’ productivity rates.

Fresh air

Air quality and good ventilation are a given in offices and proven to reduce absenteeism and can even add to better decision-making amongst employees.

There are so many elements that go into creating the most productive workspace. What’s your view?