10 Steps to Creating a Productive Workspace
Productivity is a central concern for businesses—from entrepreneurs, to small businesses, to even enterprises. Getting the most out of the time spent working is critical and has a direct impact on the bottom line. Much has been written on the topic. Meetings are a frequent discussion point, with the majority of professionals citing time wasted in meetings as a substantial productivity drain. Reasons cited include irrelevant meeting agendas, overly long duration, poorly administered logistics, lack of preparation beforehand, among others.
Workspace is another area that can affect productivity—either positively or negatively. Too many businesses fail to consider different factors that can adversely impact the productivity of workers in a particular workspace. Following our 10 recommendations that can help an entrepreneur or business to create a productive workspace.
Create the Right Culture
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a small business, you need to understand your goals—for the business, teams, and individuals. Well-defined goals help ensure everyone is “rowing in the same direction.” When that is not the case, productivity suffers. Defined goals enable organizations to identify what activities are meaningful and which ones are a distraction.
Centralized calendaring is a must for any organization with multiple workers. At the individual level, it helps professionals focus; professionals can manage their meetings efficiently while blocking off time to work without distractions. Effective meeting management plays a pivotal role in driving productivity. Other calendaring recommendations include a) use of color coding to differentiate between types of tasks and events, b) leaving adequate time between meetings, c) daily reviews of the calendar to ensure priorities are encapsulated and unnecessary tasks and activities are removed, d) inclusion of project and task deadlines for all team members, and e) schedule time blocks to ensure workers have time to work on projects and tasks without being interrupted.
Some may think that cluttered workspaces are a sign of productivity. Research shows the opposite. Messy and disorganized workspaces make it more difficult to find items when they are needed. Organizing each individual workspace as well as the entire office—physically and digitally—can save a lot of time searching for documents, phone numbers, office supplies, and more. But it is more than wasted time, physical clutter negatively affects the ability for humans to process information; this, turn in, degrades productivity. For entrepreneurs and businesses relying upon or thinking about shared office space, it is important to vet those for lighting and the ability to customize workspace settings.
Tap Lighting and Color
Lighting and color matters when it comes to workspace. Daylit offices are a must. One study finds that workers in daylit offices report an 84% drop in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision—all of which detract from productivity. Workers sitting beside a window are 2% more productive than workers without window light. Obviously, not every workspace can be beside a window; here blue-enriched light bulbs have proven to boost mental acuity, vitality, and alertness. As to colors in the workspace, professionals need to determine what color best matches their personal needs—red is stimulating, blue and green are calming and aid in concentration, yellow sparks creativity.
Add Plants and Artwork
Having some plants in a workspace can reduce stress, improve attention capacity, and aid professionals in recovering from demanding projects and interactions. Artwork can produce similar effects.
Research shows cooler temperatures result in reduced productivity and more errors. Warmer temperatures tend to produce increased productivity and fewer errors. And the temperature in an office environment may vary from one workspace to another; simply because the temperature for workspace in one area of an office is fine does not mean it is suitable in every area.
Ensure Good Ergonomics
Ergonomics play an important role not in in the productivity of workers but in their health as well. Sit-stand desks, ergonomic chairs, footrests, and other ergonomic tools are important here. Benefits range from improved productivity, to better health, to better moods and energy levels.
Create Good Air Quality
Bad air quality in a workspace can have adverse implications in a number of ways. Workers can experience allergies, asthma, and bronchitis, among other illnesses. This impacts their performance and causes absences. Air quality should be a particular concern in the case of workspaces located where air quality can suffer from environmental factors such as fires and high carbon emissions. Plants and air filters can help offset some of these negative factors.
Use the Right Tools
Digital innovation can dramatically improve the productivity of workers. In the case of workspaces, entrepreneurs and businesses need to look for workspaces that are easy to reserve (think omnichannel with mobile apps), come with reliable, high-performance wireless internet, provide ergonomic desks and chairs, and meeting rooms with presentation tools and conferencing—audio and video—that facilitate collaboration.
Facilitate Productive Communications and Collaboration
Communications and collaboration between team members is important. As a starter, businesses need to identify the right technology tools. But it does not end there. While the time workers spend interacting with each other is critical, the time workers spend focused on their work is just as important. To help address this need, businesses can establish times during the day or week when collaborative interactions are banned so that workers can focus on executing tasks and projects. At the same time, other times during the day or week can be allocated for ideation and collaborative interactions. For entrepreneurs in shared office space, this clear demarcation is crucial.
Vetting Your Shared Office Space for Productivity
As entrepreneurs and small businesses increasingly rely on shared office space such as Davinci Meeting Rooms, it is important for them to vet their workspace providers to ensure that they meet many of the above. Doing so will help ensure a productive workspace. Indeed, when the above are absent, workspace unproductivity is certain to arise.