Getting everything just right in your office setting can be the difference between disaffected workers and satisfied teams that turn out stellar performances. We’ve put together a list of common problems that can block office flow (read: productivity), and economical solutions.
- Problem: There are too many walls and high cubicles separating workers from each other, making them feel isolated and cut off from the world. They can’t see one another or communicate easily.
- Fix it: Take down the high cubicle walls. Consider clustering workstations into groups, but having them face away from one another. This makes it easier for people to talk if necessary, while also creating a sense of privacy.
- Problem: Harsh or inadequate lighting in your office setting is draining people’s energy. (Yes, this is a real thing.) When light enters the retina, it tells the brain to create more serotonin (the energy hormone) while reducing melatonin (the sleep hormone). Harsh lighting disorients people, while low lighting makes them tired.
- Fix it: Again, breaking down tall cubicle walls can have a great effect. Replace harsh fluorescents with calmer LEDs, or even incandescents. Let as much natural sunlight fill the work space as possible.
- Problem: Your office setting is too noisy, especially since you’ve taken down those cubicle walls.
- Fix it: Install acoustic tiles on the ceiling, or in half-walls on cubicles, to absorb sound.
- Problem: Your office furniture is a mash-up of second-hand pieces incorporating different styles and colors, and failing to provide ergonomic work spaces for employees.
- Fix it: Repaint all the furniture in the same few colors. Try to match up your workers’ body types to stations that would be most comfortable for them. You might also consider upgrading all the furniture in your office setting for a more cohesive, modern look.
- Problem: The office feels too institutional. There’s no personality or color, and workers are uninspired.
- Fix it: A little creativity never hurt anyone, so go ahead and hang some art. Some museums have programs that allow you to rent paintings in return for making donations. This is also a great way to impress visiting clients.