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Improving your workspace

Published: July 3, 2018

In an in-depth study conducted by the Department for Business Skills and Innovation to look at the employee experience, the British government outlined that:

“[Employee wellbeing] is viewed as a legitimate target of government policy in its own right, but there are also reasons to think that improvements in employees’ wellbeing may be conducive to economic growth.”[1]

Well, there you have it. The actual government are telling you to place employee wellbeing as a central pillar of the employee experience, and we agree with them. Logic suggests that employees who feel good in their workspace will be happier and more productive in their roles. The study later concludes that the workplace itself is unsurprisingly a key factor in boosting employee

Wellbeing, so here are four ideas for you to consider to have a more productive workspace for your staff.

 

1. Make space for storage

Do you sometimes think your desk could do with a bit of a clearout? This is the office of the New York Review of Books.

Let’s put it delicately, this look is not for everyone. Your business may suit a less cluttered aesthetic, and a tidier workspace. Achieving this goes further than simply giving everyone a set of drawers. You can look at your filing systems, organise cables, implement electronic contracts, or maybe even go one step further and get inspiration from offices that have gone totally paperless

This also greases the wheels of a switch to hot-desking if that’s a solution you’d like to look at. It’s far easier to sit at a new desk if you don’t need to wade through three months of Karen’s receipts before you find the keyboard.

 

2. See the light!

As soon as you have more than four people in a company, not everyone can have a corner office with large, glamorous windows surrounding them. There may be some people whose seats aren’t as good as others, this can’t always be changed, but optimising your layout to make the most of your natural light could be a possibility.

Moreover, arranging your lighting throughout your workspace certainly can be. Finding the right warmth and tone of lighting can help you set the mood of the workplace, and help you provide a tailored workplace experience. Different solutions can be sought for different rooms with different purposes, for example your break room may benefit from warmer light that boosts calmness and comfort.

 

3. Where do wearables fit?

A healthier employee is a more productive, happier one. It’s beneficial for both you and your staff to encourage that.

Worker illness and injury costs US businesses alone almost a quarter of a trillion dollars a year[2] and by 2021 it’s expected that half-a-billion wearable devices would have been given to workers by their employers.[3] Why not combine these facts for your benefit?

Wearable technology won’t just be able to measure activity levels, they could also alert you to when a large amount of employees have an increased heart rate. This could indicate an illness in your office, or highlight periods of high stress, which you may need to manage.

It will also help you give a more personalised healthcare package to individuals within your workforce, which may work out to be cheaper rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

 

4. Design spaces around your workers

Conventional wisdom suggests getting the same amount of desks or workstations as you have employees, and maybe assigning everyone their own unique space. But does that work in practice?

Often, it does, but not every workplace or workforce is the same, and you therefore need to respond to your circumstances. Does hot desking suit your teams better? Do enough people prefer to work from other spaces? Could standing desks be utilised to help people stretch their legs? Are there teams that communicate a lot but sit at different sides of the office, or even in a different building?

These things can also change over time. For example, in the past your marketing team might have had minimal involvement with your contact centre. But as more data is gathered from customer communications it may be mutually beneficial for some within your marketing team to spend more time working alongside contact centre managers and technicians.

One way of monitoring workplace patterns and shifts is by moving away from paper timesheets, which will show employee activity at scale that couldn’t be done manually .

 

If you’ve got any other top tips for improving your physical workspace, chat to us on Twitter or LinkedIn and let us know about your experiences.

[1] https://bit.ly/2qaETye

[2] https://bit.ly/2m4nJyW

[3] https://bit.ly/2tt9ade

 

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