To improve the performance of employees, you should let them know you are concerned about them and value their contributions. One way to do this is to make the workplace conducive to comfort and efficiency. In most companies, employees perform adequately physically and mentally so they can remain employed. However, in order to engage their internal motivation so they give you the best effort, they are capable of, you need to create an environment that stimulates maximum performance. Here are some ideas to help you to design more comfortable conditions for your employees.
Ergonomics is the process of arranging workstations and equipment to match the needs of workers so as to prevent stress and injury. Improper ergonomics lead to injuries such as eyestrain, bursitis, tendinopathy, and pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and wrists. If your employees spend hours at a desk, it is imperative that they be as safe and comfortable as possible. Chairs should be adjustable to an employee’s height and offer lumbar support. Desks need to be spacious enough to keep all equipment within comfortable, easy reach. Keyboards should lie flat and be able to adjust for slope. A wrist rest of soft material will reduce pressure on the wrist. The monitor should be about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen just below eye level. Under the desk, there should be plenty of clearance for the legs. If necessary, a footrest should be provided to aid good posture. Lighting should be positioned to avoid shadows and glare.
Comfortable, efficient, and attractive office design stimulates and inspires employees. People work better and longer in congenial surroundings. Analyze the layout of your office to see whether it is being used to maximum efficiency. Collaborative spaces should be centrally located. Employees who interact often should be close to each other. Place executive offices in the interior, rather than in corner offices,
And have workers who spend a lot of time at their desks on the periphery, near the windows. Ensure that everyone has plenty of light and that the air is clean and fresh. The decor, colors, and ambiance should match your company’s brand and mission.
Playing background music while everyone is working can be controversial, as some employees will like it, while others will not. However, studies show that music improves mood and enhances perception at the workplace. It relieves tension and helps employees remain calm and focused. Melodies without words are best because words engage your brain’s language center, which can distract you. It should be music you enjoy that puts you in a positive mood. Experiment with different tempos to see what is most inspiring. It is also important to have short, silent periods from time to time to break the monotony.
To save time and decrease traffic from desk to desk, employees should have technology at-hand to quickly communicate with each other. Consider having everyone get away from their workstations and draw together daily in a common area for a quick meeting. Keep it short and inspirational. First, share any good news and relevant statistics, then address concerns and ask for suggestions. Announce upcoming events, and thank everyone for their input and hard work. Short daily meetings make everyone feel part of a team working toward a common goal.
Investing the time to analyze and improve your office environment can pay off. With the addition of more comfortable surroundings, employees will feel more satisfied, motivated, and productive.
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