WOULD A ROOM WITH A VIEW BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY?
The average full-time working person spends almost as much time in the office as they do in their own home. Which means on average we spend around 2,000 waking hours in the office/work, every year and not many more spent at home!
So if we consider that statistic as being almost even, give or take, I think it would be fair to say that the time and effort we put into making our working environment a place we want to come to every day wouldn’t be anywhere near what we put into making our home somewhere we want to return to every day.
When I think back on my career and to the environments I’ve worked in, the offices that stand out are the ones with windows, outside views & great desk spaces (aside from the people of course!). Then I think of the offices I would call ‘OK’ had windows at least but the carpet and chairs were a bit to be desired… Early in my UK career, there is one office that quickly springs to mind as being quite depressing and one could quite easily have referred to it as being like a cellar – but without the wine! It was a room underground with no windows, no plants, bad lighting, bad ventilation and my desk faced a blank white wall with my back to everyone else!! Luckily, this arrangement was a temporary measure whilst we moved offices – thankfully! But we were there for a couple of months and I distinctly remember the dreaded feeling of going to the office, in the dark (it was Winter) and having to sit in a bland office with no natural light (never mind a view) for 8 hours every day– not the most motivating thought to have every morning.
OK, so the above example (I hope) is the extreme. Of course, we all expect the basics of having the correct temperature, lighting, air quality and noise levels when we come to work. But what other perks and elements do we now expect to create a great employee experience? And do these additional perks have an impact on our motivation which effectively impacts our productivity?
Employers nowadays have a responsibility to ensure the working environment for their employees has a number of aspects that have a huge impact to boost productivity. And it starts with the basics of having a well-designed office. All details should be taken into consideration (aside from the lighting & ventilation) including furniture, positioning of work stations, visuals and colour schemes. All seems simple, but get it wrong and it could have a huge impact on people’s moods and attitude, which will very quickly start to have an impact on their work output.
We talk about the importance of having natural light and beautiful views – but not every office has the luxury of looking onto the Opera House or Harbour Bridge. But studies have found that the absence of an outdoor view within an office can have a big effect on work output and general well-being and positivity in the office which can often be the cause of tiredness & fatigue. Neither are great for getting good work quality!
And there are some companies that have the luxury of being able to offer amenities such as table tennis tables, fantastic outdoor areas with BBQs, massages, special events…these are of course all great additional benefits to have – but do they really improve someone’s day to day productivity? Maybe. Maybe not.
But what has been proved is that studies have demonstrated that basic characteristics of the physical office environment have significant effects on people’s behaviours & motivation which has a direct effect on productivity, general work output and overall happiness at work.
As companies increasingly look to empower their employees to be positive, work smarter and feel healthier; offering simple things like natural light, visuals and basic amenities is definitely a good start to getting the most from your team!