Tag Archives: Workplace Productivity

Creating an Agile Workplace: Overview

Agile Worklplace Google HQAn agile workplace is one that is constantly changing, adjusting and responding to organizational needs. Agility requires a dynamic relationship between employees, management, work and the workplace as well how work productivity gets measured. Many companies are now finding that in order to attract and retain the best and the brightest, they need to rethink the workplace and how work gets done. One of the side effects of this is that office space requirements are usually reduced from 30% to 50% of the traditional workplace model with the implementation of an agile workplace strategy and technologies. Below are some of our posts on the Agile workplace.

The Latest Science Of Workplace Productivity

There is a whole branch of science devoted to getting things done. Workplace productivity studies have helped prove once and for all what some of the best workplace configurations are and why. Workplace productivity is something that can be enhanced and controlled as it turns out. Understanding the elements that can be controlled is what […]

4 Laws of the Agile Workplace

A decade ago, the buzz word in business was telecommuting–today, it’s a phrase: the agile workplace! According to a recent study published by the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, “(The study) found that agility – the ability of the workplace to adapt to change – has emerged as the single highest priority in the […]

Re-Imaging the Office Workplace Into the Agile Workplace

Here is a great video on the changing office space workplace and the re-imaging of the office workplace that is in process. You will find it is 9 minutes well spent and is entertaining in addition to educational. It is a great overview of the emergence of the Agile Workplace and the changes that are […]

Rethinking Productivity in the Agile Workplace

Many business owners are changing the way they think about productivity in the workplace by creating agile, non-traditional offices. Using telecommuting, third place workspaces, office hoteling, and other fresh techniques, they are creating workplaces that retain the best and brightest employees, increasing productivity, employee satisfaction and increase their profits, too. Changing an office work style […]

Creating a Happy Workforce in Today’s Workplaces Part 1

Hiring and retaining cream of the crop employees is, to say the least, challenging in today’s competitive marketplace. Creating a happy and productive workforce is not an easy task, Workplaces have up to 4 generations in the workplace with different values and this presents some big challenges. Employees that are happy and satisfied with their jobs […]

Creating a Happy Workforce in Today’s Workplaces Part 2

Last week, in Part 1, we started this two part series discussing the hiring and retaining cream of the crop employees. We said that it is, to say the least, very challenging in today’s competitive marketplace. Creating a happy and productive workforce is not an easy task, Workplaces have up to 4 generations in the workplace […]

Creating a Great Workplace: It’s More Than Perks and Unique Designs

Great workplaces offer environments that consistently attract, retain, — and most importantly — inspire and engage the best and brightest. […]

Changes in the work patterns that today’s workforce employs to excel are evolving at an amazing pace and leading to the creation of agile workplaces. It is an employee driven phenomenon, courtesy of the new generation of knowledge workers, that can benefit all generations in the workforce. It seems that there is one article or […]

Ways to Maximize the Benefits of Office Hoteling

A growing practice in the business world is that of office hoteling. Office hoteling involves providing work space to employees on an “as needed” or “first come first serve” reservation basis rather than assigning permanent office space for each person to work in. It can be very effective in businesses where employees frequently work from […]

5 Tips for Achieving a Smooth Office Hoteling System Set-Up

Are you interested in finding out how to create an Agile Workplace and how to set-up an office hoteling or desk sharing reservation system ? Are you concerned about how to make it all work? If so, you may want to read our five tips for putting an office hoteling system in place: #1: Company-wide […]

A Downside to Downsizing Employee’s Office Space Allocation

We have all been reading for quite a while how many companies are downsizing their office space by making it more efficient; allocating office space to as low as 100 sf per person. The past recession made it very popular and was supported by employees… to help save their jobs. Now that the recession is […]

Current Trends in Office Space Planning

So, you are out looking for new office space rental or maybe you are renegotiating your office lease and want to make sure your space is as productive as possible. Here are a few of the current trends in office space planning: High panel cubicles are out. Benches or open work areas are in. Headphones […]

Even More Agile Workplace Posts

How the GSA Saved Millions on its Office Space Requirements

Solving Management’s Top Concerns About Moving to Remote / Flexible Workforces

Of Aetna’s 35,000 employees, 14,500 do not have a desk

The Latest Science Of Workplace Productivity

There is a whole branch of science devoted to getting things done. Workplace productivity studies have helped prove once and for all what some of the best workplace configurations are and why. Workplace productivity is something that can be enhanced and controlled as it turns out. Understanding the elements that can be controlled is what matters.

Color And Lighting

The use of color and lighting was first perfected by restaurants and casinos as well as other places of service. When they began to realize that colors have an impact on our subconscious mind, the desired colors were implemented. 99u.com gives some examples of how colors can work on the brain,

…For instance, exposure to both blue and green has been shown to enhance performance on tasks that require generating new ideas. However, the color red has been linked with superior performance on tasks involving attention to detail.

Indeed, the use of color can be shown to matter a great deal when it comes to workplace productivity.

Imagination May Emerge From Messiness

Getting onto employees about keeping a clean and orderly desk has been something that employers have been doing for a very long time. They believed that having employees who kept a desk clean were likely to be more orderly in their work and actually get things done. This however may not be the case according to new studies from the University of Minnesota.

The studies at the University of Minnesota seem to point to the idea that in fact a messier desk is more conductive to creativity. Those who were in a messier environment in the study were actually found to have more imaginative ideas.

Lowered Stress Comes From Plants 

Just by having a few office plants around, one can actually see lowered levels of stress in the lives of the employees. It has been shown time and again that just the presence of plants in the office helps to bring down levels of stress and helps employees to recover faster from illnesses that they may have. For such a cheap investment, the plants provide a huge boost to the business.

Also see 5 Important Workplace Productivity Considerations

More information on the latest in office designs and The Agile Workplace.

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Workplace Productivity: 3 Simple Upgrades That Can Make A Big Difference

How do you achieve seamlessly integrated, highly functioning workplace productivity? From the bottom up. And we mean that literally. Here are 3 simple, often overlooked, office upgrades that can make a big difference in employee engagement as productivity.

  • Office Chairs

good office chairThink you’ve already got your office employees settled into the most comfortable chairs on the market? Efficiency is not the same for everybody. Just as some office employees sleep on marshmallowy beds and others sleep on beds as hard as a board, so does each bottom respond differently. Yes, you can get a short term economic boost by buying office chairs in bulk, but long term savings may potentially dwarf that budget-conscious decision by going the extra distance and giving each of your employees a stipend to be spent buying the office chair of their choice.

  • Eyestrain

The effects of eyestrain on office workers could is like a slowly leaking faucet. At some level you are aware of it happening, but you don’t see any immediate reason to invest time and effort stopping it. Overhead lighting, the glare of the sun, the size of computer monitors, the default settings for colors and fonts and other factors all contribute to a decline in vision that can impact your business over a lifetime or over the course of a day. A worker having trouble reading what’s on the computer screen can present a number obstacles to workplace productivity ranging from a lagging pace of work to misreading a decimal point that could literally cost you money, loyalty and trust. How to combat the effects of eyestrain? Consult with professionals about a more efficient lighting system. Upgrade your computer monitors if it’s been awhile. Even helping to cover some or all of the costs associated with getting new eyeglasses for a new prescription may ultimately save you money in long-term productivity.

  • Keyboard Placement

Something as ridiculously simple and cheap as changing the position of the keyboard in relation to the employee’s body can be insanely effective at increasing productivity. Once again, America’s misguided love affair with standardizing everything is the culprit. Even taking into account more ergonomic innovations during the transition, the typical office worker today will still be typing away at a computer keyboard in roughly the same position that office workers used to bang away at the keys of a typewriter. Experimenting with lowering and raising the position of the keyboard, different styles of keyboards and even the sounds that are artificially produced when a key is hit can all contribute to making computer users more efficient. Some workers–especially older employees raised on typewriters–are comforted by hearing the traditional “clicking” sound each time they hit a key while others find any sound not actually produced by fingers tapping on keys distracting.

The days of expecting maximum workplace productivity in an office by treating each employee as they were developed in some clone-producing factory is long over. Yes, of course, no business wants to spend money on personalizing the work experience when the cost of standardizing is so much more affordable.

Want to know more? We can help your workplace become more productive, 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.

The Hawthorne Effect: Valuable Workplace Productivity Lessons

One of the most revolutionaries scientific studies ever conducted on the issue of workplace Workplace Productivityproductivity took place in the 1920s, but still holds true today. The Hawthorne Effect is a business management discovery that initially focused on that initially focused on efficient use of office space by studying the effect of lighting on workplace productivity. Ultimately, the science switched from the biological to the psychological with surprising results that open up broad avenues of possibilities for office workers of all types.

You would think that Hawthorne was the name of the social scientist who discovered the titular effect, but that would be the wrong assumption. The Hawthorne Effect was named after Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant near Chicago. The scientist was Elton Mayo and Western Electric had hired him in 1927 initially for the purpose of determining whether lighting levels impacted workplace productivity. As the study continued, however, Mayo realized something much more subtle was going on. Over time, Mayo expanded his research on workplace productivity to include additional stimuli ranging from more flexible schedules to increased daily breaks and other incentives.

By the time Mayo wrapped up his research in 1932, the conclusion was a foregone piece of simple common sense. The Hawthorne Effect essentially asserts that the one single constant when it comes to increasing workplace productivity is increasing the perception among workers that management is making them feel important by observing them. 

A direct result of the development of the Hawthorne Effect was the development of a number of incentive programs designed to address worker needs while also instituting the belief among the workers that management was willing to tend to their future. The 21st century version of this workplace strategy that was the offspring of the Hawthorne Effect study can be found in every office that features an on-site gym, child care nursery, fully functioning kitchen, gourmet coffee shop, comfortably designed smoking area and basketball court.

The downside to this landmark study in workplace productivity is just as vital to understand when designing a strategy for your office workspace. While management should take any steps that make economic sense to design an office that make the workers feel valuable while also allowing them their behavior to be openly observed, keep in mind that there is always a shelf life involved. While the Hawthorne Effect has been proven effective whether the office was populated by a half-dozen workers or a hundred, the effect is bound to wear out without consistent stimulation. Employee production rises when management addresses a workplace issue, but as that issue gradually evolves into the status quo, new issues must be dealt with whenever they rise to become obstructions to workplace productivity.

Only if management deals effectively with those new workplace issues in a way that increases the perception that their observation and recognition of worker issues is genuinely about care for the office employees will the Hawthorne Effect takes over and make everybody happy and productive once again.

If you are looking into ways to make a more efficient use of your office space,  Contact us today to learn more.

Four Surprising Facts About Workplace Productivity

The average American spends at least one third of their time at work–that’s 40 hours per week. How much of that time is wasted on navigating poor workplace layouts, seeking inspiration for a project or finding the right equipment for a job. A recent online article by the Arts Institute explains just how important and effective work layout is to your employees.

As far as workplace productivity goes, what you don’t know might just surprise you. Here are four surprising facts we’ve found about workplace productivity.

Lights, camera, action! If you’re feeling “dull” after an hour of work it may not be you — it could be the lighting! Many studies suggests that workplace lighting plays a large factor in productivity. Lighting that is too dim or too bright can hinder inspiration.

Workspaces should be interactive not sterile. Of course, in the old way of doing business, creating a playground for adults, was “frowned upon” but that has all changed! Interactive spaces like open work areas, view-worthy windows, and interesting art are all great ways to make your workplace interactive.

That furniture arrangement says a lot about your organization. When you want to encourage camaraderie or equal responsibility, consider rearranging your office areas. Turn the desks at an angle so that each employee can face one another yet have a separate view. Pointing everyone’s desk towards the wall will limit productivity; however turning all desks to work one another could encourage too much playtime. Don’t be “stoic” with your layout planning. Try new arrangements and ask employees for feedback.

Allow employees an opportunity to customize their personal space  Here’s another valuable tips from AI,“Highly creative teams will hang things on the wall that remind them of being successful and decorate according to their own styles. So if we over-design the workspace and create restrictions, we may be limiting their ability to express themselves.” Don’t plan every single detail of the wall space. Give your team a chance to make that spot their own.

Your workspace can shine and we’d love to help you find the office space to make that happen. Please contact us for more tips and ideas on arranging your office space.