Maximizing Productivity in the Office

Every business owner has the duty to make the office a productive environment. But what makes an environment, and a physical space “productive”? People can be motivated, resulting in fast and effective results, but it all starts with the office space and the daily routine that space inspires. 

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In every company, employers look for strengths in an employee, like self-efficiency and ambition. But when the 2020 worldwide pandemic hit, and everyone was sent into home-office, people began to realize that even the most motivated employee struggles with remote working. This is because our minds work in a Pavlovian way, meaning that a structured morning routine that led into an office made our brains click into work mode. And the same process works on the weekends when that specific routine is taken away, and we click into home mode.

When people are surrounded by extracurricular items like a TV, radio, gaming station, and snack, and chores, our minds immediately want to switch to home mode, sabotaging the work process. This is why remote work is so much harder than anticipated by the otherwise workaholics.

Having said all that, what does this mean for a business owner regarding the offices? Firstly, with a structured timeline, and unshakable work hours, employers can expect peak productivity from employees. Because their brains are accumulated to a specific routine that is structured best for precise office work. But to take it to the next level, next to the overall structure of a workday, offices can balance having a homey look, while maintaining the work-mode setting in our brains. This balance is needed so that employees are not only productive robots, but actually feel good, while not neglecting their tasks to play foosball in the cafeteria.

For example, a flexible and comfortable workspace can be beneficial for employees. Having comfortable chairs, good desks, or a huge arena with different working spaces they can choose from can make all the difference. Of course, this can’t all be done in every type of office. Let’s say that an office has a huge arena where everyone can work next to each other on either laptops or desk computers. Offices could have basic office chairs and large desks, standing desks, armchairs so that people have a choice, and the freedom to move around.

If every employee has the same setup, try to make it as comfortable as possible, and if it’s doable, make a community room where people can work beside each other. The change of scenery throughout the day, the ability to walk around and change positions, actually boosts overall productivity and people will actually want to go into work. It’s homey, but still a professional office environment.

Great conference rooms that can be booked by employees and employers alike are also important. Of course, a conference room is given as a way to talk to employees as a business owner or have big staff meetings. But even as an average employee, sometimes a meeting regarding a bigger project is much more diable in a secluded conference room than piled around a desk. Even if an entire building only has one or two of these, if they’re well equipped and maintained, it can make all the difference.

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Have good coffee. And while on the subject of beverages, have a good cafeteria. As a business owner, it is a number one responsibility to make the office as liveable as possible. This means a stocked buffet or cafeteria, with quality products, but also reaches to the question of overall comfort in your space. The heating, cooling of an office, the bathrooms and kitchens, and yes, the quality of food and beverages. Although a lot of people don’t have a say in the cafeteria that comes with the building, they can still equip a small kitchen with some snacks and good coffee and tea. But if someone can, they should strive for the best buffet they can. It’s a well-known stereotype that women are moody when not eating for a long time, but believe it or not, that goes out to everyone. And the most important of this category is the free (or cheap) availability of high-quality water. Either very good tap water, water cooler machines people can use for free, or very cheap bottled water that can be bought in bulk for the offices.

And finally, the most important thing as a business owner is constant motivation. Let people know why they’re here, what the big picture goals are, and why their work matters. Be reasonable, and open to ideas. This will make them feel like they are actually being heard, as they should be. And the biggest weapon in your arsenal is praising someone when they did well. This could mean anything from a few kind words to a small bonus they will surely appreciate. 

It’s not easy being the head of an entire business, but once a person chooses to be there, they have to deal with their responsibilities. They are responsible for the environment, the work ethic, and everything in between. Learning the key to maximizing productivity in just one individual can make a huge difference when dealing with hundreds of employees. Switching the switch from home-mode to work-mode can be as easy as a good coffee, getting dressed properly, or sitting in one’s car and driving to work. And while this is almost all up to the employees themselves, employers still have the responsibility to boost motivation and productivity. Other than that, these people spend their entire days in this space, so it has to be livable. Having access to high-quality food and water is a must, and not freezing in the winter or sweating in the summer should be a default. The easiest way to boost productivity and maintain a great office lifestyle is finding the balance between a cold-hard office environment that keeps the switch in work-mode, and a homey office space that boosts happiness and ultimately makes employees more ambitious and motivated to go into work and make a difference. And while it can be intimidating and hard, designing the perfect office spaces is one of the biggest priorities when expanding and taking on this responsibility.

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