Several published studies have shown that office space management, which is the process of and creating a clean, bright and airy office space, leads to increased productivity in the workforce.
One study by “ResearchGate” found that:
“The results highlight the aspects of the cleanliness in the office environment that influence the perceived productivity. This concerns the measured cleanliness. Employees evaluate their own productivity lower at a higher level of particle counts in the ambient air in the office environment and when more dirt and stain are found on the surface (lower surface cleanliness)” (researchgate)
Another study conducted by Sheffield Hallam University found that:
“The greatest impact on perceived workplace productivity, however, was the availability of a variety of physical layouts, control over interaction and the ‘downtime’ offered by social interaction points” (Sheffield Hallam University)
There are many more studies like this, too. From the research, it is clear that our perceptions of our office spaces, along with the attributes of the space itself, must be considered.
So, if you run an office-based team and want to get the most out of them, or are interested in increasing your productivity by understanding the principles of office space management, this article is for you!
We have pulled together 4 top tips with regards to office space management that will help increase productivity within your workforce.
- Office Ventilation
- Office Space Layout
- Office Space Management
Correct ventilation is essential in all situations, and that is no different for office spaces and staff members alike. Some of the top offenders when it comes to polluting indoor office air include dust, mildew, smoke, chemicals and other such elements.
What else can we do to increase office ventilation?
- Large windows that open fully
- High ceilings that allow air to circulate freely
- Keep your desk clear
One method we wanted to give a little extra attention to was the use of plants in an office space.
NASA has found a range of plants, combined with activated charcoal air filters, that will actively clean and simultaneously remove harmful substances, such as Formaldehyde, Benzene and Trichloroethylene, from the air. The full study can be found here.
The NASA study summarised that:
“Low-light-requiring houseplants, along with activated carbon plant filters, have demonstrated the potential for improving indoor air quality by removing trace organic pollutants from the air in energy-efficient buildings. This plant system is one of the most promising means of alleviating the sick building syndrome associated with many new, energy-efficient buildings. The plant root-soil zone appears to be the most effective area for removing volatile organic chemicals. Therefore, maximizing air exposure to the plant root-soil area should be considered when placing plants in buildings for best air filtration. Activated carbon filters containing fans have the capacity for rapidly filtering large volumes of polluted air and should be considered an integral part of any plan using houseplants for solving indoor air pollution problems.”
Some of the top plants listed in the NASA study were:
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum)
- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
- Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
- Banana (Musa oriana)
- Variegated Sanseviera (Dracaena trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
- Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)
- Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)
- Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
- Red-edged dracaena, marginata (Dracaena marginata)
- Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’)
- Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
- Barberton daisy, gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Florist’s chrysanthemum, pot mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
- Aloe vera (Aloe vera)
Be sure to check them out and start implementing them into your office space.
2.Office Space Layout
Some of our top tips for creating a productive office space are as follows:
1. Ensure the office environment if comfortable for you.
Another study looking into “Office comfort and productivity” found that:
“The review of the literature reveals that the evaluation of office comfort is a complex one. There appears to be no universally accepted definition of office comfort, and there is a clear lack of agreement as to how office comfort should be measured. This paper establishes that, there is enough evidence to support the claim that office comfort can affect productivity.”
This is interesting because comfort is clearly a subjective thing. Even so, the study was still able to establish that when someone feels comfortable, it can affect their productivity, which is worth noting if you manage a team.
This probably makes sense to a lot of you reading this as you would have probably experienced this yourself? When you feel at ease, you get a lot more done? Agreed?
What can you do in the office to make your staff feel more at ease and more comfortable as they go about their day to day work?
2. The use of colour in your office space layout
What are you trying to achieve in your office space first and foremost?
– Trying to stimulate creative thinking? Then add some colour to your office layout.
– Need to engage in a lot of critical thinking where clarity is vital? Use large, airy spaces with a lot of white.
Before you look at your office space, ask the question:
“What am I trying to achieve with this office space layout?”
3. Office Space Management
How much freedom do you have to manage your own time whilst working in your office?
Research undertaken by Gensler, titled “Employees Perform Better When They Can Control Their Space” looked into the relationship between productivity and employees being able to manage their own time.
They concluded that:
“Workplace choice is just one part of a broader culture of autonomy. With the support of organizational policy, and the right alignment of tools and technology to optimize productivity, it allows workers to optimize their own job performance, leaving them more satisfied, motivated, and creative – exactly the sort of employees you need to deliver high performance”.
Last but by no means least is decluttering, something we at Spaceways know a lot about!
It has been found time and time again that keeping our office and workspaces clear and clutter-free does indeed increase productivity by giving the mind less to wrestle with at any one time.
To this effect, a study looking at “Interactions of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in human visual cortex” found that:
“Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”
In short, the less stuff we have around us when trying to work, the easier it is to concentrate. The full study can be found here.
So there you have it, 4 top tips to increasing productivity using good office space management principles based on science. Need help getting your office space in order? Spaceways can help you declutter!
Spaceways offer a storage solution that includes a pickup and delivery service. This means we will:
1. Drop our empty boxes to your location for free
2. Return to collect your full boxes for free
3. Take everything into our secure purpose-built warehouse, and
4. Redeliver when you need your items back!
To start decluttering your office today with Spaceways, click here to get started.