Open plan offices certainly have their advantages. Apart from representing an efficient use of space, they can be effective when it comes to encouraging collaboration between individual workers and departments. That said, these workspaces do have their flaws and sometimes they can make it difficult for people to concentrate and get on with their tasks. With this in mind, here are five simple ways to make your open plan office more productive.
1) Make use of desk and floor screens
One top tip is to take advantage of desk and floor screens. Simple they may be, but these office accessories are highly effective when it comes to stopping noise levels from soaring. One major scourge in modern offices is excessive volume. With so many people using phones and chatting to colleagues in one large room, it can be difficult to keep sound levels in check. Screens are a good way to contain noise and they have the added bonus of affording employees a little more privacy. Freestanding versions are widely available, and furnishing suppliers like Calibre offer special desk banks that include dividers.
2) Encourage workers to get active
When workers sit at their desks all day hardly getting any exercise, their energy levels can flag. Meanwhile, a lack of physical fitness can put people at an increased risk of a range of health complaints and cause them to take more time off work. Both of these issues impact on productivity. To help keep your workers healthy, it’s a good idea to encourage them to be more active. You could run a cycle to work scheme and offer gym facilities within your office. Meanwhile, simply changing the nature of people’s workstations can help. For example, try offering your personnel standing desks to get them out of the habit of sitting all the time.
3) Create different zones
There is constant friction in many workspaces between individuals who want to be able to chat freely and those who need peace and quiet to concentrate on their tasks. To solve this problem, consider creating different zones within your premises. Some of these areas could be designed for discussions and informal meetings, while others could offer a haven from the hubbub of office life.
4) Say goodbye to assigned seating
You might also benefit from saying goodbye to assigned seating. By having a clear desk policy and allowing your employees to choose where to sit when they come in each day, you can help ensure people end up in locations that they actually like and can be most productive in. For example, some individuals may find it easier to concentrate when facing a wall while others might prefer to have a view to the outside world.
5) Bring a little of the outside in
It’s worth introducing some greenery to your office too. Plants can help to purify the air, boost people’s moods and even raise productivity. Highlighting this point, an international study led by Dr Chris Knight from Exeter University found that workers were more productive when plants were introduced into their environments. The employees were discovered to perform substantially better on memory retention and other basic tests in the presence of greenery. By following office design tips like these, you shouldn’t struggle to raise productivity in your workplace.