(1) Make sure the office space is visually interestingAn IAC survey revealed that 93.8 per cent of respondents felt that art and plants made their workplace more welcoming, while 60.8 per cent believed it made staff more creative. However, it’s not just traditional artwork that’s important. It has also been suggested that new office architecture, with open space formats, large windows and less wall space than the traditional cubicle office, will increase the demand for more mobile art, such as video and new media. In a more collaborative space, technologies like projection become increasingly important, offering opportunities for flexible, cost-effective and customisable art, including giving staff the chance to exhibit their own photography or video projects. Research indicates that visually stimulating environments not only make office life more enriching for employees, but can actually influence buying behaviour, whether it’s shoppers or potential business clients. Store designer, Ko Floor, argued in a 2010 book that consumers are sensation-seekers who enjoy being inspired by experiential shopping experiences. Clearly, businesses which provide a visually stimulating working environment can reap rewards in terms of productivity and business success.
(2) Employees shouldn’t run a marathon to access technologyAn important aspect of office landscaping is ensuring that technology is accessible. If workplace technology is based on centralised models, employees can waste time by simply travelling to and from the device and queuing. One example of this phenomenon is centralised printing systems, which have a bigger impact on draining employee time than you might expect. Read more about increasing productivity in your business:
- Here’s how you can plug your productivity gap
- How three UK firms upped productivity with three simple investments
- Seven time-saving apps entrepreneurs use to boost productivity
(3) Equip the workplace with collaborative technologySome 91 per cent of employees claim they lose concentration during meetings. Fortunately, businesses can address the daydreaming issue by making sure the working environment is fitted with collaborative technologies, such as cloud networks, interactive projectors and video conferencing systems, which enhance productivity levels by keeping employees engaged in a central task. Modern employees want to be connected, and don’t always deem it necessary to come into the office. That’s why interactive projection is so important – colleagues have the ability to walk into a meeting room equipped with this technology and start writing directly onto a projected image using their finger or a dedicated pen; sharing the changing image immediately with colleagues in other locations. These devices can switch seamlessly between input sources – allowing shared, wireless display from smartphones, tablets, USBs, the internet and laptops – as well as connecting to devices across the company network. Today’s business environment calls for increased collaboration and knowledge sharing, in order to drive creativity and efficiency for companies looking to maintain that innovative edge. Modern work spaces, therefore, must channel the idea of the connected employee. Productive working spaces rely on a mix of thoughtful landscaping, seamless accessibility and embracing the latest in collaborative technology in order to foster purposeful interaction between employees. From learning how to draw toast, becoming something akin to the Hulk, working less and watching cat videos more, here are some of the most controversial methods to increasing productivity.
Rob Clark is managing director for UK and Ireland, Epson Europe.
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