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How to Increase Office Productivity in the Workplace

Keeping employees motivated is tough.  A constant challenge is how to increase office productivity in the workplace.  Money is definitely one motivation.  Health care benefits is another motivator.  And, of course, folks want adequate vacation time.  When you get beyond those top 3, you get to where we are going to focus. Folks want a pleasant work environment. 

A pleasant work environment can mean a lot of things.   One manufacturing plant gives free drinks to all employees.  While it may not make sense for your company to offer free drinks, we like that this company was focused on a positive experience in the break area.  We did a whole post on the benefits of good coffee in the office.  For folks focused on millennial recruitment, you will want to read it.  Teaser alert, 44% of coffee in the USA is being consumed by millennials.  

We like designer’s, Thomas Heatherwick’s ideology of focusing on the human experience.  With this in mind, he focuses on the buttons to call the elevator in the buildings he designs.  Where are the touch points for your employees? 

Ergonomic Office Chair for a Productive Office

An ergonomic office chair is a touch point we mention to employers any chance we get.  Here is one facebook post a friend made after receiving a new office chair: 

“Here’s something I love. My brand spanking new office chair! ( I know- I’m a goofball) but I got to pick my chair out…it’s much more comfortable, better back support, comfy cushion- my marketing boss Nikki D. – Rocks! …thanks for making me comfortable so i can be more productive for you.”

This post says what we tell employers.    She mentions the back support & “Making me comfortable so I can be more productive for you.”  The health of your employees is important.  Back pain is the most expensive disease in terms of indirect costs due to sickness absence and work disability.  

When you ask yourself how to increase office productivity in the workplace, start with your office chairs. 

Biophilic Design & Office Productivity

We are big believers in greening up the office.  Biophilic design is bringing the outdoors indoors.  

Over the years, research has shown that biophilic designs in workplace improve workers creativity, engagement, and cognitive ability. Hence, increasing office productivity by a whopping 8 percent in one study! 

The other things indoor plants do is improve the air quality & remove toxins.  We love the preserved moss painting for the low maintenance, air quality improvement, & sound adsorption. 

In the information age, we talked to one instagram influencer.  She told us pictures with plants to better.  There is a natural tendency for us to respond positively with nature.  When designing your office for productivity, you need to go green & add plants.  

Standing Desk Benefits

One trend over the last 10 years has been the standing desk.  The idea being that standing is better than sitting.  As with everything, moderation is good.  Standing all day has its own negatives.  The recommendations we have seen are to sit 22 minutes & stand 8 minutes.  They are several apps you can download to remind you when to stand or sit.  

We had a financial company looking for call center furniture contact us.  One of his executives had suggested standing desks as a recruitment tool.  They needed to stand out from their competition & believed a sit to stand desk might do that.  We explored a few ways to this.  Perhaps, several desk risers that employees could check out for those wanting to stand.  On a tight budget, you can now find used standing desks on the market & we can assist with that.

What we have found is that not everyone wants to stand.  After time, the newness of standing wears off & most folks go back to sitting all day.  Before you make this investment, check with your employees.  Is this something they would value?  

If you have cubicles already with multiple work surfaces in the cubicle, you may be able to retrofit your cubicle.  You can have your worksurfaces at different heights.  Here is how one company changed their existing cubicles.  

standing desk options for cubicles

Art in the Workplace 

What about art in the workplace?  Can it impact office productivity? Yes, studies show that people working in enriched spaces are 17% more productive than folks in a lean space.  Other benefits of art are the increase to creativity, stress reduction, & encouragement of expressions.  

We have long encouraged working with a corporate art consultant and include a budget for art in your office design.  We also love have a BAM piece or a piece of art that is a conversation starter.  A conference room mural is an example.  

Take your Dog to Work Day

One of our clients had a take your dog to work day.  From the pure excitement of employees messaging back & forth, management could tell this was something employees truly valued.  Studies have found pets at the office does boost office productivity.  And, we all know there are so many benefits to having a dog, here are 102 scientific benefits of having a dog.  We created this graphic as a funny way to announce the big take your dog to work day.  

take your dog to work day meme

Impact of Breaks on Office Productivity

In the study by Desk Time, they found the top 10% of people work 52 minutes & then, take a 17 minute break.  Fascinating huh?  The basic premise is you need breaks to recharge & productivity decreases the longer you go without a break.  Steven Jobs famously talked about the benefits of taking your problems on a walk.  We also found this article on a company that implemented the 52 – 17 minute work break schedule & their experience wasn’t as great as they expected.  

Our take away is that all these ideas are a good framework.  Talk to your co-workers and figure out what will work best for your company.  With moderation in mind, we leave you with this office manager funny from @stupidresumes.  

Office manager funny monthly supply order

Office Book Club

Another idea to increase productivity and build a stronger work team is to start an office book club.  An advertising firm found these 7 reasons to start an office book club. 

This same firm did a podcast going deeper into the benefits.  One of the things that really stood out was the employees had a deeper connection with each other that improved their working relationships.  



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