Tag Archives: employee productivity

Bring Back The “Water Cooler” To Fuel Employee Productivity

Water Cooler to fuel employee productivityIn the corporate culture, sometimes things are accepted as truths simply because they have been told so often that it is believed that it has to be right. This leads to bad things in some cases as the supposed “truths” that people are giving voice to are not factually based. One such theory is that water coolers are huge drains on employee productivity. The “water cooler” in actuality could be anywhere that co-workers meet on an informal basis.

The “Water Cooler” Meetup

It is almost legend now that employees will gather around the “water cooler” to gossip about the latest goings on in the workplace. A lot of employers accept this as fact and want to believe that their employees are wasting company time. However, real academic research has been done on this very topic, and it has been determined that employees are often more productive when given access to “water coolers.” How can this be?

Health Concerns

When a real water cooler is involved, an often overlooked benefit and a big positive for water coolers are the health advantages that they provide. Instead of having a workforce that is dragging, you can have one that is pepped up and happy to be going to work. Air-N-Water.com mentions this in terms of health benefits for drinking water. Keeping employees hydrated will result in a healthier workforce. Hydrated employees will not tire as quickly and end up being more productive.

New Ideas Generated 

What was once viewed as idle conversation or gossip is now starting to be recognized as something more. When employees gather around the “water cooler,” they may be talking about the latest movie or office romance at first, but that often leads to other topics. Those other topics are where new ideas can be generated. Those news ideas can sometimes translate to a new ideas for business, and that is what every business owner would like to see happening. Studies show that many productive conversations occur when employees randomly encounter one another.

Social Engagement

One of the pitfalls of the digital age is that is hinders the development of interpersonal relationships between co-workers. Virtually all interaction is done electronically by email. The “water cooler” allows for the development of these relationships in an informal atmosphere. These better relationship will result in better collaboration on projects through improved employee relationships.

Studies also suggest that knowledge exploration will not occur until employees have established a level of comfort with one another; this is why socializing interactions, though not always intellectually fruitful, play an important role in promoting more substantial discussion during water cooler run-ins.

Much of the current thinking related to workplace strategy includes having areas within your office for collaboration. Even those offices that are not specifically designed with collaboration areas can take advantage of the “water cooler” effect to allow employees to share ideas, develop personal relationships and hydrate which will end up fueling employee engagement.

Want to know more about workplace strategy? We can help your workplace become more productive and improve employee engagement. Please Contact us and we will get you started in learning about creating an Agile Workplace and then show you how it might work for your company.

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By: James Osgood
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Photo Credit: paulswansen via Compfight cc

Office Space Design and Productivity

Your office space design can have a large impact on the overall productivity of the people who work there. It may seem odd at first, but design plays a big role in the overall psychology of a office. It can make a difference n employee engagement and turnover. Here ate a few tips to take into consideration when designing office space.

Rid Yourself Of The Cubicles

cubicleOne of the more popular trends in office design is to make a more open design. This means getting rid of the cubicles and trying to promote a more open exchange of ideas among employees. Entrepreneur.com mentions what some think of this idea,

Janet Pogue, a principal in Gensler’s Washington, D.C., office, where she co-leads the firm’s workplace practice is (unsurprisingly) not a fan of the cubicle model. “Having seated privacy is not a bad thing, but there are ways that you can do that without being boxed in from every side,” she says. “I think the Dilbert world is gone.”

The land of cubicles may be something that is looked back upon as something that we did in the past, but no longer wish to do.

Power To The Employees

Believe it or not, offering employees choices about where they work can be helpful. In other words, providing employees with the opportunity to have a say in their work environment is now being encouraged. It is possible to even consider allowing the employees to work from home if this is something that is possible within the field that you operate. It may also allow you to reduce the amount of office space you need to rent and save bottom line dollars.

Quiet Rooms

There are some offices that are so quiet that they almost sounds like a cemetery. No one is speaking, there is almost dead silence. Talk about a depressing place to work! Though it is important to keep the noise level down so as to allow employees to work, it is also nice to have at least a little background noise. Having designated quiet rooms that employees can go to if they need to really focus in is a nice design choice.

Want to know more? We can help your workplace become an agile one, please Contact us and we will get you started in learning about creating an Agile Workplace and then showing you how it might work for your company.

Find Office Space

By: James Osgood

Photo Credit: archie4oz via Compfight cc