A workspace is much, much more than just desks, chairs, computers, and the occasional vending machine dispensing out-of-date chocolate bars. It’s a space that should inspire new ideas, stimulate growth and encourage advancement. It’s a safe place where employees and employers feel that they’re pulling together as a team towards a common goal.
To create a productive work environment, you need a variety of elements that all need to come together to produce a harmonious, positive place of work. So if you’re an employer and want to boost employee productivity, what kind of working environment do you need to develop to nurture the best from your team? And if you’re an employee, what can you do too? At Cloud Spaces, we have a few ideas that might help.
People who know that their working environment is going to be a pleasant one are more likely to look forward to turning up every day. They want an office where natural light replaces flickering fluorescent tubes and where there’s even the occasional plant to bring a bit of life to a dull corner. How a space makes you feel will have a big effect on employee productivity.
A flexible, contemporary working environment where practicality and comfort are on the same level will promote a more productive approach from your employees. Talk to your team. Ask them what they need to promote their well-being within the working environment. At Cloud Spaces, we thought long and hard about what our businesses needed to make a coworking space truly successful. We’ve found from experience that things that really make a difference include:
• A coworking lounge where employees can take a break from their screens as well as talking to other team members. If your office space is part of a Cloud Spaces, you may also be able to interact with employees from other organisations and bounce ideas around.
• Meetings and boardrooms where more formal meetings can be held in a professional and private environment.
• A speciality café where employees can get food and drink as well as providing a social hub
• Admin and IT support – if you don’t already have this in place within your organisation, especially if you are a freelancer, a small business or SME or a sole trader, choosing a workspace where Admin and IT support are available could make a huge difference to your business success.
• Event spaces that offer a versatile environment for a range of occasions, including media launches, seminars, team building activities, workshops, and networking events.
• PRO services that can cater for a variety of business needs, from answering services to accountancy.
It can sometimes be difficult to stay motivated. When your passion leaves town, so does your productivity. To counter that, there are lots of things that you can do within a coworking space to maintain a productive work environment, including:
• Understand what your goals are, and ensure that your workspace allows you to achieve them. If something needs to be addressed to make it a better working environment, talk to your line manager and explain your concerns.
• Following on from that, ensure that you have the resources you need to do your job without struggling. If you need extra power supplies or a better monitor, for example, discuss your needs with your boss or the coworking space manager . They’ll also be able to talk to you about ergonomic equipment like gel wrist pads that can help prevent things like RSI.
• Encourage collaboration between yourselves and other users within a coworking space. Simply having someone to ‘bounce ideas around’ with can produce incredible results!
• If you feel like you’re getting ‘in a rut’, discuss changing things around to make the environment more stimulating or to just freshen things up a bit.
We briefly mentioned the importance of natural light but did you know that, according to research carried out by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, employees working in natural as opposed to artificial lighting stay on-task for 15% longer? To boost employee productivity, choose a workspace that makes the most of natural light. Other logistical tips for a more productive work environment include:
• Colours – the right colour palette can boost the mood of employees and even stimulate productivity. Brighter colours such as yellow are ideal in a creative environment, while softer, more muted colours produce a more relaxed atmosphere.
• Add in a citrus air freshener and you’ll also increase focus, with lemon scents said to reduce mistakes by around half.
• Temperature - the temperature should be around 72°F so that it’s not too hot or too cold. This has been shown to be the optimum working temperature to boost productivity.
• Keep things quiet - in shared workspaces, background noise can be a real issue. By creating ‘quiet areas’, those who need silence to focus on a task have somewhere they can go where they won’t be disturbed. It’s also important to make sure that potential distractions are kept to a minimum. Employers can do this by talking to their teams to find out what distracts them the most, and then take steps to minimise these distractions.
• Keep things tidy - a tidy workspace is a productive workspace. Not only is it better for your mental health by minimising stress, but it can boost employee productivity too.
Taking all of these tips into account should help both employers and employees to create a more productive work environment.
At Cloud Spaces, we’ve taken our own advice and created coworking environments that utilise many of these tips. Our spaces are designed for the modern way of working for SMEs, start-ups, entrepreneurs and sole traders. They’re exciting, modern spaces where you can interact with like-minded people, have easy access to all the business resources you need, and work in a focused yet relaxed environment.
If you’d like to know more about Cloud Spaces, get in touch with our team today and they’ll be happy to answer your questions.