Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Simple Workplace Strategy for Productive Employees

Simple Workplace StrategyThere is no shortage of workplace strategies that claim to be the answer to all of your employee related woes. While setting clear goals, increasing communication, etc., are all important steps in the process of increasing and maintaining employee productivity, it is not the most imperative aspect.

Productivity starts from within; it doesn’t matter how many outward workplace strategies are in place to increase productivity if your employees are not comfortable and happy. While adding a plush sofa and snack bar to the office may help your employees to relax, the difficulty lies in the fact that no two employees are the same.

Therefore, a simple workplace strategy for increasing and maintaining employee productivity is to allow employees to personalize their workspace. While the open office concept is helpful in ensuring that employees feel connected to the team and are engaging in the office culture, there is something to be said for the individualized creativity that each employee brings to the office.

Besides allowing employees to make changes in their assigned work area, it is also important for you as the employer (or manager) to observe your employees and suggest changes that perhaps they feel overstep their authority. For instance, there may be a more introverted employee who is losing productivity due to being uncomfortably seated in the center of a bustling office. This problem can solved as simply as moving the employee off to the side where he can have the peace he needs to be productive.

You may ask, how far is too far when it comes to an employee decorating his workspace? Obviously, you do not have to allow your wildlife loving employee to have his pet raccoon scurrying around the office every day, but simple changes, such as allowing the employee to organize in a way that makes sense to him, will make the employee feel more at ease and should be encouraged. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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Can Design Of Your Office Space Really Help Recruit and Retain Employees?

Your Office Space Design will Help Recruit and Retain EmployeesThat seems like an odd question. When companies think about their recruitment and retention activities, they generally think in terms of salaries and benefits. After all, those are the things that people want, right? The short answer to that is yes, and no. Money and other perks are important, but the truth is, we spend the vast majority of our time at work, inside an office and the way it looks, feels and functions has a huge impact on our overall satisfaction, engagement  and productivity. Following are three ways to create an attractive design of your office space, regardless of the type of business you operate.

Flexible and Collaborative

Office layouts these days have to be flexible to allow for a greater degree of collaboration among employees. However, simply implementing an open office plan isn’t enough, companies need to provide a variety of workspace types to accommodate individual and team projects alike. Flexible workstations and common areas, that can be used by one, or several employees give everyone the opportunity to stay involved. However, it’s also important to provide some quiet, secluded spaces where employees can make calls, or focus on individual assignments without distraction.

Physical Comfort and Wellness

Spending hours at a desk, staring at a computer screen and typing can have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of employees. Old, out-dated furniture that isn’t meant to accommodate today’s technology can lead to unsafe working habits. It’s imperative that every workstation has an ergonomic setup, that takes the time spent on specific tasks into consideration. Although your current furniture may be in good shape, investing in new furniture that encourages proper posture, positioning and movement will keep your current and future employees productive and healthy.

Light and Color Matter

Dull, boring colors highlighted by outdated fluorescent lights are not only unattractive, they bring productivity and morale down. Natural lighting paired with strategically placed, vibrant colors and artistic embellishments that mirror your company’s culture make it more pleasant for employees to come to work. Not only that, but potential employees will be more apt to sign on with a company whose office shows creativity and imagination than one that’s dull and lifeless. Your office space design is a big indicator of your company culture. So, grab some paint, new artwork, live plants and updated window treatments and give your office a face lift.

If you want to learn more about how the design of your office space affects your employees, or you are seeking a new space, please contact us. We are experts in office leasing and sales and we are always happy to lend a hand. We currently serve more than 550 markets, meaning we’ll find you the perfect location, no matter where you are.

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Open Office Design: The Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs of open office designSince Google took out its cubicles in the ’90s, more and more offices are going to open office design. Now, about 70% of American offices are open.  An open office design looks like the workplace on the TV show “The Office;” aside from senior managers, no one has sectioned-off space to himself, just a desk and wastepaper basket in one portion of a large room.  Proponents say that, by literally breaking down the barriers between coworkers, open offices foster camaraderie.  They also claim that they encourage productivity by ensuring that coworkers can police each others time management.  Now no one can spend hours playing video games and tab back to his spreadsheet when the boss comes in.

Actually, these claims are largely unsubstantiated, and if you’ve ever worked in a hostile office environment, you’ve probably already noticed how they contradict each other. While seclusion rarely helps good employee relationships, it also doesn’t exacerbate bad ones.  Your current mix of employees will determine if an open office concept is right for your company. When co-workers fight, as happens in the best of workplaces, it can be useful for them to have a semi-private space to retreat into while they cool off.  Even day-to-day, plenty of office workers can think of one co-worker with whom they can’t stand to be in the same room, and sometimes avoidance is the best option.  The reason “The Office” was so funny was that the co-workers were constantly exposed to each other, constantly grating on each other’s nerves.  That’s great for television, but not so great for a workplace.

With that being said, common usage is revealing some definite advantages to the open plan.  The first, of course, is the one that drew designers to it in the first place: the cost.  Cubicles are expensive, and many companies feel that eliminating that cost is worth any disadvantages down the road.  Among the  companies that are actually benefiting from that decision in the long term are the ones that want to attract investors.  Traditional cubicles are usually aesthetically unappealing, are increasingly perceived as old-fashioned, and create a false sense of quietude.  Open offices, by contrast, look sleek and modern, loud and bustling.  This may annoy some workers, but it is appealing to outsiders.

The other winners are companies that are in flux.  Traditional offices have to rearrange their cubicles after major hiring or downsizing events, which is expensive and annoying and may require a company to rent more space.  In an open office, more people can fit into the same space, and moving desks rarely takes more than an hour.

Read more about office space design at our website.  To talk about this or any other topic, please contact us.

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