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5 Steps to a Productive Workplace

By Suhayl Laher

Forward-thinking tech companies like Google and Facebook have put the spotlight on office design in recent years — highlighting the benefits of creating fun, versatile and inspirational workplaces. Their move away from bland, uniform office cubicles and drab interiors towards vibrant and creative spaces demonstrates the positive impact office design can have on employee happiness, productivity, and engagement. 

Granted, not every business has the means or inclination to go to the same extent, but there are things any facility can do to create the best space for the business. Here are five ways a facility manager can be engaging and inclusive with your office design — tailoring it to suit the personalities and needs of your staff. 

1. Design a flexible office space

Most businesses are made up of a diverse workforce, so it's imperative to consider an office layout that offers flexibility to employees' unique working styles. Open-plan offices are effective in creating a more communicative and inclusive working environment, but certain individuals or tasks can be hindered by this set up. 

When considering your design, ensure you offer flexible working areas to suit different tasks and needs. Incorporating small and large meeting rooms will provide quiet areas when required, while standing workstations and break out areas are ideal for informal meetings or a place for employees to recharge away from their desks.

2. Give staff a say 

If you're serious about demonstrating that you value your staff and their opinions, why not give them a say in the office design? From allowing them to choose their own office furniture to suit their working style and comfort needs to getting their opinion on the desk layout or color scheme, a little involvement in decisions can go a long way towards promoting engagement and inclusion with employees.

3. Choose a color scheme that inspires your workforce

When it comes to choosing a color scheme, you have the opportunity to inject some personality into your office. Consider using a variety of colors and themes for different areas to add interest and character, and inspire creativity. 

Colors are a great way to help staff identity with their working environment, too. From bright and bold floor tiles to feature walls and colored furniture, there are plenty of ways you can bring your team's personality to the forefront of office design — whether you choose a neutral palette with color accents or opt for bright colors throughout. 

4. Create a sense of community

In taking steps towards creating an inclusive and engaging office design, it's important to think about the social aspects of work. Taking breaks has been shown to improve concentration and productivity in the workplace, and employers should encourage staff members to take time away from their desks. To aid this, facility managers could think about providing a welcoming communal area to relax, revitalize and socialize with other staff members — creating a sense of workplace community. 

5. Focus on supporting productivity

Natural light has been proven to have a positive impact on productivity levels within the workplace, so allow as much natural light into the office as possible. Furthermore, ensure you find the right balance with electric lighting to help with day-to-day tasks. You may also want to add a touch of greenery with indoor plants that have numerous health benefits - including improved air quality, productivity and wellbeing. These subtle touches will all go towards showing staff members that you care about creating a welcoming, healthy and inclusive workplace. 

Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers.

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posted on 2/19/2018