Does your office productivity need a boost? Try these simple tips
With 2021 now in full swing, how can you build higher productivity in your office? Try these simple fixes.
Shedding light on the matter
Could the lighting in your office impact worker productivity? Research confirms prolonged exposure to blue wavelength light will lift performance for deep-thinking tasks. It’s also better than caffeine for sustained performance when doing psychomotor tasks. That’s where staff do physical tasks that involve movement and thinking such as typing, operating a machine or driving a car.
But, before you install blue-enriched LED light bulbs in your office for the full workday, expert advisors suggest switching to a warmer, yellow colour later in the day. The latter increases a sense of comfort and calmness, which is also useful for meeting rooms.
Call an end to pointless meetings
Did you know there are 16 different types of business meetings? Each has a purpose, but underlying them all is a core structure to make them work. This includes how:
- People introduce themselves
- Topics are organised
- Discussion and review presentations are led
- The group makes decisions
- Writing down and sharing the results.
The best meetings have three main phases: focusing and being present, doing the work and wrapping it up.
Something in the air
Research shows your sense of smell plays a key role in mood, stress and working capacity. Some fragrances may alter your brain waves. Alpha, beta and gamma ones are best for office productivity. The best fragrant essential oils for higher productivity include eucalyptus, lavender, citrus, rose, and mint. Find out more from this website, but for a deeper dive, this study reviews a lot of academic literature. By the way, studies show contrary to popular opinion, the smell of chocolate actually reduces attention level.
However, scent is a subjective experience. For example, common indoor air pollutants from building compounds may be present. People spend more than 90% of their time indoors these days. That’s why it pays to consider air quality and temperature. Both directly affect attention span, and therefore productivity.
When staff are in a stuffy, closed training or meeting room, for example, and the carbon dioxide they breathe out reaches 2,500 parts per million, the air may become slightly toxic. Research shows it impacts upon initiative, learning and using information, trying different approaches and decision-making capability. Opening doors, windows and boosting ventilation helps overcome this. Even running the fans in an office overnight increases productivity by 32 to 120 times greater than the electricity cost, a study has shown. Plus, it helps keep the temperature below 25oC – a sweet spot for comfort.
Standing up to productivity?
Sit-stand desks have gained popularity in offices for wellbeing and as a supposed way to boost productivity. But, evidence supporting higher productivity doesn’t stand up. A systematic review of 63 studies also confirmed standing desks didn’t affect productivity or performance.
However, there is growing evidence which indicates the longer people spend sitting each day, the higher their risk of chronic disease. Standing improves muscular-skeletal health, improves metabolism and can help increase your lifespan. Reducing the time you and your staff spend in the chair is in your best interests.
So, there are your simple fixes. It’s time to trial installing blue-light LED globes, infusing essential oils, opening doors and windows, rolling out the best-fit meeting structure, and considering an investment in sit-stand desks. Here’s to a more productive 2021.