What Is Your Workplace Missing?
How to Upgrade Your Space
In the age of open-concept office spaces and bring your dog to work day, it goes without saying that subpar office spaces are no longer acceptable. Aside from all of the research into motivation and relationship dynamics in the workplace, millenials have initiated a shift towards cool, ergonomic office spaces featuring everything from slides to sleep pods. And while most offices can’t afford to look like the set of Mad Men, there are some steps you could take to make you feel like a regular Don Draper.
It’s no secret that the better employees feel, the better they perform. Having a safe workplace environment where employees feel respected and important is essential to high productivity, but even once these considerations are taken care of, there may still be some subtle issues contributing to employee dissatisfaction. Many factors that we generally remain unconscious of may be slowly chipping away at our sense of workplace fulfillment. This is why making minor changes to your office space can have a significant impact on employee performance.
Lighting is one of the primary factors that sets the mood of a room, which in turn shapes the mood of the people occupying it. The best light source in any space is natural daylight. Workers who are surrounded by windows are more alert, more productive, and suffer lower levels of eyestrain and fatigue.
If your office is placed in a space that has a limited or nonexistent source of natural light, the next best option is lighting the room with blue light bulbs. Studies indicate that blue light (4,600 Kelvin or more) lowers melatonin levels and boosts natural energy levels. Contrastingly, warm light (up to 3,000 Kelvin) dims the tone of a room and can cause fatigue and lack of focus. Using a blue-light source to illuminate your office can keep workers alert and productive.
We’re all familiar with the longest-running war in thermostat history: the office temperature. Is everyone in your office shivering while your boss keeps it at a nice, cool 59 degrees? Or are you cursing the invention of heat as you swelter beside corporate radiators? Do you pack extra layers or peel off as many as you can? Does it change by the day? If any of these are applicable to you, then I am happy to report one simple solution: follow the facts.
Contrary to the popular belief that frigidity=productivity, research shows that employees work most productively at the perfectly average temperature of 71.6. Essentially, the optimal temperature for productivity is one at which employees don’t feel too hot or too cold. Shocker.
Despite the current hyper-productivity trend taking over offices, numerous studies cite the importance of taking breaks during the work day. While it may seem blasphemous to pause from working at any point, continuously working with no breaks will only lead to burn-out.
If you run an office or company, it is crucial to encourage your employees to stop and recharge a few times a day, especially if your office is a fast-paced, high pressure environment. Additionally, employees should never feel embarrassed or too busy to stop and take a lunch break. A lunch break is one of the most important things in an employee’s day, as it not only allows them a mental break but allows them to eat and refuel. If a worker feels too stressed or judged in order to eat a proper lunch, they are more likely to lose energy and become less productive as the day goes on.
This brings us to the most important part of any reasonable human’s day: food. Okay, so maybe you don’t plan your entire day around your meals, but research actually shows that if you aren’t concerned about your daily food intake, you probably should be. Proper nutrition is a major factor in employee satisfaction and productivity.
If employees are hungry they get distracted, and if they aren’t well-nourished they’ll lack the energy and focus to get through the day. Stocking snacks that are high in protein can boost workers’ energy levels and satisfy their hunger at the same time.
Sadly, many employers have yet to catch on about the importance of keeping employees well fed. According to a recent Tork survey, a whopping 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break. 20% of employees worry that their bosses will think they’re less hardworking for taking a lunch break, and 13% feel judges by their peers. And sadly this fear is not completely unfounded: 22% of North American bosses say that employees who take a regular lunch break are less hardworking.
Besides for being incredibly unforgiving, this kind of attitude from employers only hurts them in the long run. Research indicates that employee satisfaction jumps when workers are encouraged to take lunch breaks and are provided with snacks in the office, meaning higher rates of productivity all around.
Another crucial factor in daily performance is hydration. While sitting at desks all day, employees may not necessarily focus on drinking enough water, a lack of which will cause dehydration and fatigue. It is important to have an easy, reliable water source in your office that will make your employees want to stay hydrated.
Particularly, installing a cooler can not only cut down on bottled water costs but can also encourage employees to drink more by featuring sparkling, chilled, and iced options. You can even invest in company-logo water bottles to encourage everyone to keep refilling! Check out some options here to find out which service best fits your needs.
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