Creating a productive office environment

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A productive office is a happy one

Getting the most out of staff can be one of the trickiest skills that business leaders can master, but being able to do so can ultimately make the difference between success and failure for many firms.

As such, it is important the office environment is set up to be as conducive as possible to a productive atmosphere, so here are just a few simple steps that can make any office a fruitful place to work.

Happy staff work harder

In many ways, it is the ethos of the business that will have the greatest impact on office productivity and, more often than not, putting aside the temptation to 'crack the whip' can be the most positive step managers can take to get the most out of their staff.

Fostering a positive outlook among staff members can therefore be one of the most important ways to boost workplace productivity.

This can be achieved in many ways, from bosses making sure they regularly show their appreciation for the efforts of their staff, to things like offering flexible working for those who want it, paying for work nights out or simply by developing an atmosphere in which staff members can highlight any concerns they have without fear of being ignored.

Break times are just that

An important part of getting the most out of staff members is to give them the necessary time to take a break.

People need space to wind down between tasks and therefore making sure employees are not sat at their desks all day and take a regular break from their work will help to keep energy levels high and individuals properly focused throughout the day.

Be comfortable

Ensuring staff have access to the right equipment to do their job properly - comfortable chairs and desks, ergonomic keyboards, etc - can make all the difference in terms of boosting productivity and making sure staff wellbeing is kept at the fore of business thinking.

Temperature and lighting control is also something businesses should aim to manage effectively, as providing a comfortable working environment that is free from issues like glare or it being too hot or too cold can make all the difference in getting the most out of staff.

Promote camaraderie

Teams that get on well and have a strong sense of camaraderie can often be more highly depended upon to pull together and work hard for one another during times of stress or adversity.

It is therefore extremely beneficial to help foster a strong sense of teamwork and that everyone is working towards the same goals within any business, as doing so will ensure staff are more likely to put in their all for the colleagues, while also making offices a more enjoyable place to work.

Distractions can be a good thing

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy - it also means that when it comes to giving his all, the proverbial 'Jack' might be in danger of burning out, something no reputable business would want to be responsible for. As such, giving a degree of flexibility to individuals is essential to them feeling both supported and empowered to deliver their best work.

The internet is now ubiquitous in its day-to-day use for businesses and therefore previous company policies that placed a blanket ban on personal internet use may no longer be that relevant or desirable. Making it clear to staff that a few minutes getting lost on the internet is no longer that serious an issue could be just the thing that helps individuals really focus when their distraction is over.

Embrace nature

Bringing more greenery into the office can be a good way to perk up the workforce, helping to do away with the cold corporate environment that has typified many firms' ways of working  in years gone by.

By bringing in plants and other elements of nature into the workplace, studies have shown this can create a more relaxed and peaceful environment that is conducive to people working harder and demonstrating a greater sense of positive wellbeing.

Keep staff active

Finally, everyone knows that mid-afternoon malaise that can quickly descend and put an otherwise productive day in serious jeopardy. As such, business leaders should do all they can to encourage their staff to get up from their desks regularly and to keep active.

By getting up and stretching one's legs from time to time, this will promote better blood flow and ensure more oxygen can get to the brain, keeping staff members more alert and able to concentrate for longer.