When starting a small business in todays incredibly complex business world, there are numerous factors that give firms an improved chance of success. One such factor is Employee Productivity. Leaders in the business community have known for years that if your employees are more productive, then generally speaking, your business is more successful. One way to have a positive effect on employee productivity is to design your workspace to promote and nurture creativity and productivity.
If there is one thing in the workplace that can cause a significant decrease in employee productivity, it isstress. U.S. industries lose nearly $300 billion a year, or $7,500 per worker, in employee absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, and direct medical, legal, and insurance fees related to workplace stress, according to the American Institute of Stress* . Todays employees are suffering from the increasing complexity of the workplace, rapidly changing work environments, increased information and responsibility load, increases in intrusions on employee privacy, and the pressure to be productive, which is especially stressful considering the global competition that reduces job security.
Although there are many ways in which employees are subjected to stress, there are also many things that one can do to mitigate the stresses caused directly by the workplace. Good workplace design can make a big difference in staff satisfaction, attraction, motivation, and retention. It can also affect the level of knowledge and skills of workers, how innovative and creative they are, and how they respond to business and technological change. Poor workplace design, by contrast, is linked to lower business performance and higher level of stress experienced by employees*.
An effective work environment should provide positive sensory stimulation through the proper use of color, lighting, aroma, space, and furnishings. These elements can be critical to effective work activities and workplaces, and they generally lead to increased productivity of employees. Some ways to increase your employee productivity through workspace design are:
- Use higher quality lighting
- Position fixtures to avoid glare and reflection
- Integrate higher levels of daylight
- Increase individual control of the workplace in matters of heating and cooling
- Improve acoustics
- Improved air quality
- Integrate views of nature.
If you are a startup company with just a small space or just a few employees, just consider these elements where applicable. If you start thinking about how to design your workspace from the beginning then you will only have to update it as time goes on, not completely overhaul you current system. There is no evidence suggesting that these elements alone will make your business grow, however they will increase your ability to get the most out of your workforce, which should be at the top of any managers list.