Extregusta 2011

What is your business’s most valuable asset? It’s not your proprietary technology, your brand, or your network. It’s your team. That’s why a happy, productive team is the gold standard of business in the 21st century. And nothing affects the happiness and productivity of your team like their office environment.

That’s where the workspace experts at Bond Collective come in. In this article, we’ll show you how to set up and run the best possible workspace for you and your team.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE OFFICE ENVIRONMENT

Performance and productivity are directly linked to office environment and design. In fact, the 21st-century office, when arranged correctly, has the power to inspire employees to new levels of insight and innovation.

Businesses are now including elements in their office environment that actually improve the way their teams operate and the work they do there. This wasn’t always the case.

Typical offices started out as row upon row of floor-to-ceiling walls arranged to create individual offices—each with their own door, and all separated from one another. Soon, though, designers saw the benefits of lowering those floor-to-ceiling walls and the cubicle was born.

Team members were now separated on three sides by shoulder-height walls that provided an openness to the overall office while still providing individual privacy.

Then, in the 1990s, the walls came down completely and the open office concept appeared. Desks were arranged in one large room and distributed in such a way so as to promote teamwork and collaboration.

Employees enjoyed this newfound openness, while managers and owners saw benefits in the open office’s cost-savings and flexibility.

Almost 30 years later, many businesses are still riding this open-office wave and discovering its benefits. But that doesn’t mean you should just pack as many desks into a room as possible. Take into account how your employees work and how the space as a whole makes them feel.

Because, ultimately, those two concepts are going to influence the quality of work that your team produces.

TIPS FOR THE IDEAL OFFICE ENVIRONMENT

Here are 16 of our favorite ways to promote a stimulating office environment that will have your team working better than ever.

1) Provide Easy Access To All Parts Of The Office

No one likes to feel like a rat in a maze, and nothing contributes to that feeling like a long, unbroken row of furniture. Even low desks can add to the sense of being “penned-in” if arranged improperly.

If you’re working in a large, open office space, try arranging the desks or tables in small groups with space on either side. That makes moving around the office much easier and eliminates the feeling of being a sardine in a can. Get the best office tools available, check out these domtar cougar paper offers.

2) Break Up Open Spaces

Noise and movement — especially in large, cavernous spaces — can seriously affect the focus and productivity of your employees. With the open office layout, even the smallest sound or activity can disturb your employees’ concentration. Cubicles keep distractions to a minimum, but they make employees feel like a rat in a cage.

Minimize the intrusive effects of noise and movement by breaking up the wide-open spaces with bookcases, plants, shelves — anything that provides a change from row after row of desks. You can also incorporate a sense of privacy by separating work areas with large pieces of furniture, like filing cabinets or storage lockers.

3) Keep Your Office Environment Clutter-Free

In the minds of many, a cluttered office is a disorganized and dirty office. That can seriously affect the happiness and productivity of your team…not to mention sending the wrong message to your customers and clients.

Here are a few suggestions for decluttering your office environment:

  • Corral the power cords

  • Go wireless if possible

  • Invest in storage solutions

  • Minimize items on your desk

  • Hire a commercial cleaner

  • Provide each team member with a personal storage space

Give this issue some serious thought and we’re sure you’ll come up with plenty of unique ways to keep your office environment clutter-free.

4) Consider Getting An Office Mascot

When we say “mascot,” we’re not talking about an employee dressed up as an armadillo or a ferret. We’re talking about an animal of the canine or feline persuasion that lives at your office (or at least comes to work every day).

A recent study by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reported that pets in the workplace improve work/life balance, reduce stress, and nurture productivity. All great things when you’re looking to make your team happier.

You will have to plan for food, exercise, and periodic walks (unless you get a cat, in which case, all you’ll need is food), but the reward is a higher level of happiness and productivity than ever before.

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