Link Between Employee Productivity and Work Environment: Office Advice

January 16, 2015 Deb Broderson

What are you doing to ensure high employee productivity levels within your organization?

Employee ProductivityIf you want your employees to stay focused and productive while at work, there are a couple factors to consider rather than simply placing restrictions on common distractions such as: cellphones, iPads, Facebook, breaks, etc. Contrary to popular belief, a majority of employees do not report being distracted by technological devices; more so the office environment itself. In order to engage employees and increase subsequent productivity levels, it is necessary to give, not take.

Why not give them an office that promotes a productive work environment?

In a recent survey conducted by Steelcase and Ipsos, researchers found that nearly 90 percent of global workers are dissatisfied with their work environments, mostly due to a lack of privacy. According to Meg O’Neil, senior designer and developer of advanced applications and marketing at Steelcase, “Everyone seems to be struggling with workplace privacy. It’s affecting engagement, performance and job satisfaction. Open office plans are great for facilitating collaboration and transparency, but they also make privacy and focus a real challenge for today’s workers.” The greatest benefit of a well-designed workplace is an increase in engagement and productivity among employees.

According to the survey, of the 11 percent of survey respondents who were highly satisfied with their work environments, 88 percent or more said that their workplace allowed them to concentrate easily, work in teams without being interrupted, choose where to work based on their task, and feel a sense of belonging to the company and its culture. With that said, having the freedom to work in different areas of the office while still having a quiet, personal work space seems to be the ideal setting for a majority of survey respondents. Of course every team is different; depending on your organization type, company culture, and a variety of other factors, different people flourish under different settings.

Ultimately it’s up to you as a company stakeholder to understand your employees and their workplace preferences.

O’Neil points out that having a variety of work-spaces that are suited to different work styles and tasks is the key to ensuring that every employee can do his or her best work. There are five work modes that office design should service: focus, collaboration, socialization, learning and rejuvenation. If it is clear that your employees are disengaged at work, consider a revamp!

Tell us, how would you change your office to enhance employee productivity?


About the Author

Deb Broderson

Deb Broderson comes to Perks with 30 years of diverse experience leading channel marketing, marketing operations and program management teams within the technology industry. Deb has provided strategic direction to Fortune 500 clients, developed and executed global, multi-channel, go-to-market strategies and created worldwide field marketing organizations. Deb has worked on both the agency and client-side of the business, providing a well-rounded perspective to client challenges. Deb was honored as one of the Top 50 Channel Chiefs in North America by CRN.

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