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5 Ways Building Layouts Affect Business Productivity

5 Ways Building Layouts Affect Business Productivity

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to maximize productivity. There are numerous motivations behind this, spanning further than simple economic proficiency. Happiness and productivity go hand in hand, and a positive work environment will impact the entire workplace for the better.

One tried and tested method to boost productivity comes by way of navigating your building’s layout. However, the what, how, and why of productivity-boosting layouts is not common knowledge, which is why, in this article, we bring you five different ways in which building layouts can affect your business’s productivity.

Physical Layout and Features

The physical layout of your workplace can have huge impacts on the level of productivity that you get out of your staff. Often, this is the direct result of how practical and convenient your layout is, and is particularly true for warehouse and factory workplaces.

For example, in a high-ceilinged building, installing Midbrook Mezzanine Floors is a great way to maximize space. This additional level can be used for storage, as a thoroughfare, or as a new space for offices that are away from the hustle and bustle of the factory floor.

Systematic layout planning has been proven to have a positive effect on productivity for a few reasons. One of those reasons is that freeing up thoroughfares on the ground leads to faster movement of people, materials, and resources. Allowing things to move between points A and B more effectively reduces interruptions in the production line, increasing workflow while decreasing production costs.

Desk Arrangement

Moving onto a more decidedly office-focused building layout, the mighty desk and its many variants can have a large bearing over productivity. This argument usually brings up a debate well-known to renovators, that is open plan vs cellular office layouts.

An open plan office is lacking in partitions, walls, and boundaries, and sometimes has long, communal desks. It allows offices to decrease square footage while creating a more face-to-face environment, though usually with private rooms for meetings. Cellular offices are divided up into personal office spaces and cubicles, mostly with removable walls.

Open offices promote an increase in collaboration and more dynamic/multi-use environments. By increasing the capacity for teamwork and allowing team members to work in more places, this absolutely impacts overall productivity. Cellular offices also have their benefits, including less sensory distractions and more privacy, making them ideal for more solitary and mentally rigorous work.

The desks themselves also play a part. Standing desks break the prolonged sedentary nature of office jobs. Moving blood and oxygen through the body and to the brain is attributed to greater agility and mental capacity, as well as a reduction in stress, all of which contribute to greater output.

Air

Making layout arrangements that promote the flow of fresh air through your work environment can be great for increasing the productivity of your staff. A study carried out by the World Green Building Council assessed that an increase of fresh air throughout the workplace led to a massive 11% increase in productivity among staff.

A few ideas to increase air-flow in your office include:

  • Removing equipment, walls, or anything else that obstructs airflow from windows and doors
  • Bringing some luscious green plants into the office
  • Using an air filtration system to manage humidity

Light

Similar to air, when it comes to light, the more the better. Dimly lit buildings and grey or colorless interiors are uninspiring and detrimental to workplace productivity. In fact, studies have shown that employees who sit within ten feet of a window experience headaches and blurred vision 84% less than those who are far removed from natural light.

By some measures, British adults spend 22 hours, or 90% of their day, inside. Of course, it can be reasonably concluded that Britain’s infamously grey weather is a factor in this, and in warmer climates that figure may be much lower. But the key point remains that maintaining a connection to the outside world is vital for staff productivity.

Happiness

Taking some—or all—of these office arrangements and layout tips on-board may ultimately make your employees happier and improve their wellbeing. Happy employees are better team-workers; they work harder and are more productive in general. In fact, some studies suggest that happiness boosts productivity by up to 12%.

The resulting benefits to productivity are cyclical. Happiness amongst employees is contagious, meaning that those who emanate joy naturally become role models for the wider team. Also, happier employees are typically healthier, meaning that they’re less likely to suffer from physical or mental disorders which could put the brakes on their output.

In Conclusion

From a productivity standpoint, there are numerous reasons to invest in the layout of your building and work space. From spatial rearrangements that maximize efficiency, to desk arrangement and style, and the availability of air and light, there are many factors whose careful consideration could boost workplace happiness—and consequently, productivity.


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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.