5 ways to make your office a well-oiled productivity machine

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Linda Trim, director at workplace design specialists Giant Leap, said that well-designed spaces, smart time management, along with happiness and motivation “all link to help employees perform their best on the job.”

Here are a few tips to ensure that employees make the best of their work days:
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Make (good) noise

“The right amount of noise has been shown to increase productivity within the workplace,” said Trim.

In a study published by Oxford University Press, it was found that background noise triggers abstract thinking and enhances creativity.

“You want enough of a buzz but not so much that it takes people away from the conversations they need to have,” said Trim.

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If the office is inherently too loud, mask sound with white noise machines or laid-back music. “Another option is to consider furniture and decor that absorbs and soften sounds. Noise absorbing panels can double as art work is also a good idea.

Keep them moving

More and more companies are moving away from traditional office layouts with assigned seating. “If you want to encourage collaboration, not having assigned seating encourages people to move around and talk to each other,” Trim noted.

A variety of postures — standing, sitting, and even relaxed lounging — are important to keep employees physically active and mentally stimulated throughout the day. Having the option of a standing desks gives employees the flexibility to change positions, so they aren’t hunched over their computers for eight hours.

A mix of spaces

A mix of individual and group work spaces ensures that employees can tackle different types of tasks throughout the day. Said Trim: “Most employees have both individual and collaborative work requirements and each requires very different skills and levels of concentration. And that is where a really well-designed space can make all the difference.”

Spaces that are focused on collaboration 24/7 detract from focused individual work, just as old-school models where employees are walled off in cubicles discourages working together. “Making sure offices offer both work spaces that accounts for both of those needs is very important,” Trim added.

To find balance in open plan offices, there should be places where employees can get away. Private spaces are important for people who are introverted or perform better alone. In workplaces with closed-off cubicles, create cozy spaces where employees can hang out and chat throughout the work day Read more.