26 office improvements from A to Z to boost your team’s productivity

Where you work is as important as what you do.

Various studies have found a connection between office environment and employee productivity. In fact, it’s been said that a well-designed office can increase your team’s overall productivity of about 20%.

And if 20% increase in productivity doesn’t sound convincing enough to invest in office improvements, here are some more stats that might change your mind:

Harvard Business School’s Toxic Workers Study found a company’s most productive employees can increase its yearly profit by USD5,000.

Meanwhile, the average cost US businesses pay for unfocused and disengaged employees can reach USD450-550 billion yearly.

It means investing in a work-friendly office environment can help not only your business earn more, but also save money you have already earned.

The bottom line?

A modern office environment may also help you keep your existing employees engaged and motivated, as well as attract new talents. 67% of employers said they redesigned their office spaces in 2016 to make them more attractive to new workers.

Below, you’ll find 26 office improvement tips, literally from A to Z, to boost your team’s productivity and increase employee job satisfaction.

Let’s get started!

A – Air quality

Keep an eye on air quality in your office, install a qualitative ventilation system, and open windows to let in fresh air.

Bad air quality is not only bad for productivity, but also has a negative effect on health. It’s called the ”sick building syndrome”, known from the 1970s, when poor office ventilation caused symptoms like headaches, fatigue, coughing, and more.

B – Break rooms

When designing your office break room, try to incorporate design elements that will help your employees relax. After all, that’s what break rooms are meant for – for employees to take a mental pause, which will help them feel rested and stay focused and effective.

People can’t focus and work 8 hours without breaks. So, having a place where employees can go for a rest, chat with colleagues, and have drinks and snacks is a must in a modern workplace.

C – Company culture

Build a company culture that brings everyone together and helps ensure a positive and productive office atmosphere.

Many world-famous startups are famous for their company cultures that make people want to work for them and the existing employees to stick with them.

D – Digital screens that track team performance

You can use the employee productivity tracking app to show your company’s overall performance stats or highlight most productive employees and support healthy competition between team members.

Workplace transparency is crucial for employee motivation, commitment, and productivity. Knowing what other team members do, how do they do it, and where the company is going is what boosts team spirit.

E – Entertainment room

Companies, like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, are famous for their entertainment zones for employees. From chillout zones with slides to video games and rooms filled with plastic balls. But a simple ping-pong or foosball table will work fine.

Employees who have fun at work are found to be more productive. Being entertained also creates a stronger commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts office productivity.

F – Furniture

To make sure your employees don’t suffer these pains, start with ergonomic chairs and individually arranged workplaces, adjusted to the proportions of the individual’s body. Or consider standing desks – we tested them ourselves and found that standing led to up to 10% more productivity!

Sitting is the new smoking. And the reason for employee absenteeism. Neck strain, back pain, leg pain are the most common injuries employees nowadays are dealing with.

G – Gym

One way to do it is having a room or someplace in the office where people can stretch and do some physical activities. Another option is to make a deal with your local gym and pay for your employees’ membership, so they can work out for free.

The Guardian’s study shows that physical activities improve concentration, enhance creativity, and have other positive side effects.

H – Healthy snacks

The top superfoods for your crew’s productivity includes, nuts for brain performance, dark chocolate for focusing skills, blueberries for memory, and banana for energy.

People just love free snacks. USAToday found that companies that provide free food have happier employees, compared with those who don’t. By providing healthy snacks at the workplace, you’re helping your team stay healthy. It was even calculated that for every dollar a company spends on employee health programs, it saves USD3.27 in medical costs.

I – In-house library

Books you include in your company library are up to you. The only rule is: your employees must read them for pleasure. So, no mandatory literature.

Experts suggest that reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is enough to become more effective at work, improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.

Telegraph UK even found that reading is a more effective stress reducer than listening to music and taking a walk. So an in-house library might be a good idea if your employees are working in stressful conditions.

J – Jazzy office music

If music in the entire office building sounds too much, you can limit it to specific rooms only. Like break rooms, office kitchen, or creative meeting rooms. Or you can even have your own office music room, where people can play their instruments.

Shopify found that rhythmic and jazzy music helps workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.

K – Kitchenette

It can be a small kitchenette or a lunch room, but the point is – give your employees a place to have dinner or at least make a cup of tea during their workday.

Proper dinner keeps employees healthy and balanced. However, hays found that over 50% of employees eat lunch at their desks, stealing themselves time to relax and recharge.

By having a kitchenette or a designated place your team can have lunch, you’re encouraging even your laziest employees to get up from their desks, move around, and get back to work more energized.

L – Lighting

For your employees’ wellbeing, try to incorporate as much natural light as possible.

Lighting is one of the primary factors that affect employees’ productivity. if natural light isn’t an option, consider using light fixtures that mimic natural sunlight. That way your employees will feel better, be healthier and better focused on tasks.

If your office space is too dark, workers may get sleepy. If the light is too bright, it can cause headaches and eyestrain. Psychology Today shows that natural lighting is best for employee productivity; it also enhances worker’s sleep and quality of life outside the workplace.

M – Meeting rooms

To make meetings more productive, you’ve got to make meeting rooms less comfortable. That means – no sofas and other things that might make people feel too cozy. To encourage fewer and shorter meetings, consider meeting rooms with no chairs, so-called huddle rooms.

Employees waste hours every week in unproductive meetings. In fact, 67% of all meetings are failures, which cost businesses over $37 billion dollars every year. That’s crazy!

N – Noise

If you can’t give your employees personal workrooms, at least give them noise cancelling headphones. They help employees zoom out and escape the noise and is a signal for co-workers to back off.

Inc.com shows that people waste 86 minutes every day because of sound distractions, and interruptions happen about every 11 minutes. Another survey by APQC found that 71% of employees think they would be more productive with additional space for individual work and quiet reflection.

O – Office plan

There’s no one office plan that’s best for employee productivity. It depends on your company and business specifics.

But one trend is clear: More and more companies are moving from cubicles to open office plans. Executives tend to prefer open office plans that are assumed to improve communication, boost creativity, and make a more positive, less tense office atmosphere.

However, Fortune.com show the opposite – people working in open offices often must deal with distractions; they’re unable to focus and work effectively.

Meanwhile, a Wide CDN suggests that companies should incorporate design and workspace planning cues from institutions of higher education. That way, they have better chances to attract young professionals, since college-like office design would foster coaching, support training, and leverage technology.

P – Plants

You can add in some spider plants and philodendrons, it is the top plants for removing pollutants from indoor air and decreasing carbon dioxide, which can be harmful to health.

Plants bring freshness to the office and make it look more welcoming. That’s important for attracting new employees and retaining existing ones. But most importantly, plants are found to increase workers’ productivity by 15%!

Future of Wellness // Build & Manage by H Space

Q – Quiet workrooms

If your company has an open office plan, consider having quiet workrooms, where employees can go when they want to escape all distractions and work in peace and quiet.

In fact, 90% of workers around the world are unsatisfied with their work environments, primarily due to a lack of privacy. And while most executives prefer open-concept office, as found in a study, 36% of employees prefer more isolated workrooms.

R – Room color

Green is found to be the best color for office productivity – it’s considered calming, which helps employees stay balanced and improve focusing skills.

Blue is great for improving efficiency and, just like green, helps people focus. Choose yellow when decorating office for artists, designers, and creative workers – it stimulates creativity. Or go with red for a job that requires physical activity, since it’s intense and can increase heart rate.

S – Scents

Cinnamon helps fight fatigue, and pine is for boosting energy. Citrus scents (lemon, orange, clementine, grapefruit) help reduce stress and fight mental exhaustion, improving focus.

Rosemary encourages clear thinking and improves memory – use it in office rooms where employees are learning something. And lavender reduces stress and anxiety, so it will be perfect for break rooms and mediation rooms.

T – Temperature

22°C is the optimal temperature for maximum productivity, as concluded in a study by Helsinki University. Just one degree over and productivity starts to decrease.

You will never find a temperature that’s good for everyone. But try to find the temperature that most of the team finds comfortable: remember that office temperature in general has greater influence on women than men.

U – Uplifting office decors

You can put a wall of inspiration – posters with motivational quotes. Or you may explore paintings or fine art installations.

Psychologists have found that art in the workplace can boost productivity, lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate. But art is a broad concept. Therefore, the best art for productivity depends on your aesthetics.

V – View

If your office has windows, seating your team so they can see outside the windows can be a quick fix to happier and more productive employees.

Employees are up to 16% more productive when they have an outdoor view.

W – Whiteboards

Candace Spears, the author of Bring Your Crayons to the Office, suggests teams use whiteboards for group note taking, brainstorming, and more.

Whiteboards make it easy for teams to communicate visually, which helps everyone speak the same language, regardless of function or department. People remember just about 5% of what you say, while they remember around 34% of what you’ve written down.

X – XXI century tech

It’s often difficult to justify investment in new technology. That might be the reason a surprisingly large number of companies still save money on tech. However, making your employees work with outdated tech backfires big time.

It was found that the average office worker wastes at least 21 days each year due to poor technology. 21 days a year. That’s more time than most people spend on holiday each year!

Besides, 1/5 of employees surveyed said outdated tech is one reason they’re considering looking for a new job. So, saving on tech not only can result in lost money, but also in lost employees.

Y – Your desk, your rules

When people can personalize their workspace, it makes them happier and satisfied. And happy employees do a better job. Simple as that.

Whatever the office plan, it’s important to give employees the autonomy to use and decorate their workspace however best suits their task. Let people put just one picture or plant on their desks, and you should see their productivity increase by 15%. BBC found that employees who can personalize their workspace however they want are up to 25% more productive than those who can’t.

Z – Zen meditation room

If you create a meditation room in your office, make sure its design is calming and relaxing. That is, use relaxing colors, like green, bring in plants, make sure this room has got plenty of fresh air. On the other hand, you can use any office room for meditation.

Meditation has various health and psychological benefits, and there are tons of studies that prove that. Some of the benefits include reduced stress, better focusing skills, and greater ability to prioritize effectively.

If you’re looking for an expert to improve your office space, contact us. We’ll provide you with the best solution and make it hassle-free for you.

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