The average Singaporean spends about 44 hours per week at work, which makes the physical office space an integral element of work productivity – the ability to stay focused and produce quality work.

According to studies done on workplace productivity, it has been shown that office design does have impact on productivity levels and if done well, it can improve your employees’ productivity levels by 20%!

However, there is a common misconception by many employers that office design is of little significance to their business success, simply because it does not have a direct impact to the bottom line. Thus, employers would rather spend the bulk of their resources on other areas of the business that seemingly provide higher returns on investment (ROI).

Whether you are a business owner or a facility manager in charge of setting up your office space, there are still many ways that you can spruce up your office design to boost your employees’ productivity levels, even with a shoestring budget.

Check out these 5 simple ways that you can instantly experiment with to boost your productivity levels.

  1. De-clutter – If you are one of those who are a natural with getting organized and systematic, you have already won half the battle. There is indeed good reason when parents used to insist that you tidy your room or bags when you were young. The state of your things in your environment is a direct reflection of your state of mind. So, when you make efforts to put your documents, files and stationery in order while throwing out junk, you are giving your mind more clarity by removing any unnecessary mental clutter as well. With clearer thinking, you are able to focus on your tasks at hand and deliver your best work.

Quick Tip: Set aside 10 minutes every morning before your start work, and every evening before you leave your office, to de-clutter. This simple routine will help you stay refreshed and energized whenever you sit at your desk.

  1. Wall Colours – It is interesting to know that every colour carries different vibes and you can use this to create your ideal office environment. Depending on your corporate theme and the ambience that you want to create for your employees, choosing the right colour can be an inexpensive way to lift your office environment up. For example, if you prefer more high energy and a ‘loud’ feel, go for brighter colours like red, orange or yellow. Bear in mind that these are intense colours and could be overwhelming if used for all four walls. One way to enjoy this colour is to use it sparingly, perhaps on a specific wall area or room. It can be helpful when used in ‘thinking’ or ‘ideas’ areas when brainstorming activities are held.

Alternatively, if you want to create a more calming and soothing ambience, colours like blue or green can be more pleasing to the eyes. These colours can be helpful if your business activities are often very fast-paced and employees are often stressed out.

Quick Tip: If your wall colours are already fixed, you can still enjoy the benefits that different colours bring, simply by adding decorative items such as paintings in the desired colours to spruce up your office environment.

  1. Indoor Air Quality – Although invisible to the naked eye, the air that we breathe plays an important role in the wellbeing of your employees. The better the air quality, the better the state of wellbeing. Some factors that affect the quality of your indoor air include air conditioning and cleanliness of your office space. If your office is set in an old building, there is high chance that air conditioning emits musky smell due to mold or mildew buildup in the condenser. This requires servicing to maintain the air conditioner or even to change out the unit altogether, if possible. Alternatively, installing air purifiers inside your office environment can also help to clean up the air inside your premises. It is also important to ensure that all your premises are cleaned regularly to prevent dust, dirt and grime to accumulate. With a clean environment, your employees will stay healthy and fall sick less often, which leads to higher productivity levels.

Quick Tip: A good indoor hygiene strategy for your office includes implementing a regular cleaning routine, which may be rotated among employees or outsourced to a cleaning company. It is also good to conduct air-con servicing once every 2-3 months.

  1. Noise Level – Different people have different working styles. Some work best with music on while others need absolute peace and quiet. In a shared office environment, it is important to create a balance where all employees can work harmoniously. One of the best ways to work around this is to create rooms or areas for specific uses. Breakout rooms can be used for brainstorming and meetings, where discussions can be productive without affecting other employees. If you have a company culture where you want to encourage more spontaneity and vibrancy, some light background music can also help to lift the mood of your employees.

Quick Tip: Use background music to create your ideal atmosphere, e.g. sounds of nature or flowing water can create a calming effect, or sounds that mimic the noise of a café can also help employees feel more relaxed, which boosts creativity levels.

  1. Work Desks and Chairs – This is one of the most obvious elements of a good office design and creates the biggest impact for your employees. Some of the areas to consider are the placement of work desks and chairs where it does not obstruct passage way or entrance, and there is sufficient lighting for long hours of work. Also, the height of the tables and chairs should be adjusted to a comfortable and ergonomic level. For e.g. your chair should be adjusted to a level whereby your feet are resting firmly on the ground. Your sitting posture should be slightly reclined with enough back support, so as to prevent lower back pain from long hours of sitting. When it comes to using computers, it is important to ensure your eyes are about 24-36 inches away from the screen. The top of your computer screen should be slightly below or at eye level. And do remember to take short breaks after every 45 minutes of looking at your computer screen to prevent eye fatigue.

Quick Tip: For more open communication, try open office plans as it appears less formal and tense. This is especially useful if most of your employees comprise of young professionals.

For optimal office space planning, enquire with Wilsin’s professional team to maximize your office space and create your ideal layout that aligns with your company culture and supports work productivity!