Created on: 30th May 2018
Considering individual requirements, differences and preferences across your team could help to benefit motivation and productivity in your office space.
The office environment has come a long way in a decade, and generally has become more spacious, more flexible, more comfortable and less boring! The old image of rows of people sitting miserably in grey cubicles has been largely replaced with light, spacious, comfortable and open plan offices that are seen to promote motivation and productivity.
At the end of the day, companies are better seeing the benefits of treating team members like individuals rather than just faceless resources, and this is also important when it comes to designing the commercial office environment to match these individual differences.
Starting with the basics, an office should provide employees with a safe and comfortable place to work. You might invest in premium office furniture i.e plush chairs, and trendy desks, but have you actually considered just how different everyone is physically?
The perfect monitor height for one member of your team is likely to be different to the perfect height for another. Likewise, some people who work for you might struggle with health complaints such as back pain or neck pain that will require more specific furniture and equipment. The simple way to cater for this is to make sure that everything in your office – as far as possible – is adjustable and can be made bespoke for each and every employee. Your staff should be able to adjust the heights of their seats and also adjust the height of their monitors too.
Make sure that you are listening carefully to the requests of your staff. Invite members of your team to come to you with any special requirements and then do what you can to cater for them. Some requests may not be possible to fulfil but you will at least try to tailor make fittings to best suit your staff.
As individuals, each member of your team works differently and are motivated by different things.
Some employees may believe that changing their keys around to use a ‘DVORAK’ keyboard layout can help them to type more quickly and efficiently, however, others would hate the idea of switching from QWERTY.
Some people might like using a specific mouse from home, some might work better listening to music with headphones and some might benefit from a slightly larger desk space to accommodate their equipment and/or size.
If you can tailor make each employee’s work environment to their individual requirements (as much as is sensible), then it is a good idea to do so, and you should see results in productivity accordingly.
Make every team member conform to one way of working because it is ‘statistically’ more productive is likely to have an overall negative impact and ignores each person’s unique quirks. Try to be open to requests for flexitime and other alternative work arrangements where appropriate – a happy worker is definitely a more productive one.
It’s also important to allow your staff to express themselves a little in their workspace. Precisely how much your employees should be allowed to clutter their area is up for debate and of course you need to avoid anything that will be potentially offensive to others. Not only does bringing your own decoration make you feel at ease by acting like an anchor to home, but it also makes the space feel more like your own private work environment.
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