From the reception desk to the executive suite, your small office space has a huge effect on the productivity of your business. Making small office changes can improve your bottom line, boost productivity, and keep employees happier, thereby increasing retention and saving you HR headaches. Need help securing your own office space? Check out our FAQ on renting your own small office. While there are lots of changes you could make to give your productivity a shot in the arm, here are five key examples that you can implement today, even in a rental space.
You may think about how color affects your mood at home but forget all about it when you head to the office. That’s a shame because color can have a huge impact on how you and your employees feel and even on your creativity. Often, office decor is placed against white or beige walls. While this provides a blank slate against which to decorate, and it probably comes standard with most rental properties, it may not have the most optimal effects on your staff. It has long been known that other colors have a greater influence over human psychology and can be used to advantage in various situations. That’s why many hospital rooms use a lot of blue, for example, as it has a calming effect, and why restaurants use red to stimulate and excite diners.
While there are certainly color preferences associated with culture, gender and even habit, you can generally assume colors like yellow will make workers feel cozy and creative, and too much red may breed conflict through aggression. Like blue, green has a soothing influence on people in the environment and makes a perfect choice for meeting rooms. If painting your walls isn’t an option due to the terms of your lease, consider using some of the removable peel-and-stick wallpaper or photo murals that are on the market today. You can also create large swaths of color with window treatments, artwork and furniture. Our office spaces in Houston are open to full customization, and we’ll even help you paint the walls!
If your employees are battling back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome, your productivity and profitability is bound to be affected. In addition to lost man hours, you may be paying out workers compensation claims or dealing with sick days. Even OSHA, the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration, is part of the picture now, with more stringent standards for workplaces, so it behooves employers to make sure their offices are up to code.
To reduce this problem in your workplace, provide the most comfortable furnishings you can for your employees. Affordable office furniture these days comes in ergonomic models that don’t cause strain from sitting or repetitive tasks like typing.
Don’t forget that not everyone is built with the same proportions. You might be better off allowing employees to select their own office chairs than to purchase a whole truck full of them in the same size.
One factor that has been proven to affect productivity is the temperature of the workspace. While you don’t want your small office so hot that everyone is nodding off like a siesta, recent data show that slightly warmer temperatures give employees more energy than colder temperatures. Somewhere between 71 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the magic range for productivity. A Cornell University study actually found that workers made more errors when they were in an environment that was 68 degrees or colder.
If you were able to get a good deal on your office space, you’re in luck. Affordable office space allows you a bit of leeway to spend more money on utilities, so you can keep the workplace temperature in that optimum spectrum. For employees who, like Goldilocks, always feel too hot or too cold, consider adding small desktop fans or floor space heaters.
Noise distractions can be a strong deterrent to getting work done. While some millennials, who are more used to constant sound and visual stimulation, thanks to their high-tech upbringings, don’t mind a noisy office, many more mature workers will find it irritating and counterproductive.
While hot desking and hoteling may be the latest concepts in the 2015 Houston business world, when you look at office space for rent (Browse all Houston Workstyle locations), you may be better off finding a space that’s either already divided into private rooms or can easily be partitioned for soundproofing.
As a bonus, eliminating communal desks and wide open “bull pens” can reduce the spread of germs around the workplace and offer a quieter environment when clients come to call. If you want to stay hip and trendy, create a break space with a pool table or a gourmet kitchen.
Lighting is another element that’s relatively easy to change, even in a rental space. Poor lighting is responsible for a host of employee problems, including bad mood, eye strain and sleep disruption at home. Of course, a bad night’s sleep only results in a worse mood the following day.
Artificial lighting is partially to blame for a lot of these maladies. The use of electric lighting has made humans fall out of their natural daily cycle, or circadian rhythm, which is largely dictated by the rise and fall of the sun. If you must use electric lighting, try using full-spectrum bulbs that more closely mimic the light from the sun. Make sure too that they are strategically placed to eliminate glare from computer screens and other reflective surfaces.
Natural light is your best option, so try to position work stations near windows. Replace window treatments that only let in a bit of sun with blinds that can be completely opened. If you have an ugly vista, you could use shutters with louvers that can be adjusted to allow light in without revealing that which you’re trying to screen outside.
When you’re in an office for rent, it can be tempting to hold off on productive changes that you might otherwise initiate if you own the space. However, if you use some of the tips above, you’ll be able to improve employee productivity without breaking the bank or violating the rental terms.