5 office enhancements to increase staff productivity

Break room with PS4, dartboard and table soccer at ByondWave’s office. (EzyOffice pic)

Do you have days where it’s hard to stay focused and engaged at work? You’re not alone.

In a recent global workforce study conducted by Gallup, only 11% of employees in Malaysia feel engaged at work. That is a huge amount of wasted potential.

Why are workers not engaged? The study suggests it’s because companies are not keeping up with the “expectations of younger workers”, who see work as part of their identity.

Here’s how you can create an environment that fosters happier, more satisfied employees who deliver impactful results:

Games room with pool table at Silverlake’s office. (Sachi Interiors and EzyOffice pic)

How your office interior design impacts creativity and productivity

Large companies like Google, Apple and Facebook are leading the way in modern office design. The idea is that having an open office encourages movement and impromptu discussions.

Other studies show that working in an open plan office can actually be distracting and make it hard to focus.

The trick then is to create different spaces for different types of work styles. Those who need a quiet space to work on detailed spreadsheets can find a private pod, while those who need a creative boost can look for play spaces to exchange ideas.

In a recent work environment survey, 62% of people want access to natural light in the office; 25% want spaces for rest and relaxation; and 43% want furniture and spaces that are easily reconfigurable.

Office pantry design with bar counter at ByondWave office. (EzyOffice pic)

1. Create a break room where employees can socialise

If you’re Google, you can provide your staff with a bowling alley. Businesses with smaller budgets can make do with a Ping-Pong or Foosball table.

Creating play spaces can boost innovation by generating ideas, encouraging lateral thinking and challenging the norm. It’s also a way for employees to feel young at heart.

Employee desks with low partitions at the office of Muse Asia. (EzyOffice pic)

2. Have a well-stocked pantry with healthier choices

By keeping the pantry stocked with snacks, fresh fruits and even packed lunches, employees can set their own break times and avoid hunger pangs from affecting their work.

In Malaysia, keeping your office pantry full allows employees to stay a bit longer to avoid the evening traffic jam. An island counter and bar stools in the pantry can double up as an informal discussion area.

3. Create a mix of spaces for both concentration and collaboration

The open office allows teams to sit together and discuss whenever they need. The office should include small rooms where you can retreat when you need to focus.

You can get office systems with low partitions. This provides a small amount of privacy, while still allowing discussions.

Small discussion room flanked by seats for personal space at The Empire State. (EzyOffice pic)

4. Include lots of natural light and greenery

It doesn’t help that many offices rely on artificial lights and keep the blinds closed permanently.

The lack of natural light can lead to “sick building syndrome“, resulting in sluggishness, headache and loss of concentration.

Find an office unit that has lots of large windows. A corner office has the benefit of additional windows to let in the daylight.

Your office design should include planters. You can also use a wall as a vertical garden.

The vertical gardens at Six Battery Road in Singapore. (nparks.gov.sg pic)

5. Design the right spaces for different work styles

Creating the right office interior design and layout to get the most out of staff is a continuous work in progress.

From the rows of desks with executive offices in the 1950s, to the rows of cubicles in the 80s and the fully open office layouts of recent years, each layout attempts to find the right balance of space for concentration, collaboration, and socialising.

Having a mix of all three spaces is the best way to increase creativity and productivity. What matters is that your employees are given the freedom to find the space that works for them.

This article originally appeared on Recommend.my – Malaysia’s #1 Home Improvement Services Platform. Recommend.my offers a safer and more convenient way to hire the best home improvement and home maintenance professionals. From flooring to interior design to air-conditioner servicing, get access to thousands of the best local contractors and professionals at your fingertips.