Is there a link with a company’s Office Environment and the productivity of its staff?
Being a millennial, my manager has enrolled me on various courses relating to productivity and increasing your efficiency. This was a brilliant scheme which taught me invaluable lessons. Aside from that, when I was working through probably the most interesting course, I came across a section on ergonomics and the effect it has on your productivity and motivation.
Immediately my interest was re-fired and I had a good look into it and it confirmed exactly what I thought. Un-ergonomically designed environments have a serious effect on your ability to work effectively and maintain a positive and happy attitude.
When we talk about Ergonomics, what do we really mean?
The dictionary definition of ergonomic design is ‘the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.’ Another term for this science is biomechanics, it is focusing on the human side when considering the design of a product. Now, a lot of lower-end office furniture companies take little notice of this science and will only touch it very lightly but more higher-end manufacturers take it into consideration and specifically design furniture so that a human body is not put under any strain due to the shape and style of the product.
When the Human body is in complete comfort then the brain has more focus on the activity the person is working on. If something is wrong the brain is subconsciously working to keep your back, arms, legs or head happy and this can cause a lot of strain causing stress and irritancy.
If we look at the definition of ergonomics it is very simple: ‘the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.’ So the more ergonomically minded you are as a manager the chances are the more efficient your staff will be.
What do we do to improve the ergonomics in your workspace.
At Amos Beech, we have had a big focus on Ergonomics and we have looked after countless clients. There are a number of ways which you can become more ergonomically minded, from the right task chair, having flexible desk height using sit-stand desking, enlivening colouring throughout your space, areas for quiet and areas for team working, everyone having their own storage space and effective acoustics. All of these features and more have an incredible impact on a team.
If you detach yourself, for a moment, and look at your workspace from a visitors point of view, does it look like a comfortable, friendly and active atmosphere? It is an important factor to consider. If your surroundings and the layout looks out of date, half-hearted or even shabby it has an immediate effect on a visitor or client. It just shows that even the age of your task chairs can have such a broad impact on your brand image.
From a personal perspective, an ergonomically designed environment is a brilliant boost. Being in the interior design industry means that it has been that way since I started work. The correct chair, sit-stand desk, big screen and plenty of storage. Compare this to when I was studying for my final exams, sitting in a school office on an ancient wobbly wave desk and staring at Microsoft word 2006 on a computer not much newer. It was hard, the whole sitting down and working thing took up most of my energy.
That to me was proof that a comfortable, appropriate environment lets your brain focus on your task not on how sore your back is, the noise of Belinda’s team in the next office and how blinding the light is across the room.