11 tips to make the office more productive

Table of Contents

Discover what can improve office productivity with Stella33’s eleven tips.

Table of Contents

What's productivity?

The fact that, for example, there are different types of workplace productivity already begins to make the answer less immediate, despite being an ostensibly straightforward question. Indeed, the discussion on productivity is one of the main topics concerning the office and its evolutions in relation to the well-being of workers towards the so called destination office; but to truly understand how to implement changes or intensify existing practices to improve productivity, it’s important to start familiarizing oneself with the real scope of the concept.

Firstly, it should be noted that individual productivity and organizational productivity are distinct concepts, with the former often based on the quality of work and other subjective factors. For instance, in customer service, individual productivity can be measured through customer satisfaction rather than numerical data.

To achieve a highly productive office, it’s essential to consider both individual and organizational productivity. Efficiency in task completion and quality of work are crucial, influenced by various factors including employee well-being.

Improving productivity holistically not only enhances work performance but also fosters stronger internal relationships, conveying an image of attentiveness to the entire work process. This approach benefits both the company and the employees, enhancing satisfaction and overall performance.

How does a productive workplace look like?

It’s a question that requires a thorough analysis from various perspectives: design, spatial organization, management, time and resource planning.

Stella33 adopts an innovative approach to the office, considering a combination of factors to create a functional, efficient, and mindful working experience.

Here are eleven tips to optimize your office productivity.

11 tips to make the office more productive

1. Establishing your company culture before intervening on the office layout

Clearly defining the company’s mission actively involves employees and influences corporate productivity. According to Business News Daily, company culture, including values and vision, should be defined before office design and technology to ensure consistency and meet specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all model for a productive office; each company culture requires personalized approaches. For example, open-plan offices promote constant interaction but may cause disruptions in other areas. Considering the company culture and sector helps in choosing targeted improvements to the office layout.

2. Including dedicated socialization areas

Taking into account the first point, it’s important to consider the significance of socialization for creativity and communication, thus dedicating lounge spaces is essential to these activities. To maximize the utilization of such areas, it is recommended to organize the space so that it’s flexible, including sofas, armchairs, and tables of various sizes to accommodate groups of different sizes. Using modular furniture offers versatility; the ability to move tables and chairs can transform informal meetings into moments of collaborative creativity, fostering the generation of new ideas.

3. Opting for modular design furniture components

The case of the lounge area illustrates a broader concept: thanks to modular furniture, brainstorming sessions with colleagues don’t have to be interrupted or moved elsewhere.. Simply moving a table (equipped with wheels) and rearranging the chairs to adapt to the current needs, maintaining the creative flow. Besides moveable tables (on wheels), modular monitor arms are another example of smart furniture that promotes productivity.

4. Introducing a variety of spaces and areas to work

With the advancement of technology, work becomes increasingly mobile and less bound to the desk.. Many workers recognize that changing locations, even within the office, is beneficial to maintaining the creative flow and high energy levels. A flexible layout with various seating options and different work areas, including lounges, informal spaces, terraces, creative areas, and meeting rooms, can fully leverage this trend.

5. Creating spaces explicitly dedicated to collaboration and areas for individual work

In a productive office, activity-based working is fundamental: each activity requires a dedicated space. According to Bond Collective, teamwork and individual focus can benefit from connected areas, such as having a separate individual productivity area from the collaboration space, This creates a buffer between noisy and quiet areas, helping to reduce noise and improve concentration.

6. Personalizing the space

Studies indicate that personalizing the office space can foster an emotional connection with the work and the workplace. According to Jamie Fertsch, director and co-founder of Xdesk, finding a balance between practical and personal items can stimulate aesthetic sense and a sense of belonging. We suggest to choose items that inspire productivity, such as a photo of loved ones on the desk, as she herself does.

7. Creating opportunities for movement

This point is closely related to the importance of active breaks, which involve movement and changing positions within the office. This promotes a mental refresh and can stimulate new ideas. Indeed suggests taking breaks every 90 minutes of work, as this is the maximum period during which the brain can maintain optimal concentration.” During breaks, it is advisable to move, step away from the desk, and, if possible, go outside. Jamie Fertsch, director of Xdesk, suggests incorporating movement spaces in the office, for example, using height-adjustable desks that allow for changes in position. Placing common elements like printers or water fountains in central areas of the office can encourage movement.” However, the best solution is to introduce a variety of environments in the office to promote changing positions and active breaks as part of the work routine.

8. Incorporating natural elements and paying attention to the lighting component

“Natural elements” in the office, such as plants and green areas, can improve productivity, according to Ron Radu of Léon & George. In addition to better air quality, plants reduce stress and stimulate creativity. Natural elements such as wooden floors and materials in earthy tones bring a sense of well-being and inspiration. Natural light is preferable, and windows help save on artificial lighting. However, artificial lighting can be optimized with technologies such as adaptive lighting, which emulates natural light to maintain high energy levels throughout the day.

9. Avoiding micromanagement

Micromanagement” is a managerial practice that involves excessive control over employees’ work, with continuous interventions on how tasks should be carried out. Although it may increase short-term productivity, in the long run, it is counterproductive: it limits creativity, undermines employees’ confidence and self-esteem, and can lead to high turnover. The solution is to balance support and autonomy, focus on the overall vision of company productivity, and promote performance management based on trust in the team and problem-solving through teamwork.

10. Utilizing flexible and hybrid work

Workplace flexibility is increasingly widespread and expected by employees, according to Kristin Kelly from Offering freedom to work from wherever, by leveraging technology, promotes productivity and fosters a company culture based on autonomy. An AirTasker research shows that smart or hybrid workers have 27 non productive minutes per day, against 37 minuted counted by those who work in traditional offices, which is equivalent to 1.4 days a month. Smart working isn’t limited to remote work, but means working in different places, often less distracting than traditional offices.

11. Using the Pomodoro technique

Time management is crucial for improving productivity in the office. The Pomodoro technique involves short breaks after every 30 minutes of work on a task. Some prefer to use a timer, while others plan shorter breaks every 30 minutes and a longer one every 100 minutes. This method helps manage time and recognize the value of breaks, especially if they include movement and a break from the workstation.

One fits one: personalizing the office according to specific needs

Every company has its own culture and office setup,  as we believe here at Stella33: one fits one, and this influences the methods for enhancing productivity. It is crucial to adapt to employees’ needs to make the work environment more functional.

The eleven suggestions listed here provide guidelines for promoting workplace well-being and increasing productivity. Following them can help managers assess their office situations and make targeted changes.

Stella33 offers personalized consulting services for workplace revolution.

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Welcome to the Office of the Future

Welcome to the Office of the Future